Virus-hit Leipzig slump to defeat against Leverkusen - Daily Times

BERLIN: RB Leipzig’s week of Covid misery went from bad to worse as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday in the absence of both fans and coach Jesse Marsch. After American coach Marsch and several key players tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the week, a depleted Leipzig side were outplayed by fellow top-four hopefuls Leverkusen. Forced to play in front of an empty stadium because of rising Covid cases in the region of Saxony, Leipzig were a shadow of the team which smashed five goals past Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek. “It was very weird playing without fans again. We’re disappointed because these are the games we know we need to win,” assistant coach Achim Beierlorzer, who was standing in for Marsch for the second game in a row, told DAZN.

Moussa Diaby found the net early on for Leverkusen, only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside in the build-up. They took a deserved lead on 21 minutes, however, Florian Wirtz linking up with Exequiel Palacios to score his fifth goal of the season. Diaby doubled the lead in style shortly afterwards, plucking a long ball out of the air and drilling a low shot into the bottom corner. Andre Silva brought Leipzig back into the game with a sharp header on the hour mark, but Leverkusen restored their two-goal lead through Jeremie Frimpong just a few minutes later. Dominik Szoboszlai crowned a miserable afternoon for the hosts when he slammed a late penalty against the post. While Leverkusen move up to third, Leipzig’s fifth defeat of the season leaves them stuck in mid-table, four points adrift of the Champions League spots. They are now level on points with 12th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, who snatched a 2-1 win at home to Union Berlin in Sunday’s earlier game. French defender Evan N’Dicka scored an injury-time header to give Frankfurt their first home win of the season. After a disappointing start under new coach Oliver Glasner, Frankfurt have now gone six games unbeaten in all competitions. They have also made a habit of deciding games late on, having scored in injury time in five of their last six games.

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