Die Roten Bullen beat Galatasaray 3-2 in their second pre-season friendly of 2019.
Leipzig started the game brightly. The first five minutes saw RBL create two very good chances, but neither Timo Werner nor Marcel Sabitzer could put them away. Galatasaray’s main threat came from the left-hand flank in the form of Ryan Babel, but the winger was unable to convert any of his shots thanks to brave defending from the team in white.
Die Roten Bullen's best chance of the half fell to Yussuf Poulsen, but the striker was unable to get the vital touch on a brilliant delivery across the box from Werner. The game was a balanced one, with both sides creating chances, but ultimately it was the Turkish side that took the lead in the 28th minute.
Keeper Yvon Mvogo was left stranded as an unmarked Babel headed in from a cross from the right-hand flank, making it 1-0. Poulsen had yet another chance on the stroke of half-time as Werner crossed in, but in scenes similar to his earlier chance, the Dane was unable to get the crucial contact to tuck the ball home. Galatasaray held the lead as both sides went in the changing rooms at the interval.
New signing Christopher Nkunku made his club debut as Leipzig fielded a new-look attacking line, with Matheus Cunha and Jean-Kévin Augustin also entering the game. Coach Julian Nagelsmann’s changes brought RBL the clinical nature they had missed in the first half, as his side went on to score three second-half goals in just three minutes, in an impressive turnaround.
Marcel Halstenberg’s inch-perfect free-kick brought Leipzig back into the game in the 57th minute, before Yussuf Poulsen finally got his name on the scoresheet just 60 seconds later to put Die Roten Bullen ahead. Leipzig weren’t done there, as substitute Jean-Kévin Augustin made his mark to put the game out of Galatasaray’s reach.
The game lost some of its momentum as both sides made plenty of substitutes, but there was nonetheless plenty of opportunity for players to make their mark. Nkunku looked particularly bright on just his second day at the club.
A late Galatasaray goal took little away from a brilliant second-half display from Die Roten Bullen, who ran out as 3-2 winners in their second friendly ahead of the start of the season.
Mvogo (78' Schreiber) - Orban (C), Sabitzer (46' Nkunku), Poulsen, Werner (46' Augustin), Mukiele, Halstenberg, Laimer, Demme (46' Cunha), Candido, Kampl
Cipe - Calik, Büyük, Inan (C), Mitroglou, Donk, Durmaz, Filho, Babel, Teixeira, Nagatomo
0-1 Babel (28'), 1-1 Halstenberg (57'); 2-1 Poulsen (58'), 3-1 Augustin (59'), 3-2 Babel (89')