Die Roten Bullen couldn't have asked for a much better start to their UEFA Champions League campaign, beating Benfica 2-1 in Lisbon on Tuesday night. Timo Werner scored a second-half brace to ensure Mission Champions League begins with three points.
Julian Nagelsmann's side looked the more dangerous in the first half, but there was a lack of incisveness from both sides. Timo Werner had a curling shot parried away easily enough by Odisseas Vlachodimos, while Emil Forberg couldn't test the hosts' goalkeeper with his long-range effort. Benfica finally called Péter Gulácsi into action in the closing moments of the half, but the big Hungarian was alert to keep out Raúl de Tomás' back-post header following a free-kick.
The second 45 started at a much more frantic pace and Marcel Sabitzer must have thought he was going to fire Leipzig ahead, only for Vlachodimos to somehow get his toe to Yussuf Poulsen's square pass across the face of goal. The deserved opener finally came in the 69th minute though, when Timo Werner applied a drilled first-time finish to Poulsen's lay-off on the edge of the box to make it 1-0. Gulácsi was then needed again to keep Benfica at bay, before Die Roten Bullen grabbed a crucial second. Sabitzer was played behind the backline by Forsberg and duly set up Werner to roll the ball into the open net. The offside flag was then raised against Sabitzer, but a VAR review deemed that the Austrian was not beyond the last defender and the goal was awarded. Haris Seferovic made things tense as he finished off a quick Benfica move to make it 2-1 with five minutes left, but RBL held out to claim three points in their 2019/20 Champions League opener and top Group G.