Bundesliga Matchday 26 kicked off on Friday when DSC Arminia Bielefeld played host to title contenders RB Leipzig at the SchücoArena. Bielefeld moved outside of the relegation zone with a 2-1 away win at Bayer Leverkusen last Sunday and they were looking to pull another surprise against a strong opposition from Leipzig.
But Bielefeld were well aware that they needed to come up with a stellar performance against Leipzig who were held to 1-1 draw by Eintracht Frankfurt in their last fixture. The visitors desperately needed to win in order to keep pace with FC Bayern Munich at the top of the table.
“They have played unbelievably aggressively under Frank Kramer of late. They have defended high and beat Leverkusen with the strength of their running. That serves as a warning for us,” said Leipzig’s head coach Julian Nagelsmann. “In the first game this season, they already caused us a few problems and we were lucky not to fall behind. This game is about three important points so it doesn’t make sense to underestimate them. That’s something we absolutely will not do. It’s about giving everything on Friday evening.”
His counterpart Frank Kramer said: “I expect an intense game, which we look forward to. Leipzig is a complete team and it will be a tough challenge for us. But we are ready to take on the challenge and let’s see who will be way out in front.”
The match turned out to be a one-sided affair on a cold, freezing night with Leipzig dominating proceedings and enjoying the majority of possession.
Nagelsmann’s team had 75% possession in the first half, but they were denied a goal by Arminia’s defence and their in-form goalkeeper Stefan Ortega Moreno. Ortega Moreno proved his qualities when he came up with brilliant saves against Emil Forsberg (12’), Dani Olmo (26’) and Christopher Nkunku (43’).
Both sides went into the half-time break with a goalless draw. The home side were still in contention to claim at least a point against Leipzig.
But Bielefeld’s hopes came to an early end in the second half, when Marcel Sabitzer found the back of the net 57 seconds after kick-off. The Auatrian international tapped the ball into an empty net after Nkunku and Olmo provided a well executed assist.
Leipzig further increased pressure on Bielefeld, but they couldn’t take advantage of their superiority. Amadou Haidara (64) and Nkunku (79’) came close to score a second goal, but failed to do so.
Referee Frank Willenborg blew the final whistle to seal a deserving 1-0 win for RB Leipzig.
DSC Arminia Bielefeld 0-1 RB Leipzig
0-1 Marcel Sabitzer (46′)
DSC Arminia Bielefeld
Ortega Moreno – Brunner (86′ Gebauer), Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui (86′ Laursen) – Prietl – Okugawa (84′ Voglsammer), Vlap (69′ Córdova), Maier, Doan – Klos [C] (86′ Schipplock)
Gulácsi – Klostermann, Orban, Halstenberg – Adams, Sabitzer [C], Kampl (87′ Mukiele), Nkunku – Haidara (77′ Henrichs), Olmo (78′ Poulsen) – Forsberg (69′ Hwang)
71′ Amos Pieper (DSC Arminia Bielefeld)
83′ Cedric Brunner (83′)
85′ Kevin Kampl (85′)
Arne Aarnink, Guido Kleve
Video Assistant Referee
Assistant Video Assistant Referee