RB Leipzig 3-1 VfL Bochum: Second half show sees Leipzig return to first place

It was a dominant display from the promotion hopefuls.

RB Leipzig 3-1 VfL Bochum: Second half show sees Leipzig return to first place
Image credit: kicker - Getty Images
RB Leipzig
3 1
VfL Bochum
RB Leipzig: (4-2-3-1) Gulacsi; Klostermann, Orban, Compper, Halstenberg (Nukan 85'); Khedira (Bruno 19'), Demme; Kaiser, Sabitzer, Forsberg; Poulsen (Selke 67').
VfL Bochum: (4-2-3-1) Riemann; Celozzi, Fabian, Bastians (Cacutalua 76'), Maria; Losilla, Eisfeld; Bulut, Haberer (Novikovas 66'), Terrazzino; Terodde.
SCORE: 1-0, Kaiser 51'. 2-0, Bruno 53'. 3-0, Bruno 63'. 3-1, Losilla 87'.
REFEREE: Benjamin Brand (Bamberg). Booked: Fabian (71'), Bastians (74'), Orban (87').

RB Leipzig put paid to VfL Bochum's 11-game unbeaten run on Saturday afternoon, as they ran out 3-1 winners at the Red Bull Arena.

A second half double from substitute Massimo Bruno followed on from Dominik Kaiser's opener, in a superb 10 minute blitz from the hosts.

Anthony Losilla's late header was not enough to spark a comeback, with defeat bringing an end to Bochum's faint promotion hopes.

Tight and tense first half

The game began slowly, with both sides trying to figure each other out in the early stages. The two teams had corners and crosses but they came to very little. Leipzig came closest in the early stages and felt hard done by when they had a goal ruled out for a foul on Felix Bastians; it was a decision that could easily have gone the other way.

Emil Forsberg had another good opportunity from a dead-ball situation on the edge of the area, though his effort went narrowly over. It was not all plain sailing for the hosts, however, as a Rani Khedira injury forced an early change. Massimo Bruno was his replacement, meaning Daniel Kaiser had to drop into the heart of midfield.

Things could have been even worse for Leipzig had Bochum taken their first chance of the game. A long ball forward was brought down by Simon Terodde, who quickly fed a speeding Thomas Eisfeld through on goal. The former Fulham man couldn't convert, though, as Peter Gulacsi made an important save.

That was the only break in hosts' dominance, as Manuel Riemann was called into action on several occasions. The Bochum stopper did brilliantly to cut out a cross from Marcel Sabitzer, as well as denying the Austrian and Yussuf Poulsen towards the end of the half. However, despite this the game was locked at 0-0 going into the break.

It was a hard-fought match between two of the league's best sides. | Image credit: kicker - Getty Images
It was a hard-fought match between two of the league's best sides. | Image credit: kicker - Getty Images

Leipzig turn on the style

The deadlock would be broken not long after the restart, as Leipzig's pressure finally paid dividends. After the visiting defence managed to repel several shots, the ball fell kindly to captain Kaiser on the edge of the area. His effort was strong and a deflection in the area took the ball past the helpless Riemann, breaking Bochum resistance.

A stunning stop from a Poulsen header was to follow, when it looked for certain that the ball had found the back of the net. Ralf Rangnick didn't need to wait much longer for a second, as Marvin Compper rove into the Bochum half before picking out Forsberg. The Swede's clever lay-off was perfect for Bruno, whose outside of the foot shot crowned a superb move; in just two minutes the game had been turned on its head.

The Bulls were unrelenting and continued on their quest to heap further misery on their opponents. They hit the bar twice in quick succession, with both efforts coming from Forsberg, before a third attempt finally secured a third goal. The ball was hammered back towards goal at pace but Bruno was on hand to head home from close range.

Davie Selke had the last meaningful shot for Leipzig, though his effort didn't match the clever play in the build-up as he failed to hit the target. In the end it was a comfortable win, but Anthony Losilla managed to grab a late consolation goal for the visitors as he nodded a rebound past the helpless Gulacsi. Leipzig came away with the three points to return top, but it could only be temporary with SC Freiburg yet to play. As for Bochum, their slim chances of catching up to the promotion places is over.