Emirates Stadium, London, England
RB Leipzig earned their first victory of their Emirates Cup campaign after defeating Portuguese Champions Benfica 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in London.
Full-back Marcel Halstenberg put the German side ahead in the 20th minute before centre-back Marvin Compper doubled the lead for the Bundesliga runners-up, early in the second-half.
Despite Benfica dominating the early possession and looking the brighter side, it was the Bundesliga runners-up, who took the lead against the run of play. In the 20th minute, Halstenberg surged forward and exchanged passes with Federico Palacios before firing home into the roof of the net.
The goal had changed the complexion of the game and eight minutes later the German side had a good chance to double their lead when Bruma found Palacios with a fine chipped-pass, but the striker’s shot was tame and Bruno Varela made a comfortable stop.
In the 37th minute Leipzig had a great chance to make it two again when Oliver Burke surged forward to beat Álex Grimaldo before firing an effort that Varela did well to smother away, the loose ball ricocheted off Rúben Dias and fell to the Scottish forward again but his volley was terrifically smothered behind again by the Benfica keeper.
The German side started the second-half in the ascendancy and doubled their lead after just eight minutes of the restart when a Dominik Kaiser freekick was met by Compper, who headed home off the underside of the bar.
In the 78th minute the Portuguese Champions thought they had pulled a goal back when substitute Kostas Mitroglou bundled the ball home after Yvon Mvogo parried fellow substitute Jonas’ strike from-range, but the Greek forward was in an offside position and the goal was chalked off.
Seven minutes later the Águias very nearly reduced the deficit when a short-corner was worked to substitute and former Arsenal striker Chris Willock, who did well to pick-out Lisandro López with a fine cross that the Argentine headed against the post with Mvogo beaten.
The result meant that Leipzig moved up to second in the Emirates Cup table on five points, three points behind leaders Arsenal ahead of their clash with third placed Sevilla, who are on four points, while Benfica dropped to the bottom of the table on two points.