VfL coach Oliver Glasner had called for a “top performance” in Leipzig, and despite not overseeing a victory, he did get a determined, resolute display from his charges, who always looked capable of taking something from the game, even after going a goal down.
Glasner switched things around in comparison with the line-up he selected against Union Berlin prior to the international break, bringing in Kevin Mbabu to slot in beside Jeffrey Bruma and Marcel Tisserand in a three-man back line, with Robin Knoche dropping to the bench alongside the returning John Brooks. In addition, Jerome Roussillon and Josip Brekalo returned to the starting XI, in place of Renato Steffen, who also had to settle for a place among the substitutes, and Admir Mehmedi, who was injured while on international duty with Switzerland.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes, with crunching tackles (which saw both Josuha Guilavogui and Mbabu booked early on) more notable than goalmouth action. Out of nowhere, VfL were presented with an excellent chance to take the lead when Peter Gulacsi was forced to handle a wayward backpass from Dayot Upamecano. From the ensuing indirect free-kick, Maximilian Arnold’s powerful effort was well saved by the Leipzig goalkeeper. The hosts subsequently enjoyed a period of sustained pressure, but the Wolves’ defence – the most miserly in the league – held firm. William then went close with a glancing header and Timo Werner fired over from a dangerous position, but a closely contested first half would eventually finish goalless.
Weghorst to the rescue
The home team came out of the blocks strongly, and they took the lead in the 54th minute: Werner latched onto a long ball, held off the challenge of Mbabu, and dribbled around Pavao Pervan to open the scoring. The Green-Whites responded effectively, probing purposefully down both flanks, with William and Brekalo in particular causing problems for the Leipzig rearguard. Glasner threw on Steffen and Lukas Nmecha as the visitors upped their hunt for an equaliser. Joao Victor and Guilavogui threatened Gulacsi’s goal, before the pressure finally told, Weghorst getting on the end of William’s first-time cross to provide the Wolves with a late and merited equaliser.
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Upamecano, Orban (c), Saracchi – Laimer (Kampl 76’), Demme, Sabitzer, Werner (Cunha 86’), Nkunku (Forsberg 70’) – Poulsen
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Mbabu, Bruma, Tisserand – William, Guilavogui (c), Arnold, Roussillon (Steffen 68’) – Brekalo (Nmecha 74’), Victor (Klaus 87’) – Weghorst
Goals: 1-0 Werner (54’), 1-1 Weghorst (82’)
Yellow cards: - Saracchi / Guilavogui, Mbabu, Tisserand
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach)