Over 30,000 fans, but depressing silence: Overshadowed by an emergency doctor's call, defending champion RB Leipzig defeated TSG Hoffenheim 3-1 (2-0) and reached the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup.
The spectators had stopped supporting the teams from the start because one person had collapsed in front of the stadium and had to be resuscitated. The person was taken to the hospital, further details initially remained unclear on Wednesday evening.
When Emil Forsberg (8th minute) scored for the early RB lead, the bizarre silence in the stadium was briefly interrupted. Only gradually did the news of the emergency before the game spread among the 34,822 spectators. Konrad Laimer (41st) increased before half-time, the jubilation was subdued, the stadium announcer calmly announced the new score. Kasper Dolberg (77th) made the connection for Hoffenheim before Timo Werner (84th) made everything clear. Shortly before the end, Stanley Nsoki saw the yellow-red card from the guests (86th).
"No fireworks, but a deserved victory"
"It wasn't fireworks, but it was a deserved win. We took it seriously and showed from the start that we want to progress. It was played well," said Forsberg on Sky: "We're having a good run and we have to get on with it Stay away. It comes with hard work." Hoffenheim's new signing Thomas Delaney said: "Overall the impression is bad, Leipzig got too many chances. We were in there, but then clearly lost."
Leipzig, who have been unbeaten for 17 games, were not irritated by the unfamiliar atmosphere. The team performed routinely and always had the troubled opponent from Kraichgau under control. Forsberg's well-placed shot from 20 meters calmed the game early on. After that there was baby cheering, because the Swede will be a father again. "We're getting a little girl," said the 31-year-old afterwards. Hoffenheim acted tamely, almost fearfully. Coach André Breitenreiter's team didn't create any great chances.
Leipzig took their time until just before the break to become more active again. Laimer's wonderful left-footed shot from the turn gave Oliver Baumann no chance in the TSG goal. André Silva (43rd) and Timo Werner (44th) even had great opportunities to raise. Hoffenheim, who celebrated their last competitive win in early October in the second round of the cup, presented a sometimes frightening picture.
Leipzig also allowed little in the second round
The two teams faced each other in the cup back in 2018, when Leipzig won 2-0 with a Werner brace. At that time, RB failed only in the final with 0: 3 against Bayern Munich. The first title came three years later last May in Berlin.
The final in the capital is also to go this season. That's why Leipzig didn't allow much in the second round and brought the victory in a concentrated manner over time. Hoffenheim showed a little improvement. Above all, the substitution of newcomer Thomas Delaney brought more structure to the Kraichgau midfield game.
At best, however, the people of Leipzig had good chances. Above all Werner. But the national player initially managed to run offside at every major opportunity. After a good hour, he even took the ball away from his strike partner Silva, who was not offside, and thus prevented Hoffenheim from scoring, so to speak. Hoffenheim's new signing Kasper Dolberg did better, who shortened his head - and briefly gave the guests hope. But then Werner was still successful.