Following the 2-1 win last week at home to Greuther Fürth, Pál Dárdai made four changes to his starting XI for the trip to Leipzig: The injured Myziane Maolida and Dedryck Boyata (both hamstring) were replaced by Jurgen Ekkelenkamp and Santiago Ascacíbar, Ekkelenkamp making his first start for the "Old Lady." Vladimír Darida and Davie Selke came in for Prince Boateng and Ishak Belfodil, who dropped to the bench. Cimo Röcker, who moved up from the U23s to the first team in the week, was an unused substitute for the first time in the Bundesliga. Some positive news was the return of striker Krzysztof Piątek, who was named in the squad for the first time in 136 days.
RBL hungry for goals - Hertha too passive
The Leipzig side took control of the game at the start and created the first chances. The "Old Lady" came into the game after a few intense minutes and and was able to gain some confidence in passing. Just after the quarter hour mark, however, the Red Bulls took the lead: after a pass from deep by Lukas Klostermann, Christopher Nkunku went through on goal and chipped the ball over Alexander Schwolow to score (16'). Our first shot came after 22 minutes from Vladimír Darida, directly after which Leipzig doubled their lead. Amadou Haidara sent Nkunku through again, who squared for Yussuf Poulsen to tap home (23').
Jesse Marsch's side continued to pile the pressure on: "Schwolli" parried well from the electric Nkunku before Forsberg rattled the crossbar. The home side restricted Hertha to defensive duties, Lukas Klostermann forcing the ball home. That goal was both given and then disallowed by technology; initially given by goal-line technology, Markus Schmidt and Mark Borsch in the VAR room chalked the goal off for an offside in the buildup. On 45 minutes, Suat Serdar shot over the bar from the edge of the box after great work from Deyovaisio Zeefuik. The team from Saxony then added a third: A free kick from Angeliño found Nordi Mukiele who was free to head home and send the home side into a 3-0 lead at half time.
Leipzig continue dominating, Hertha stifled
Coach Dárdai made a single change at half time: Dennis Jastrzembski came in for Darida. The team from Saxony did not let up in their pressure - Nkunku and Mukiele shooting over in quick succession (50', 53'). Hertha were a step off the pace too often and lacked the precision and calmness on the ball which they needed. With 58 minutes gone, referee Sascha Stegeman pointed to the spot for a Niklas Stark foul on Nkunku - Emil Forsberg tucked the penalty home to make it 4-0. Our head coach reacted and brought on Marco Richter and Ishak Belfodil for more attacking strength (60')
Nevertheless, RBL did not let up and the fifth goal came through an Nkunku free kick (70'). Finally though, a shot on target from Hertha - substitute Jastrzembski tested goalkeeper Gulácsi from the angle. Leipzig pressed home their advantage, with Haidara converting Brian Brobbey's pass (77'). As the game came to a close, Belfodil put the ball wide following Serdar's build-up play, before Piątek came on to complete his comeback from injury, testing Gulácsi with a powerful drive from a tight angle. Nevertheless, Leipzig were more than good value for their clean sheet and ended the game 6-0 winners.
RasenBallsport Leipzig: Gulácsi; Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol (55' Simakan); Mukiele, Haidara, Kampl (65' Laimer), Angelino; Nkunku (74' Henrichs), Forsberg (65' Brobbey); Poulsen (65' Silva)
Hertha BSC: Schwolow; Tousart, Stark, Dárdai; Zeefuik, Ascacíbar, Darida (46' Jastrzembski), Plattenhardt; Ekkelenkamp (60' Richter), Serdar (84' Piątek ); Selke (60' Belfodil)
Goals: 1-0 Nkunku (16'), 2-0 Poulsen (23'), 3-0 Mukiele (45'+3), 4-0 Forsberg (60'), 5-0 (70'), 6-0 Haidara (77')
Yellow cards: Mukiele; Darida, Stark, Plattenhardt
Referee: Sascha Stegemann