Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku’s first-half goals paved the way for Leipzig’s 2-1 win over Augsburg in Friday’s opening round of the 21st Bundesliga round.
Up until the closing stages, the Bulls dominated but had to survive a late scare as Augsburg halved the deficit against the run of the game by Daniel Caligiuri.
As Angelino kept Augsburg’s defense busy until Nkunku’s free-kick attempt on target forced goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz into action, Leipzig took charge from the starting whistle.
The hosts dominated possession, but as Olmo released a risky free kick in the 23rd minute, it only came close to set-piece conditions.
Ten minutes later, when Reece Oxford brought down Nordi Mukiele inside the box, Leipzig ultimately opened the scoring, allowing Olmo to beat Gikiewicz from the penalty spot. Gikiewicz, who came off the goal line too early, saved Olmo’s initial penalty. The Spaniard, however, converted the return to make it 1-0.
After Yussuf Poulsen’s square pass found Nkunku, who made no mistake in taping home from very close range, Leipzig started on the front foot and made it two just before the break.
Although Augsburg lacked penetration to present any kind of hazard, the hosts picked up where they left off and dominated proceedings on the pitch.
It looked like Leipzig would ease to an uncontested win, but as Ibrahima Konate dropped Mads Pedersen inside the field, the hosts helped Augsburg get back to life. To reduce the arrears out of the blue, Caligiuri stepped up and converted the resulting penalty.
As both Poulsen and Marcel Sabitzer were able to overcome Gikiewicz, Leipzig answered well and squandered two opportunities.
Augsburg almost stunned the hosts, but Peter Gulacsi of Leipzig was on guard to defuse Robert Gumny’s effort in the game’s dying seconds.
“I am pleased, overall. We dominated until the 75th minute, but then, on a counterattack that led to a penalty, we were caught flat-footed. “We’re still creating chances, but I’m annoyed by the late goal,” Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
As a result, second-placed Leipzig is four points behind Bayern Munich’s front runners, while Augsburg is currently in 13th position.
Borussia Dortmund host Hoffenheim, Bayer Leverkusen face Mainz, Werder Bremen clash with Freiburg, newly promoted Stuttgart encounter Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin face bottom side Schalke. The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday.