Dani Olmo’s early brace led RB Leipzig to a 2-0 away win over Hoffenheim at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Friday in Julian Nagelsmann’s return to his old stamping grounds.
Nordi Mukiele and Marcel Sabitzer set up the goals for Leipzig, whose 62 points are one less than second-place Borussia Dortmund and six clear of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, with the other three sides playing Saturday.
Hoffenheim can now be passed by Freiburg this weekend and fails to pass sixth-place Wolfsburg.
Leipzig’s three losses are the fewest in the Bundesliga, its 11 draws keeping them out of the title fight.
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The game began delivering early with hard fouls and a near-wonderful finish from Julian Baumgartner, whose shot swam wide of the Leipzig goal in the fifth minute.
Peter Gulacsi rushed off his line to earn a yellow card and send Hoffenheim to the spot in the sixth minute, but it was rescinded when VAR caught Baumgartner’s handling of the ball in the build-up.
Leipzig got its goal within a minute of the decision, Olmo sliding the ball past Oliver Baumann after a fortunate deflection kept the ball on his path for a cool finish.
Olmo got another in the 11th, lashing a loose ball inside the near post for 2-0.
Hoffenheim put a scare into the scoreboard when Diadie Samasseko leapt onto a loose ball outside the 18, but his outside-of-the-boot scun wide of the frame.
The hosts stayed in the mix and the first half was rather entertaining despite the two-goal gap.
Hoffenheim saw a Gulacsi double stop from close range, the second save a composed one.
Leipzig could’ve put it away in the 44th, but Timo Werner chopped a breakaway over the goal.
It was again close when Werner’s run was offside before feeding Angelino for a 53rd minute finish. Still 2-0.
Amadou Haidara was deprived a highlight reel rocket goal by a flying Baumann, who had four of the match’s nine saves.
Americans Abroad: Tyler Adams entered in the 68th minute for Kevin Kampf. He set up an early chance with a dribble in traffic and was generally calm and composed, completing 14-of-15 passes with one key pass, one clearance, and one-of-one on long balls.
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