RB Leipzig celebrated their first win of the Champions League campaign on matchday 3 after a 3-1 victory over Celtic FC at the RB Arena.
Marco Rose’s side had to deal with an early setback when captain Péter Gulácsi was forced off through injury after making a clearance. Janis Blaswich replaced him in goal.
Christopher Nkunku put RBL ahead at the second attempt. After his first ‘opener’ was ruled out for offside (18’), the French forward then rounded goalkeeper Joe Hart to slot into the back of the net for the legitimate opening goal in the 27th minute.
Celtic found their response early on in the second half when Jota scored in the 48th minute, but Leipzig answered in the best possible way. Although Dominik Szoboszlai’s impressive strike was ruled out for offside (61’), André Silva restored the lead in the 64th minute before adding the icing on the cake with his second goal thirteen minutes later (77’).
Gulácsi (C, 13' Blaswich) – Simakan, Orbán, Werner (71' Forsberg), Szoboszlai (82' Poulsen), Nkunku, Silva, Raum (82' Halstenberg), Schlager, Gvardiol, Kampl (71' Haidara)
Unused subs: Diallo, Novoa, Henrichs
Hart – Taylor, Jenz, Furuhashi (82' Giakoumakis), Jota, O'Riley (74'. Hakšabanović), Maeda (75' Forrest), Hatate (82' McCarthy), McGregor (C, 37' Abildgaard), Welsh, Juranović
Unused subs: Bain, Siegrist, Bernabei, Robertson, Ralston
Espen Eskås (Norway)
1-0 Nkunku (27'), 1-1 Jota (48'), 2-1 Silva (64'), 3-1 Silva (77')
45,228 | RB Arena (sold out)
Kampl | O'Riley
First half highlights:
Underway in Leipzig. Let's go, RBL!
Double chance for Leipzig! Nkunku loses his balance in the penalty area and Silva looks to pounce but the ball lands in Hart's arms after some defensive pressure. Just after, Nkunku shoots just wide of the post.
Szoboszlai picks up the ball and drives forward through midfield, but his ball to Werner is intercepted by Juranović.
Péter Gulácsi clears the ball under pressure and goes down holding his right knee. Our captain is forced off and Jonas Blaswich replaces him for his European debut. Get well soon, Pete!
Simakan crosses from the right but Hart gets to the ball ahead of Nkunku.
Simakan plays a fantastic ball in behind from deep and Nkunku latches on, bears down on goal and chips over Hart into the goal. However, a VAR intervention rules the goal out for offside.
Raum crosses from the left, Szoboszlai heads goalwards but it’s inches wide of the far post. Celtic hit on the counter and Blaswich is forced into a good stop from a Furuhashi header.
27th minute, GOAL for RB Leipzig:
Just as the visitors were finding their feed, Christo has the perfect reply! Schlager wins a ball in midfield and finds Silva who links up with Nkunku. He rounds Hart in the penalty area and finishes coolly into the back of the net!
Leipzig look to push for a second, but the game has lost its flow a little. Simakan crosses from the right into the penalty area, but it is deflected and claimed by Hart.
Werner is played through on goal but his shot is saved by Hart. The flag goes up for offside afterwards.
Silva shoots from the edge of the area but Hart saves again.
After seven minutes of added time, the first half draws to a close. RB Leipzig are deservedly leading 1-0 at the break.
Second half highlights:
We’re back underway. Neither coach has made any changes at the break.
48th minute, goal for Celtic:
The visitors equalise. After latching on to a Werner flick, Furuhashi finds Jota quickly and he finds the far corner to level the scores at 1-1.
Silva gets rises highest to meet a cross but it’s not a problem for Hart.
Big chance for RBL! Some fantastic link-up play between Werner, Nkunku and Szoboszlai sees a chance for Domi, but his shot bounces back off the far post.
Szoboszlai picks up the ball, looks for his spot and hits it, right-footed, into the back of the net from range. However, Silva was in an offside position and is adjudged to have interfered with the goalkeeper’s vision, so the goal is disallowed.
64th minute, GOAL for RB Leipzig:
This time it counts! A sloppy ball from Hart is capitalised on by RBL. Szoboszlai plays it into the path of Silva and he finds the back of the net via the left-hand post.
Silva comes close to his second but Hart is able to save.
77th minute, GOAL for RB Leipzig:
What a goal! Nkunku plays a high diagonal ball to the right for Simakan, who plays a cushioned first-time cross into the path of Silva in the middle. He takes a touch to control the ball before finishing into the back of the net. 3-1!
Raum goes down and is taken off – hopefully it’s nothing serious. He’s replaced by Marcel Halstenberg. Meanwhile, Yussuf Poulsen comes on for Szoboszlai.
Nearly the fourth! Forsberg shoots first time after a cut back from Haidara, but Hart makes a good reaction save.
First win and three points of the UCL campaign for RBL after a 3-1 victory. Marco Rose’s side will take on Celtic again in Glasgow in six days’ time.