Leipzig rescued by VAR, then score twice in Hoffenheim win

Dani Olmo (left) celebrates after scoring Leipzig’s second goal during the match in Sinsheim on Friday. (AP pic)

BERLIN: Third-placed RB Leipzig scored two quickfire goals through Dani Olmo immediately after Hoffenheim had a penalty award overturned by VAR in a remarkable opening 12 minutes on the way to a 2-0 victory on the road in the Bundesliga on Friday.

The win gave Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann a happy first return to the club where he began his coaching career as a 28-year-old. His side now have 62 points from 31 games, one behind Borussia Dortmund and eight off Bayern Munich who both play on Saturday.

The result also ensured an unhappy start for Hoffenheim’s unorthodox five-man coaching team who replaced Alfred Schreuder after his sacking on Tuesday. The hosts remain seventh on 43 points as they chase a Europa League qualifying spot.

After a bright opening spell, Hoffenheim were awarded a penalty when Munas Dabbur was upended by Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi in the sixth minute.

The ball was on the spot and Dabbur was waiting to take the spotkick when it was revoked for handball after a VAR review which took nearly two minutes.

Leipzig then delivered two knockout blows when Olmo finished off a counterattack by sidefooting the visitors ahead in the ninth minute and the Spaniard struck again two minutes later from a similar position.

Dabbur headed against the bar and Gulacsi made a superb block from Christoph Baumgartner as valiant Hoffenheim kept pushing forward, while Leipzig forward Timo Werner was put clean through but side-footed over just before halftime.

Olmo missed the chance of a hattrick when he sidefooted wide in the 65th minute and Christopher Nkunku rattled the post as Leipzig missed a flurry of chances in the second half.