BIELEFELD ⸺ RB Leipzig kept up the pressure on Bundesliga champions and leaders Bayern Munich after a second-half goal by midfielder Marcel Sabitzer gave them a 1-0 win at struggling Arminia Bielefeld on Friday.
The result left Leipzig second on 57 points from 26 games, one behind Bayern who host Vfb Stuttgart on Saturday after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals this week.
Arminia stayed 15th on 22 points, one place above Hertha Berlin who occupy the relegation playoff spot ahead of Sunday’s home game against sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Leipzig dominated with crisp one-touch passing on a muddy pitch and missed a string of first-half chances before Austrian international Sabitzer struck the 46th-minute winner.
Arminia’s Stefan Ortega pulled off a pair of fine saves to deny Emil Forsberg and Christopher Nkunku, diverting the latter’s fierce shot on to the bar shortly before halftime.
But the home keeper was powerless when a flowing move left Sabitzer with a simple tap-in from three metres as Dani Olmo squared a perfect pass from the right.
Striker Fabian Klos missed Arminia’s best chance of an equaliser when he skied a shot from 12 metres inside the area before Nkunku drew a good save from Ortega at the other end.
Among Saturday’s fixtures, third-placed Vfl Wolfsburg visit mid-table Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt in fourth host seventh-placed Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund, who are fifth, travel to lowly Cologne.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ken Ferris; Reuters