Christian Strohdiek's dramatic stoppage time goal for Paderborn canceled out Patrik Schick's first-half opener as 10 man RB Leipizig dropped points at home once again, making it still no home wins since the Bundesliga restart.
Leipzig Start Bright, Then Fade
Leipzig started the match brightly, carving up the visitors at every opportunity. In the first 10 minutes, Timo Werner, Patrik Schick, and Christopher Nkuku all had shots blocked or saved. Suffice it to say, it looked like it was going to be a long day for Paderborn keeper Leopold Zingerle.
In the 27th minute, the three aforementioned attackers hit their stride in unison. Nkuku played Werner into the box. Werner centered it. And Schick slotted it home. 1-0 to the hosts.
In the first half, Schick was on fire. The Czech international had two shots on target, including his goal, one key pass, and a big chance created (SofaScore). On top of that, he won both of his two duels, one in the air and one on the ground.
With the goal, Schick took his Bundesliga tally to double digits and Werner upped his assists to eight in the league (staying tied for first in combined goals and assists, 33, with Robert Lewandowski, who scored for Bayern Munich Saturday).
But then, it all went downhill.
Upamecano Showers Early
Center back Dayot Upamecano received his first yellow card in the 16th minute for a hard foul. Then, just two minutes before the half, he kicked the ball in frustration after a call from the referee he clearly disagreed with. Generally, refs don't like that. And Saturday's man in charge was no different.
Upamecano received a second yellow which allowed him to enjoy the entire shower room to himself, ahead of schedule.
The Frenchman's sending off proved costly for Leipzig. First, Paderborn had played well up to that point, not sitting back and soaking up pressure, instead playing open and expansive.
But down to 10 men, Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann decided to bunker down. At the half, left back Marcel Halstenberg subbed on for Schick and the hosts went into an extremely defensive back five. And as the half wore on, the midfield and defenders sat deeper and deeper, leaving Werner on an island so secluded it hasn't been discovered yet.
Leipzig, a team in the Champions League quarterfinals and fighting to qualify for next year's competition, were on their heels against dead last, four win, negative 29 goal difference Paderborn.
Bend And Break
Leipzig were treading water as the match wore on. American Tyler Adams luckily avoided giving away a penalty. Paderborn were dominating possession. They were outshooting the hosts, both total and on target. At some point, Leipzig's bend would have to break.
And finally it did, in stoppage time.
Paderborn's corner fell to Marlon Ritter at the top of the box and he blasted it towards goal. Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi saved it, but poorly parried back into danger and straight to captain Strohdiek who fired it home to steal a point for the visitors.
Amadou Haidara had a last second opportunity to snatch the lead back for Leipzig, but muffed his chance.
Tight Top Four Race
Leipzig have no one to blame but themselves for dropping points at home once again. From Upamecano's red card to abandoning their style of play for the entire second half, Leipzig thoroughly deserved only one point.
Borussia Monchengladbach lost Friday night and Bayer Leverkusen lost Saturday to leaders Bayern Munich. Leipzig could have cemented their spot in the top four. However, they frustratingly didn't take advantage of it.
On 59 points with four games to go, Leipzig cannot afford more slip ups. Gladbach and Leverkusen are right on their heels, just three points behind.
Leipzig, no matter how young they are, have to dig deep and will themselves to a top-four spot. Next up Friday's match away to midtable Hoffenheim.