BERLIN (AFP) – RB Leipzig dislodged Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga table on Saturday as Dani Olmo’s second-half goal was enough to seal a 1-0 win at Stuttgart.
“It was really good for me and the team to start the year with a win,” Olmo told DAZN.
With European champions Bayern at home to strugglers Mainz yesterday, Leipzig took the chance to go a point ahead as Olmo fired through the legs of Stuttgart goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.
Stuttgart’s Swiss shot-stopper had earlier pulled off some heroics by using his foot to save a Emil Forsberg first-half penalty attempt.
Leipzig also wasted a golden chance when Amadou Haidara fired wide just after the break.
With 23 minutes left, Spain midfielder Olmo finally got the breakthrough, finishing a move he started after Leipzig had moved the ball across the Stuttgart penalty area.
“It feels good to be top,” admitted Leipzig defender Willi Orban.
“The first half was good, the second was better – we were clearly the dominant team.”
Earlier, Bayer Leverkusen blew the chance to take first place after stumbling to a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt which saw them drop to third as the league resumed after a two-week break.
“I have made my feelings clear in the dressing room,” Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz told Sky.
“We deserved to lose. Frankfurt had a better claim to the victory.”
Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri scored with a deft back-heel flick to give the visitors the lead after only 10 minutes in Frankfurt.
However, Amin Younes equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time before Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada put in a cross which Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba turned into his own net.
Before kickoff, Frankfurt director Fredi Bobic confirmed reports his club are interested in Bayern’s teenage striker Joshua Zirkzee, 19, after selling Dutch forward Bas Dost to Brugge.
Zirkzee could back up Frankfurt’s top scorer Andre Silva, who has notched nine league goals this season.
Union Berlin rose to fourth – into the Champions League places for the first time in the club’s history – after their 2-0 win at Werder Bremen.
Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi, who has scored in his last three league games, capped another impressive display with a goal and assist.
After Bremen lost the ball in their own half, the 23-year-old Nigeria international took advantage of a two-on-two situation by drawing the defence and passing to Sheraldo Becker, who fired home on 12 minutes.
Awoniyi doubled Union’s lead on 28 minutes by tapping the ball over the line, just out of the reach of Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
Bremen had a penalty appeal turned down when a shot by Japan midfielder Yuya Osako clipped the hand of a Union defender, then Romano Schmid had a goal ruled offside.
Hoffenheim lost both defender Kevin Akpoguma and Germany midfielder Sebastian Rudy with early leg injuries as they crashed to a 3-1 home defeat to Freiburg.
With the hosts struggling to reshuffle, Freiburg were 3-0 up at half-time thanks to a Baptiste Santamaria goal, a Vincenzo Grifo penalty and an own goal by Senegal defender Kasim Adams.
Hoffenheim scored a second-half consolation goal through Togo winger Ihlas Bebou.
Borussia Moenchengeladbach, who host Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 next month, earned their first win in five league games with a 1-0 victory at Arminia Bielefeld.
Swiss striker Breel Embolo netted the winning goal just after half-time when he held off a defender and fired home.
Mid-table Augsburg rebounded after back-to-back defeats with a 1-0 win at Cologne with Brazilian winger Iago netting the late winner.
Bottom side Schalke are now 30 games without a win – one short of the Bundesliga record – after a 3-0 defeat away to Hertha Berlin.
Former Tottenham manager Christian Gross, installed as Schalke’s fourth head coach this season, got off to a losing start as Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi, Colombia striker Jhon Cordoba and his replacement, Poland forward Krzysztof Piatek, scored for Hertha.
Having netted two minutes after coming off the bench, Piatek had a second late goal ruled offside.