Die Roten Bullen are halfway there! RB Leipzig overcame Zenit St Petersburg 2-1 in their Europa League last 16 first leg tie. It sets up Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side to qualify for the quarterfinals next week in Russia.
The hosts showed their intentions from the beginning and created numerous positive openings, playing with pace and flair in front of nearly 20,000 in the RB-Arena. Emil Forsberg came closest to breaking the deadlock, rattling the post from a free kick just before half time.
Ten minutes after the restart, the effort was rewarded, as Bruma finished off a wonderful team move after picking up a backheel pass from Timo Werner to slot Leipzig ahead.
Timo Werner, who had already passed up several opportunities in the game, finally got on the scoresheet after dinking the ball into the net following a superb pass by Naby Keita.
There was a late suckerpunch from Roberto Macini’s Zenit though, as Domenico Criscito curled home a free kick in the final few minutes to set the tie up perfectly for next Thursday, though Die Roten Bullen may go home feeling a bit hard done by to have only won by the single goal.
- Ralph Hasenhüttl made two changes from the side who drew with Dortmund, as Diego Demme and Bruma returned to the starting XI.
- Kevin Kampl was forced to skip the game with a muscle problem
- Konrad Laimer had to come off at half time with a light thigh injury.
- Bruma opened the scoring, and in doing so got his second goal of the competition.
- Timo Werner recorded his third Europa League goal of 2018 with Leipzig’s second of the night.