Werner strike fires RB Leipzig into DFB Pokal quarters

football02 February 2023 00:02| © AFP

Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored late to help German Cup holders RB Leipzig beat Hoffenheim 3-1 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals.

Werner, who returned to Leipzig from a two-year stint at Stamford Bridge in August, had endured a difficult night and was caught offside on multiple occasions. He got his timing right however in the 83rd minute, latching onto a pass from Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen and driving the ball past Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann to seal his side's win.

Leipzig, who are unbeaten at home in the league this season, struck after just eight minutes, with Swedish forward Emil Forsberg catching Baumann napping to squeeze in a long-range shot at the near post. The German side doubled their lead before halftime, with Austrian midfielder Konrad Laimer collecting the ball on the turn before unleashing a fierce left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

Kasper Dolberg headed in a sublime cross from former Leipzig wing-back Angelino in the 77th minute to cause some nerves for the home side in the closing stages. However, Werner scored his fourth goal of the cup campaign with just over five minutes remaining.

"We showed that we want to go further (in the competition). We played a good first half, we were really focused. We could have sealed it earlier, but it was a deserved win," said Forsberg.

Former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney, who signed with Hoffenheim on Monday, told 'Germany's Sky' "we have a good team, we have great players, but we are lacking confidence at the moment."

Hoffenheim captain Baumann agreed, saying his under-pressure side had hoped to build confidence with a better result in the cup. Hoffenheim sit in 13th place in the league, three points above the relegation playoff spot, with Baumann saying the side needed to admit "we're in a relegation fight."

In Wednesday's late game, 20-time German Cup winners Bayern Munich will look to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time in three seasons when they travel to Mainz.