RB Leipzig picked up an impressive win against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, a win that solidified their place as the second best team in the Bundesliga and keeps the pace with the unstoppable Bayern Munich. Manager Julian Nagelsmann didn't understate the importance of the win after the game.
"After the loss to Mainz, we wanted to get back to winning ways," said Nagelsmann. "When you look at the chances, it was a deserved victory. It was really important to pick up the three points against a direct rival."
The game's only goal came in the 51st minute, when Christopher Nkunku fires a second-chance effort after a deflection from the Leverkusen defender. It came as Leipzig were taking a hold of the game but finding few opportunities. What's more is that the Leverkusen goalkeeper, Lukas Hradecky, made several impressive saves to keep his team in the game.
It was a goal that never seemed to be found last season. Leipzig were haunted by an unacceptable amount of dropped points which cost them the league. Thus far, the second half of the season started with a loss to Mainz but has recovered with today's win and keeps the East German club just seven points back of Bayern Munich.
"There are no easy games in the Bundesliga," said midfielder Tyler Adams. "After the defeat against Mainz, the coach underlined the importance of today's game. Leverkusen are a very strong team physically, and threw themselves into every duel today. Therefore, I'm really pleased with the win."
After today's game, RB Leipzig will be taking a break from the Bundesliga and continuing their campaign to win the German Cup. Their round of 16 opponent is lower division VfL Bochum 1848. It is a game that they are not only expected to win but now have to be seen as favorites following the exit of Munich in the previous round.