An impressive 4-1 win over Monaco means RB Leipzig's hopes of extending their maiden Champions League campaign beyond the group stages remain alive. Timo Werner and Naby Keita were again among those who did the damage.
Monaco 1 – 4 RB Leipzig
(Falcao 43’ – Jemerson (og) 6, Werner 9, 31 (pen), Keita 45)
A devastating first half display swept Leipzig past last year’s semifinalists and meant their maiden Champions League campaign is alive until at least matchday six, though the sight of Marcel Sabitzer being stretchered off in the first half will be a concern.
Timo Werner (top) made it 15 goals in 21 games for club and country this season after an own goal handed Leipzig the initiative, before Naby Keita waltzed through the Monaco defense to extinguish the hope that Radamel Falcao’s goal had briefly given Monaco.
The German side went into the game knowing they needed a win to give themselves a realistic chance of progression from Group G after Besiktas secured their status as group winners with a 1-1 draw with Porto earlier on Tuesday night.
Leipzig must now better Porto’s result on December 6. Porto host Monaco while Leipzig welcome Besiktas.
The German side's nerves were settled after just 6 minutes by the hapless Jemerson. Sabitzer’s low cross from the right appeared to pose little threat but the Brazilian swung lustily at it with his right boot, connecting only with his shin and sending the ball in to his own net.
Jemerson was at it again shortly after, gifting the ball to Kevin Kampl on the edge of the box. The Slovenian midfielder fed Werner who lifted it over the keeper to double the lead. It was three just after the half hour mark, when Werner slammed home from the spot following Falcao’s foul on Orban.
The Colombian felt aggrieved by the decision, which did look a little soft, but made amends before the break, beating Peter Gulacsi to a left wing free kick to reduce the deficit. Any joy his team felt was short lived, Naby Keita dancing through a pair of weak tackles on the edge of the box before stroking home number four.
Monaco, so thrilling in the competition last year, were resigned to an early exit this time round and were content to keep the Bundesliga runners up at bay in the second half. That holding pattern suited Leipzig too but they’ll need much more than that from themselves and Monaco in a couple of weeks.