Despite a late show from the visitors, RB Leipzig got back on track with a 3-2 win over 1. FC Nürnberg.
Leipzig's promotion push had begun to falter in recent weeks, so Ralf Rangnick wasn't afraid to make changes to the squad that couldn't get past 1860 Munich. Marvin Compper, Marcel Halstenberg, Diego Demme and Massimo Bruno all came into the starting line-up, with Georg Teigl, Anthony Jung, Yussuf Poulsen and Emil Forsberg missing out.
For the visitors, René Weiler kept a similar starting side to the one which drew 2-2 with Arminia Bielefeld last weekend. Dave Bultuis and Thorsten Kirschbaum were absent from the starting eleven, leaving Georg Margreitter and Raphael Schäfer to take their places.
Incredible opening sees Leipzig romp clear
A crucial moment came just five minutes into the match, when Davie Selke was played through on goal by Dominik Kaiser. Margreitter got the wrong side of his man and hauled him down in front of goal. Christian Dingert pointed to the spot and quickly gave the Austrian defender his marching orders. Kaiser was the man who was tasked with slotting home the penalty and he did just that, sending Schäfer the wrong way.
One became two just a few minutes later, with the visitors still shell-shocked after the double blow they suffered mere moments beforehand. A lovely ball set Lukas Klostermann racing down the right flank, and he burst to the by-line before crossing for Selke. Their high-profile signing wasn't going to miss from two yards out, as he thundered the ball into the roof of the net.
The horror show continued just after the quarter-hour mark. Selke was on the scoresheet once again, this time with a fine strike from outside the area. The former-Werder forward picked up on a poor clearance before rifling into the left corner; Schäfer had no chance.
Willi Orban could have made it four with a powerful header that went inches over the bar, in what was threatening to be a real rout the Bulls. Weiler had to act and he did, bringing off Laszlo Sepsi for Bulthuis. The Romanian had endured a torrid time in the early stages, though his decision to make the change after the damage had already been done was rather odd.
Thankfully, for the visitors, they managed to negotiate the remainder of the half without conceding again. Leipzig, however, were hungry to inflict even more damage on the Nürnberg defence.
Nürnberg nearly complete incredible comeback
The hosts began the second half in the same way the started the first, and almost made it four-nil. Marvin Compper rolled back the years and made an enterprising run forward before attempting to chip Schäfer from all of 25 yards. The veteran stopper called on all his experience to scuttle back and tip Compper's effort over the bar.
Marcel Halstenberg thought he'd notched up the next goal but was cruelly denied by Dingert's whistle. The left-back is known for his spectacular strikes and this was no different, sending a bicycle kick into the top right corner from the edge of the area. His celebrations were cut short when the referee pulled it back for dangerous play, much to the disappointment of the home fans.
They would be even more disappointed just after the hour. A Kevin Möhwald free-kick was floated into the area and met by Dave Bulthuis, who powered into the bottom corner past the helpless Fabio Coltorti. Nürnberg had, at least, shown a little fight for their traveling support. What could have been a mere consolation turned into something much more with 15 minutes to play.
Another free-kick produced a similar result. Möhwald was, again, the architect and his delivery was inch-perfect for substitute, Niclas Füllkrug. He rose above his markers to produce a bullet header that Coltorti couldn't keep out, and suddenly the atmosphere around the arena had changed.
Füllkrug should have made it three-three with the next chance of the match, but he dragged his shot wide from just a few yards out. Hanno Behrens also shot over, while Schäfer saved from Poulsen, in what was a frantic end to the game. But that was all the visitors could muster, and fell just short of a spectacular comeback. Leipzig know that they got away with things towards the end of the game.