Marco Rose’s men returned to Bundesliga action looking to put their 7-0 defeat to Manchester City firmly behind them, and perhaps the scars of that humbling were on show in a cautious first-half display.
Neither side managed a shot on target before the interval, with Timo Werner missing the visitors’ best opportunity, striking high over the bar after Dominik Szoboszlai’s cutback.
After a solid defensive display in the first half, Bochum started the second period on the front foot and capitalised on sloppy Leipzig defending to break the deadlock.
Die Roten Bullen failed to clear their lines from a set-piece, and although Janis Blaswich denied Takuma Asano’s initial header, Erhan Mašović nodded home the rebound.
The Serbian’s goalscoring exploits are truly remarkable, netting four times in seven Bundesliga appearances after failing to score in his first six years as a senior professional.
The hosts were buoyed by that goal and came close to doubling their advantage through Asano, but the Japanese international fired over after Christopher Antwi-Adjei’s delivery.
Inevitably, pressure came at the other end as the visitors looked to forge a path back into the contest, but Thomas Letsch’s men held firm, thanks to stoppage-time heroics from Manuel Riemann to deny Dani Olmo and Willi Orbán from close range.
The loss leaves the Red Bulls seven points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, with their title chances all but ended having also played a game more than the Rekordmeister.
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