Naby Keita on target as RB Leipzig overwhelm Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Upamecano (17′), 2-0 Keita (70′)
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the teams are among the Bundesliga’s most in-form sides at present, the match started brightly at the Red Bull Arena. Both looked to get forward quickly, and while they cancelled it other out in the opening stages, the hosts broke the deadlock when defender Dayot Upamecano finished on the rebound after Marwin Hitz had parried Yussuf Poulsen’s acrobatic effort. It remained a closely-fought affair until half-time, but there were no further chances or goals before the break.
It was largely one-way traffic towards the Augsburg penalty area in the second 45 minutes as Leipzig’s dynamic midfield controlled proceedings. Augsburg held firm for a while, with Daniel Baier and Caiuby each going close with a couple of long-range efforts at the other end, but Naby Keita put the result beyond all doubt when his free-kick took a wicked deflection off the Augsburg wall and beat Hitz, who was wrong-footed on the line. Kevin Kampl struck the crossbar from a similar position with another set-piece late on as Leipzig attempted to kill the game off, but the points were never in doubt for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men.
- Upamecano’s goal was Leipzig’s 100th in the Bundesliga.
- Keita’s strike was his fourth from distance this season – more than any other player.
- Augsburg’s Rani Khedira was an RB player from 2014 to 2017. The brother of world champion Sami has become a regular in defensive midfield alongside Daniel Baier.
- Poulsen made his first start of 2018 in this game.
- Of all current Bundesliga teams, Augsburg have the worst record on Friday nights and haven’t won on a Friday in four years (13 games).
- On the other hand, Leipzig are the best with a blemish-free record – five wins, one draw.
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Laimer, Orban (c), Upamecano, Klostermann – Kampl, Ilsanker, Keita (Lookman 79′), Bruma (Kaiser 90′) – Poulsen (Augustin 84′), Werner
Unused substitutes: Mvogo, Konate, Bernardo, Schmitz,
Absentees: Halstenberg (knee), Demme, Sabitzer (both illness)
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Augsburg: Hitz – Framberger, Danso, Hinteregger, Max – Khedira, Baier (c) – Heller (Schmid 46′), Koo, Caiuby (Moravek 87′) – Gregoritsch (Cordova 76′)
Unused substitutes: Luthe, Parker, Janker, Kacar
Absentees: Finnbogason (calf), Gouweleeuw (knee), Richter (ankle), Opare (disciplinary)
Coach: Manuel Baum