Die Roten Bullen were dealt a blow in the race for the top four on Monday night, as Bayer 04 Leverkusen left the Red Bull Arena as 4-1 winners on matchday 29.
The evening actually started well for Ralph Hasenhüttl's boys, with Marcel Sabitzer volleying home Yussuf Poulsen's knock-down on 17 minutes to open the scoring in what was his 100th RBL appearance. However, Leverkusen hit back at perhaps the worst possible time, when Kai Havertz volleyed home a goal of his own to level the scores on the stroke of half time.
The momentum was now with the visitors, and they took advantage of mistakes at the back to build a comfortable lead. Julian Brandt fired Leverkusen ahead after a long ball found its way to him, and Panagiotis Retsos doubled their advantage when a corner wasn't cleared, all within eleven minutes of the restart. A wayward pass in the 69th minute allowed Kevin Volland to make it four and put the result beyond doubt.
Die Roten Bullen continued to look for a way back into contention, but either found Bernd Leno in their way or failed to produce the killer ball. Defeat sees RBL drop to sixth in the table, two points behind Bayer 04 in fourth.
- Ralph Hasenhüttl made five changes to the side that beat Marseille, with Bernardo, Willi Orban, Marcel Sabitzer, Yussuf Poulsen and Kevin Kampl all coming back into the starting XI.
- Stefan Ilsanker made his return from a knee injury, being brought on in the 76th minute.
- Marcel Sabitzer made his 100th competitive appearance for RB Leipzig and marked it with his third Bundesliga goal of the campaign.
- Naby Keïta was withdrawn after 76 minutes after a heavy collision with Bayer 04 keeper Bernd Leno. The extent of his injury is not yet known.