Soccer-Leipzig survive Hertha Berlin fightback to secure nervy 3-2 win
(Reuters) – RB Leipzig scored three first-half goals before staving off a spirited Hertha Berlin comeback after the break to win an entertaining game 3-2 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Goals from Emil Forsberg, Abdou Diallo and Willie Orban had put Leipzig in a commanding position before Dodi Lukebakio and Stevan Jovetic pulled two back to set up a nervy finale.
Leipzig took the lead on a counter-attack with Hertha’s defence out of position as Dominik Szoboszlai’s near-post cross was turned in by Forsberg, who timed his run perfectly and used his knee to deftly divert the ball home after 25 minutes.
Szoboszlai was the architect again as the home side doubled their lead five minutes later when his corner found Diallo, whose header took two deflections before beating visiting goalkeeper Oliver Christensen.
Andre Silva, who has been under pressure to open his Bundesliga account, then saw his effort come off the far post but Orban was on hand to clean up and bundle in the rebound to give Leipzig a 3-0 lead just before halftime.
However, Hertha pulled two goals back in two minutes just past the hour, with Lukebakio converting a penalty after a handball before Jovetic cushioned a loose clearance from a set piece with his chest and fired into the bottom corner.
At the other end, Leipzig top scorer Christopher Nkunku was denied twice late in the game, once by a superb goal line clearance from Lukebakio and then by VAR, which chalked off his effort for offside in the build-up.
Hertha’s Wilfried Kanga was then kept out twice in added time, with one effort coming off the post, as the hosts held on for the three points and moved up to ninth in the standings on 15 points from 10 games. Hertha stay 15th on eight points.