RB Leipzig were able to continue their title challenge on Saturday afternoon, beating Werder Bremen 2-0 at Red Bull Arena.
An early penalty kick was converted by captain Marcel Sabitzer before Dani Olmo put the contest to bed with an exceptional goal. The scoreline was ultimately quite kind to Bremen, who just never seemed like testing the home side on the afternoon.
Story of the match
After a tight and tense start, the hosts would create the first major chance after 20 minutes. A clever backheel pass from Dani Olmo played Justin Kluivert through on goal, but his left-footed shot flew over the crossbar.
They wouldn’t rue the miss for long, though, as Leipzig took the lead only moments later. Given a penalty kick after a foul by Ludwig Augustinsson in the area, Marcel Sabitzer stepped up to smash the resulting spot kick into the back of the net.
It was nearly 2-0 with ten minutes to go in the first half. Jiri Pavlenka made a mess of a lobbed pass, coming out to barely punch away the ball. Yussuf Poulsen went for an instinctive first time volley, but just couldn’t get the effort on target.
Leipzig would grab another goal before the break, and it came in quite some fashion. A flick-on from Poulsen picked out Olmo and the Spaniard produced a moment of magic, dribbling past a defender before slotting home from close range.
The home side could have, and maybe should have, been awarded a second penalty kick when Christian Groß took down Amadou Haidara in the area. It was a close call, but the referee chose not to point to the spot.
Die Roten Bullen started to sit back and hit on the counter, and had a pair of chances to make it 3-0. Kluivert was denied by Pavlenka, while Poulsen’s cheeky chip attempt bounced off the post before being cleared away.
Leipzig were ultimately able to hold on with relative ease, and the result meant they went top of the league for the time being. For Bremen, it was their third straight loss, which moved them even closer to a relegation spot.
All things considered, this game wasn’t even close.
It was a tense affair early on, but once Leipzig got going, Bremen could not stop them. The home side started sending more bodies forward, and the goals would soon follow. Getting the opener from the spot was a bit fortunate, but the second goal from Dani Olmo was certainly deserved. If Die Roten Bullen were a bit more clinical then the final result would have been much uglier than it actually was.
Bremen weren’t even that bad, to be fair, but they just had no answers going forward. They tried to hit on the counter, but they lacked the pace to truly threaten as the Leipzig backline dealt with every situation. Werder seemed a bit better defensively, but a few mistakes and misjudgments ultimately cost them.
The league tables showcases the difference between the two sides, as Leipzig temporarily jumped up to 1st place with the win while Bremen dropped down to 13th.
Man of the match - Dani Olmo
It was a complete team performance from Leipzig as everyone did their job, but the moment of magic from Dani Olmo set him apart from the rest of his pack.
Picking the ball up on the edge of the area, he dribbled past a defender in some style before making no mistake with the finish, calmly slotting a shot past Jiri Pavlenka despite being put under pressure.
The Spaniard was constantly involved going forward, using his vision and passing ability to devastating effect. He’s been quality ever since joining the club in January from Dinamo Zagreb, and at the age of 22, he’s only going to get better and better.
Leipzig will be genuine Bundesliga and Champions League contenders this season, and Olmo is a big reason why.