With a 3-1 (1-0) win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday evening (October 25, 2023), RB Leipzig put itself in a good position to reach the round of 16 in the Champions League.
David Raum shot the Saxons in front (12th). After just under an hour, Xavi Simons (59th) increased for Leipzig, before Marko Stamenić shortened it for Belgrade (70th). Substitute Dani Olmo then put the famous “lid” on it in the final phase of the game (85th).
Leipzig thus distanced itself from Bern and Belgrade in Group G in the fight for a place in the round of 16. Manchester City is in first place in the table without losing any points.
“The first 20 minutes were great for us, but we have to finish it better. We allowed too much and they made life difficult for us.”said RB attacker Yussuf Poulsen on DAZN. “Home win, 3-1, second win in the Champions League, we are over the moon and I am too today”said Raum, who scored his first goal in the premier class.
Successful start in Leipzig
RB came into its third Champions League game this season well. With great ball security and precise passing, the hosts quickly pushed Belgrade onto the defensive. After almost twelve minutes, there was celebration among the Leipzig supporters: Yussuf Poulsen and Xaver Schlager fought for the ball from the Serbs with energetic counter-pressing. From the middle, Xavi Simons fed David Raum, who started on the left, who took the lead with a somewhat lucky shot through the legs of Belgrade keeper Omri Glazer.
A little later, Leipzig had a double chance to score the second and third goals – both times canceled out by Glazer, who reacted quickly. First, the goalkeeper scratched a hidden shot from Poulsen on a direct pass from Emil Forsberg from the corner. After the following corner, Castello Lukeba rose up to headbutt and actually placed the ball perfectly. Actually – because Glazer was there again with a reflex and directed the ball over the crossbar.
Belgrade is lurking – and almost equalizes
With the lead behind them, RB allowed themselves a short break. And Red Star almost equalized. After a defensive negligence from Lukeba, Janis Blaswich had to intervene for the first time and had to save against Milan Rodic. When the corner was taken, the goalkeeper had to save against Milan Ivanci.
When referee José María Sánchez Martínez pointed to the penalty spot in the 28th minute, Leipzig’s lead finally seemed to be history. Lukeba had overtaken Belgrade’s Cherif Ndiaye in his own penalty area. But the VAR spoke in the ear of the referee, who then looked at the TV images of the alleged foul. It’s clear to see: Lukeba caught the ball first and then hit the Belgrade player’s leg – no foul.
Red Star strong after the break – and Leipzig highly efficient
Red Star Belgrade came out of the break with a lot of momentum and hardly gave Leipzig any room to breathe in the first 15 minutes of the second half of the game. The only drawback from the guests’ point of view: no impact. Leipzig made a lot of mistakes in building up the game and allowed the guests to get shots, all of which missed the Leipzig goal.
The 2-0 from Leipzig’s point of view came out of so-called nothing. After a nice move on the left edge of the penalty area, Simons took courage and circled the ball exactly into the right corner of the cross.
Openda and Raum play “Schnick-Schnack-Schnuck” before the free kick
As a result, the hosts increasingly enjoyed the kick on Wednesday evening. Raum and Lois Openda determined the taker of a free kick from around 22 meters using “Schnick-Schnack-Schnuck”, with Openda winning with a “stone” against Raum’s “scissors”.
The well-executed free kick was once again defused by Belgrade’s best man Glazer (64th), who also kept Crvena Zvezda in the game three minutes later with a save against a well-placed Simons shot.
Connection hit creates tension
Belgrade didn’t give up. After the second goal, RBL played with significantly more self-confidence. But this time it hit the Blaswich goal.
A cross from Belgrade deflected to Stamenić, who quickly and artistically pushed the ball into the Leipzig goal. Olmo’s save after a corner and a hit on the crossbar by Mohamed Simakan made the Saxons’ deserved success perfect.
The post first appeared on www.sportschau.de