After a stunning victory against Borussia Dortmund a week ago, FC Augsburg have taken points off another high-flying Bundesliga club. An inspired defensive performance saw FCA secure a 0-0 draw away against RB Leipzig and the result pushes the team further away from the Bundesliga relegation zone.
Augsburg head coach Manuel Baum was forced into making three changes to the side that secured a 2-1 home win last time out against Dortmund. Dong-Won Ji, who scored a brace in that victory, suffered a muscle injury shortly before the match in Leipzig. Kostas Stafylidis also missed the match with the injury he sustained in the Dortmund victory while André Hahn was suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. Georg Teigl came into the starting lineup to start against his former club alongside Fredrik Jensen and Sergio Córdova.
The hosts, who started the day in third place in the Bundesliga table, enjoyed more possession in the early stages of the match. However, the Roten Bullen were unable to carve out any clear cut chances. FCA opted to sit back, allow Leipzig to dictate proceedings whilst keeping them away from the Augsburg penalty box. The visitors knew they were facing the best defensive unit in the Bundesliga and rarely broke out of their rigid, defensive shape to attack. There were very few highlights for the fans inside the Red Bull Arena to enjoy in the opening half hour.
This continued to be the case until the 37th minute when FCA goalkeeper was forced into his first important save of the match. A wide open Matheus Cunha fired a shot towards goal which was met by a fine Kobel save. Moments later, Leipzig created a second clear chance to opening the scoring but Timo Werner could only drag his shot wide of the near post (40’). After a first half of few highlights, the scoreline was goalless at the break.
Gregoritsch denied by stunning Gulacsi save – Last gasp Max block denies Sabitzer
FCA started the second half more brightly than the first half and started to attack more as they went in search of the opening goal. Kevin Danso created the first chance of the match for the visitors as his looping header went just over the Leipzig crossbar (55’). A few minutes later, Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi was called into action to make a stunning, last-gasp save to deny Michael Gregoritsch and keep the scoreline goalless (59’).
After this missed opportunity for FCA, Leipzig took control of proceedings once more and forced the visitors back into their own half. Augsburg’s stood firm until Marcel Halstenburg fired a shot across goal which went narrowly wide of the far post (69’). FCA failed to threaten Gulacsi and the Leipzig defence in the closing stages as all of the attention turned to whether the Augsburg defence could hold on and take a deserved point back to Bavaria. Kobel was forced into action to deny Kevin Kampl (80’) before a crucial last-gasp block from Philipp Max denied Marcel Sabitzer and preserved the Augsburg clean sheet. Werner went close once more in the final minute from a header (90+2’) but Kobel was on hand to secure a clean sheet and a vital point for Augsburg in the battle against relegation.
Augsburg have followed up their impressive victory against Dortmund with another important result away in Leipzig. Attentions now turn to the potential ‘six-pointer’ next weekend at home to Hannover 96 (Saturday, 16th March, 15:30 CET), who are currently in the relegation zone.