Europe: Champions League
⚽ M. Simakan (3), ⚽ X. Schlager (73), ⚽ B. Šeško (90)
RB Leipzig made tracks for Switzerland to commence their 2023-24 Champions League odyssey. Marco Rose named an unchanged team from last Saturday’s defeat of Augsburg. In the de facto Swiss capital of Bern, they overwhelmed Young Boys on a scoreline of 3-1.
Leipzig looked threatening from the minute the ball got rolling this afternoon. Mohammed Simakan’s goal from a David Raum corner in the 3rd minute cemented their early dominance. At the heart of Leipzig’s razor-sharp attack was Xavi Simons. The Dutch prospect perhaps should’ve scored from a 12th minute counterattack ignited by Schlager.
Young Boys grew to the occasion as time progressed and in the 33rd minute they drew level. Filip Ugrinic found Meschack Elia, and the Congolese striker fired past Blaswich. The half ended in a turbulent manner as Schlager confronted the referee after a chockful of meaty tackles put in on Simons, Poulsen, and Henrichs.
Racioppi prevented Leipzig from regaining the lead immediately after the restart – a fine double parry on Openda and Poulsen kept the visitors at bay. Moments later Marco Rose was left incensed by the VAR decision to not award a penalty and instead book Simons for simulation. Further frustration came when substitute Sesko had the ball in the net on 66 minutes only to be deemed offside.
A former Bochum duo of Janko and Ganvoula replaced each other, and the latter tested Blaswich within minutes. Somewhat deservedly, Schlager put his side 2-1 ahead with just over 15 minutes to play. It was a pinpoint strike from the Austrian who plundered the ball in Racioppi’s lower left corner. In the second minute of additional time, Sesko did get his goal. A classic counterattack aided by the tireless Henrichs secured all three points.