Good first half unrewarded
FC Augsburg had to taste defeat for the first time this season on matchday 4. League leaders RB Leipzig left the WWK ARENA as 2-0 winners, despite a resilient first half-display from the hosts.
After recovering from a collapsed lung, Heiko Herrlich was back on the touchline for FC Augsburg and made three changes to the side that started the 0-0 draw at Wolfsburg before the international break. Mads Pedersen, Tobias Strobl and Fredrik Jensen were all called into the team, with Carlos Gruezo and Florian Niederlechner dropping to the bench, and Iago missing out through illness.
RB Leipzig came into the game as table-toppers and dictated the play from the off. FCA allowed them to have the ball and didn’t apply pressure until Die Roten Bullen crossed the halfway line. The visitors’ possession didn’t translate to chances though, with Augsburg keeping things tight at the back and getting stuck into the challenges. Dani Olmo’s shot in the 17th minute was one of the rare occasions that Rafał Gikiewicz was called into action.
FCA were struggling to make waves in attack too, however, losing the ball too quickly on the counter. Set pieces looked a more likely outlet and Tobias Strobl could have opened the scoring around the half-hour mark, but he failed to properly connect with his header from Michael Gregoritsch’s free kick. Just as it looked like it would be goalless at the break, an Olmo cross found Angelino in space at the far post and he headed Leipzig into the lead on the stroke of half time.
The second half was a little less cagey in the early stages and there were efforts at both ends, first from Daniel Caligiuri and then from RBL’s Emil Forsberg. The general flow of the game hadn’t changed much from the first 45 though, with Leipzig making Heiko Herrlich’s man do all the running. The FCA head coach made a triple change to bring on the fresh legs of Gruezo, Ruben Vargas and Niederlechner looking to make things happen going forward, but RBL continued to work the defence hard and Pedersen was required to clear off the line to deny a second goal.
The ball did find the back of the Augsburg net soon after though. With what was his first touch off the bench, Yussuf Poulsen fired a remarkable first-time volley over Gikiewicz into the top corner from a difficult angle to make it 2-0. FCA now had to play with more risk, albeit opening themselves more to Leipzig’s attacking threat. Christopher Nkunku came close to taking advantage, only to find the side netting. Herrlich’s boys struggled to mount a comeback charge and were lucky not to lose by three in the end, with substitute Hee-chan Hwang hitting the crossbar in stoppage time.
It is just the first defeat of the season for the Fuggerstädter, who are back in action next Monday (26th October, 20:30 CEST) when Bayer 04 Leverkusen visit the WWK ARENA.