The Wolves gave as good as they got at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday, but first-half goals from Kevin Kampl and Timo Werner proved too much of a hurdle to surmount; despite a positive showing after the interval, VfL were unable to find the finishing touch and slipped to a 2-0 defeat. Next up for Bruno Labbadia's side is the visit of Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday 22 April (kick-off 20:30 CEST).
Arnold and Tisserand start
VfL head coach Labbadia opted for two changes to the side that beat Hannover 96 last weekend. Available again after suspension, Maximilian Arnold returned in midfield, replacing Josip Brekalo, while Marcel Tisserand started at right-back in place of William.
Kampl and Werner on target
The Wolves' intention to remain compact and attack in transition was evident from the off, the visitors limiting Leipzig to few chances in the opening stages and almost taking the lead when Renato Steffen raced in behind. He was denied, however, and Leipzig went ahead soon after, Kampl bending a left-footed effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Full of confidence after going in front, the hosts doubled their advantage just over ten minutes later, Werner heading Marcel Sabitzer's cross past Pavao Pervan at the back post. Labbadia's troops rallied prior to the break and could have cut the deficit when Admir Mehmedi went through one on one, but the Swiss forward poked his finish the wrong side of the post.
Ginczek and Brooks denied
Labbadia turned to birthday boy Daniel Ginczek at the interval, the striker almost making an instant impact after his introduction in place of Steffen. Five minutes after Werner had a 47th-minute strike disallowed for offside, Tisserand galloped up the right flank and delivered an excellent back-post cross for the substitute, whose first-time volley drew a good save from Peter Gulacsi. The Wolves continued to hunt a goal that would bring them back into the encounter and enjoyed more of the ball, while Leipzig relied on the counter to try to put the game to bed, Pervan expertly denying both Matheus Cunha and Werner, who also hit the post in the final minutes. Undeterred, the visitors upped the ante as proceedings drew to a close and twice could have pulled a goal back prior to the final whistle, Ginczek's goalbound effort blocked before John Anthony Brooks' header was cleared off the line. As it was, the Wolves were unable to find the finishing touch, Leipzig's first-half strikes proving enough for three points.
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Mukiele – Laimer, Kampl (Demme 89'), Sabitzer, Halstenberg – Forsberg (Smith Rowe 90+1'), Cunha (Haidara 69'), Werner
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Tisserand, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Guilavogui, Rexhbecaj (Klaus 69'), Arnold (Malli 86') – Steffen (Ginczek 46'), Weghorst, Mehmedi
Goals: Kampl (16'), Werner (28')
Yellow cards: Laimer / Guilavogui
Attendance: 41, 212
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)