Both sides unable to break deadlock in first half
The game began with Leipzig on the front foot, as expected. Bernardo whipped a shot just over the crossbar from 30 yards, while Jerome Gondorf picked up an early yellow card for pulling back Stefan Ilsanker. After the early pressure, the Lilies managed to stem the flow and began to steady the ship.
The Bulls almost gave their 1000-strong visiting support something to cheer when Timo Werner collected Ilsanker's through ball, squared for Yussuf Poulsen and the striker tapped into the open goal; it was ruled offside, though. It was a pleasant change from what was turning into a physical game, without the entertainment to match.
Darmstadt's only real opportunity came from a long free-kick that went deep into the Leipzig box, but Änis Ben-Hatira's header being comfortably gathered by Peter Gulacsi. It was a case of more cards than chances, yet Bernardo would waste a great opportunity when he cleared the crossbar from a 10-yard volley to leave it level at the break.
Sabitzer the difference for the Bulls
Leipzig picked up where they left off in the first half and were the better team in the game, as they opted to bring on Sabitzer for Poulsen. It was still Werner leading the charge, though, as he continued to cause problems across the Darmstadt back-line with his lightning pace.
It would be these two that combined for the opening goal, in what was a lethal move down the right. A searching ball set Werner free and he made the most of that space by darting down the line and crossing for the incoming Sabitzer, who swept the ball home just six minutes after coming on to give his side a deserved advantage.
Darmstadt did their best to push forward in search of an elusive equaliser, though Leipzig were staunch in defence and managed to keep their aerial bombardment at bay.
That proved crucial as they managed to force another quick counter to double their advantage with nine minutes left. This time Oliver Burke would provide the assist in what was essentially a carbon-copy of the first goal. The Scot beat all in front of him with raw pace, and fired low to the near post for Sabitzer to poke home and seal three points.