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Birthday boy Gvardiol seals Leipzig’s win over Wolfsburg


Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol marked his 20th birthday Sunday with a late goal to seal a 2-0 home win over Wolfsburg, who have now gone nine Bundesliga games without a win.

League leaders Bayern Munich can later restore their six-point lead at the top of the table with an away win at Hertha Berlin after second-placed Dortmund trimmed the gap with a 3-2 win at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

In Leipzig on Sunday, Croatia defender Gvardiol tapped in a late effort which was initially flagged offside before the VAR confirmed the goal after centre-back Willi Orban headed Leipzig into the lead 14 minutes from time.

Leipzig have now won their last four games in all competitions and are back up to sixth in the league table. 

The latest away defeat ramps up the pressure on Wolfsburg head coach Florian Kohfeldt, who only replaced his sacked predecessor Mark van Bommel in late October.

Wolfsburg wasted a golden double chance just before half-time when Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi denied Belgian midfielder Aster Vranckx at close range, then Konrad Laimer just managed to block Yannick Gerhardt’s shot. 

In a bid to force the opening goal, Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco made a triple substitution early in the second half by bringing on Tyler Adams, Lukas Klostermann and Dani Olmo.

The switch paid off as Olmo’s chip was headed off the post by Andre Silva before defender Orban pounced on the rebound to put the hosts ahead 14 minutes from time.

Wolfsburg’s defence buckled again eight minutes later when Silva put Nordi Mukiele away and the Frenchman slipped the ball to the unmarked Gvardiol to hit the net.

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