Record-signing Burke nets for unbeaten Leipzig


Berlin (AFP) – Scottish teenager Oliver Burke scored his first Bundesliga goal on Sunday as new-boys RB Leipzig drew 1-1 at Cologne to remain unbeaten in Germany’s top flight.

Leipzig are backed by Austrian energy drinks giants Red Bull and are unpopular with fans of Germany’s traditional clubs due to the commercialism they represent.

For example, the match kicked off 15 minutes late after Cologne fans blocked the Leipzig team bus en route to the stadium.

Banners around the Cologne stadium typically read “Money kills” and “Piss Off, RB”.

But Leipzig, who won four promotions in seven seasons since being founded in 2009, earned the away draw to stop host Cologne going second.

Burke, 19, netted on his first start for Leipzig when the winger drilled home Marcel Sabitzer’s pass with five minutes gone.

Japan striker Yuya Osako levelled on 25 minutes while Cologne’s French striker Anthony Modeste had a second-half goal ruled out for offside.

The result leaves Cologne third and Leipzig seventh. Both sides are unbeaten in their first five games.

Burke, who has been compared to Wales’ star Gareth Bale, cost Leipzig 15 million euros ($16.8m) from Nottingham Forest, to become the most expensive Scottish transfer of all time.

He says he does not understand the resentment from German fans towards his new club since arriving in Leipzig in August.

“I read on the internet that the club polarises in Germany,” he told Germany daily Bild, in an interview before kick-off, having made his debut in RB’s shock 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund.

“Personally, I do not understand it.

“In England, it’s quite normal that money is invested in football in order to create something new.

“Our fans and the atmosphere at the home games are fantastic, that’s the end what counts. This is simply an outstanding club.”

Earlier, Schalke 04’s worst start to a Bundesliga season in the club’s history was confirmed with a 2-1 loss at Hoffenheim.

It was their fifth straight league defeat and piles the pressure on new coach Markus Weinzierl.

They are the only club to still have no points in Germany’s top flight.

Having been recruited from Augsburg while sports director Christian Heidel was poached from Mainz, Weinzierl has endured a disastrous start.

“It’s not down to him and I very much hope that all the people involved here support him”, said Schalke’s captain, Germany defender Benedikt Hoewedes.

“We need to stand together, as men, and improve.”

Werder Bremen’s dramatic 2-1 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday had seen Schalke take Bremen’s place at the bottom of the table.

With Germany coach Joachim Loew watching, Schalke were on course for their first league points of the season after taking a fourth minute lead at Hoffenheim’s Rhein Neckar Arena.

Swiss striker Breel Embolo — who cost Schalke 22 million euros ($24.5m) from Basel — fired in a cross which Cameroon striker Eric Choupo-Moting headed home.

But Hoffenheim drew level when Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric, signed from Leicester City, headed them level on 17 minutes.

And midfielder Lukas Rupp slotted home what proved to be the winning goal when his shot beat Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehermann on 41 minutes.

Hamburg sacked coach Bruno Labbadia on Sunday after their 1-0 defeat to leaders Bayern Munich, their fourth-straight loss which left them 16th.

Weinzierl is now the next boss sweating about his future with Schalke two places below in rock bottom.

They play their next Europa League group stage match at home to RB Salzburg on Thursday, then face Champions League side Borussia Moenchengladbach next Sunday at home in the Bundesliga.

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