FC Augsburg could not extend their fine run of form against RB Leipzig. Despite going 1-0 up through Florian Niederlechner, FCA eventually succumbed to the unrelenting pressure of the league leaders and conceded three second-half goals to lose 3-1.
Martin Schmidt made three changes to the starting eleven for the last Bundesliga match of 2019, starting Felix Uduokhai, Ruben Vargas and Sergio Cordova. The industrious Philipp Max was named on the bench despite his two-goal haul against Düsseldorf, as he had a sore throat. Ex-Leipzig player Rani Khedira was ineligible for selection following an accumulation of yellow cards, and his position in midfield was filled by Tin Jedvaj.
At the other end of the pitch FCA showed some of their clinical finishing. After a free-kick in the midfield, Marco Richter won possession, shrugged off Christopher Nkunku’s challenge and volleyed a cross into the penalty area from the right. Florian Niederlechner managed to find space and slid in a half-volley which went in off the crossbar to give the visitors a 1-0 lead (9’).
Leipzig press for the equaliser
With the lead in the bag, FCA let Leipzig have the lion’s share of the possession and retreated into their own half. The hosts had a slew of chances after Augsburg took the lead, but Dayot Upamecano struck the crossbar from a corner (13’) and Patrik Schick’s goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Felix Uduokhai whose interaction spared the stranded Koubek’s blushes (17’). FCA limited their few forays into the opposition half to counter-attacks, but were wasteful in executing them.
FCA had their goalkeeper to thank for going into half-time with a clean sheet. Koubek saved twice against his Czech compatriot Schick (28’/ 36’) and against Nkunku (39’), and watched Konrad Laimer’s effort from inside the box arc over his goalpost (37’).
The dynamics of the game didn’t really change after the second half began. Leipzig had the possession, while Augsburg had a fiercely disciplined defence, which prevented the hosts from getting into the penalty area for the most part. It was dangerous in the 55th minute when Timo Werner was released down the left, but he was tackled and dispossessed by Felix Uduokhai just before he could fire his effort. However, Leipzig continued to turn the screw on the defensive Augsburg.
FCA hit by two quick-fire goals
A controversial decision from the referee finally gave the home side the equalise. A foul on Ruben Vargas was not punished by referee Daniel Siebert or the Video Assistant Referee, and the ensuing loss of possession ensured that Konrad Laimer was able to curl in the equaliser from distance (68’). Things went from bad to worse for Augsburg as within no time at all Patrik Schick scored with a header and gave the home side the lead.
FCA did their best to resist their impending defeat until the end, but in the final stages of the game it was clear that Martin Schmidt’s side was unable to resist the dominant Leipzig team for any longer, so a third goal by Yussuf Poulsen close to the end of the match sounded the death-knell for FCA’S unbeaten streak as the game ended 3-1 to Leipzig (89’). Augsburg will spend the winter break in 11th place in the table at the lowest.
FCA’s first team now have their winter break until Sunday 5th January, where they will depart for six days to their training camp in Malta. On Saturday, 18th January (13:30 CET) FCA will welcome Borussia Dortmund to the WWK ARENA to begin the second half of the season.