Goals from Selcuk Alibaz and Patrick Schönfeld were enough to seal an invaluable three points for Erzgebirge Aue on their return to 2. Bundesliga action. RB Leipzig never really got started in the game and will be disappointed to have lost ground in the promotion race.
Vladimir Rankovic, Selcuk Alibaz, Clemens Fandrich, Bobby Wood and Stefan Mugosa were all thrown into the starting line-up by Tomislav Stipic, who was hoping that the new signings would breathe life into a lacklustre campaign so far. Fandrich, on loan from Leipzig, would have been desperate to prove to his parent club that he was worthy of a spot in their side.
Alex Zorniger gave starts to Emil Forsberg, a new marquee signing from Malmö FF, and Lukas Klostermann. Forsberg enjoyed a successful spell with the Swedish champions and was chomping at the bit to get started in the 2. Bundesliga. The latter was a product of VfL Bochum's youth system and was starting at centre-back, despite being a more natural right-sided defender.
It was a fairly open and even ten minutes, as both teams forced good chances to open the scoring. Arvydas Novikovas fired his free-kick straight at Fabio Coltorti, while some lovely one-touch passing allowed Forsberg to get into a shooting position; unfortunately for the Swede he lost his balance and fired over the bar.
Aue looked rejuvenated after the winter break, pressing and hounding with a new found belief in their play. A pair of new signings, Wood and Fandrich, almost found the breakthrough for the hosts, but the latter was denied a goal against his old club by a fine block.
Daniel Frahn was set to leave Leipzig in the January window, but with one thing and another he remained in East Germany. Still captain, he nearly inspired his team to go in front; his pass to Forsberg had the Swede in on goal, only for him to strike the base of the post.
The game was full of chances and Mugosa, when played through by Fandrich, looked for all the world he'd open the scoring. However, Coltorti stood firm and denied him with a fine one-on-one stop. The Montenegrin forward was through again and was halted again, this time by Tim Sebastian.
Despite further chances falling the way of the new-look Aue attack, the combination of Sebastian and Klostermann was proving a tough nut to crack. Though, just before the break, they finally found a way through.
Novikovas broke free down the left hand side, driving into the box and then unleashing a shot onto the bar. It looked like their rotten luck was continuing from the first half of the season, however, Alibaz was on hand to smash the rebound past Coltorti and Anthony Jung and then wheeled away to celebrate.
It was nothing less than Stipic's side deserved, with a forty-five minute period showing real promise of what could be for the Saxony side.
The second half began well for Leipzig, with Georg Teigl and Yordy Reyna coming on, as Rani Khedira went close to restoring parity, although that would all quickly change. Alibaz was causing problems down the right and when Sebastian handled his cross, Aue were given a golden chance to extend their lead.
Patrick Schönfeld stepped up and struck the ball low and hard to Coltorti's left, sending him the wrong way and giving the hosts a two-goal cushion. Leipzig found themselves in an odd situation, it was only the third time Zorniger's men had conceded twice in a game all season.
It was a match of limited opportunities after that, as the fouls began to creep into the play of both teams. The home side didn't look like conceding whatsoever, in spite of Leipzig's much heralded attacking prowess. Even when they did break past the back four, Yordy Reyna couldn't find a finish and Martin Männel was there to tidy up the leftovers.
Apart from Khedira's long-range sighter, Aue comfortably closed out the game for the 2-0 victory. It takes them off the bottom of the table, for now, and brings them just one point away from VfR Aalen in 15th. Leipzig remain 8th, but could drop a place and be seven points from automatic promotion before the weekend is over. Aue travel to promotion hopefuls Fortuna Düsseldorf next weekend, with RB Leipzig playing host to FSV Frankfurt.