Leipzig thrash Stuttgart as Simons opens Bundesliga account

football25 August 2023 21:36| © AFP
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Xavi Simons © Gallo Images

Dutch youngster Xavi Simons scored his first Bundesliga goal on Friday as RB Leipzig came from behind to thrash Stuttgart 5-1.

Simons, who joined Leipzig on loan from Paris Saint-Germain in July, put the cherry on the cake with his side's fifth goal after coming on as a second-half substitute.

His cool finish capped off a thrilling second-half performance from Champions League qualifiers Leipzig, who shook off an early wobble to rout Stuttgart in the final half hour.

"We fully deserved the result today. We got sharper and better with every passing minute and we completely controlled the game," Leipzig coach Marco Rose told DAZN after his side bounced back from a 3-2 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen last week.

Stuttgart went into the game as league leaders after their impressive 5-0 win over Bochum on the opening weekend, and they kept Leipzig under wraps for much of the first half hour.

Leipzig were just beginning to take control when disaster struck at the back.

A misplaced pass from David Raum gifted Stuttgart possession in the final third, allowing Serhou Guirassy to waltz through the box and slot home the opener.

Leipzig went into the break frustrated after they had two penalty appeals waved away and Belgian striker Lois Openda was thwarted by Stuttgart keeper Alexander Nuebel on the stroke of halftime.

Nuebel's heroics continued after the break, as he beat away a Willi Orban header with a brilliant reflex save.

Just a few minutes later, however, the Stuttgart keeper's dream night had turned into a nightmare.

First, Nuebel allowed Benjamin Henrichs to charge him down the box, his attempted clearance ricocheting back off the Leipzig player and into the net.

He then let a low cross slip through his fingers to hand Openda an open goal.

VAR spared Nuebel's blushes when Openda was ruled a fraction offside, but the keeper's mistakes had still turned the game on is head.

Leipzig now smelled blood, and as they flooded forward with new confidence, it seemed only a matter of time before they took the lead.

They did so just after the hour mark, Spain international Olmo turning on a sixpence to whip the ball into the bottom corner.

Openda finally got his goal shortly afterwards, nodding the ball under the bar from close range to score his second goal in as many Bundesliga games.

Kevin Kampl's long-range effort was deflected in on 73 minutes to make it 4-1, before Simons broke free of the back line to add a fifth a couple of minutes later.

"It was a brutal evening," said a stunned Nuebel.