The hosts took the lead inside ten minutes when Matheus Cunha finished past Koen Casteels, although the Wolves went close through Renato Steffen in response. Leipzig controlled the remainder of the first period and stayed on top after the interval, Robin Knoche forced to clear off the line and Casteels producing an excellent double save. Labbadia's troops rallied in the closing stages and Jérôme Roussillon had a goal disallowed for offside but those late efforts were not enough to prevent a 1-0 defeat, with the focus now turning back to the Bundesliga and Saturday's trip to Freiburg (kick-off: 15:30 CET).
No changes for the Wolves
Labbadia named an unchanged side after Saturday's Bundesliga win against Hertha Berlin, with Yunus Malli, Steffen and Wout Weghorst continuing in tandem up front.
Hosts take early lead
With both sides fresh from weekend victories, proceedings began apace in Leipzig, with Weghorst and Cunha involved at either end in the early exchanges. The hosts struck first, through none other than Cunha, the Brazilian forward collecting Lukas Klostermann's ninth-minute diagonal and finishing past Casteels from close range. The Wolves responded well to the setback, Malli shooting just wide minutes later and Steffen then drawing a fine save from Peter Gulacsi. After those chances, Leipzig began to take control in midfield, although the hosts fashioned few real openings in what remained of the first period. Marcel Sabitzer and Ibrahima Konaté shot over, while at the other end Yannick Gerhardt nodded wide just prior to the interval.
Leipzig stand firm
Leipzig upped the ante once the second half got going, with Sabitzer and Cunha passing up presentable chances within five minutes of the restart. Knoche then cleared off the line from Yussuf Poulsen, before Casteels produced two excellent saves – the first to deny Sabitzer, the second to repel a miscue from Paul Verhaegh – to keep the visitors in the game. The introduction of John Yeboah on the hour gave the Wolves some forward momentum – the midfielder almost latched on to a clever through ball – but Leipzig retained control in midfield. Roussillon did have the ball in the net with ten minutes left on the clock, but was flagged for offside and, ultimately, the Wolves' late show of resistance proved futile, Leipzig holding on to reach the DFB Cup quarter-finals.
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Orban, Halstenberg – Adams, Demme (Ilsanker 90') – Sabitzer, Laimer – Poulsen, Cunha (Forsberg 84')
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Arnold, Gerhardt, Rexhbecaj (Yeboah 59') – Malli (Brekalo 59'), Weghorst, Steffen (Klaus 84')
Goals: Cunha (9')
Yellow cards: Demme / Brooks, Gerhardt
Referee: Christian Dingert (Gries)