Leipzig ruins Doll’s Hannover debut to consolidate 4th place

HANNOVER, Germany (AP) — Hannover’s hopes of a fresh start under new coach Thomas Doll took a blow in losing at home 3-0 to Leipzig, which consolidated fourth place in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Doll, who took over from the fired Andre Breitenreiter on Sunday, watched his new team stretch its run without a win to nine games.

Leipzig captain Willi Orban scored twice in the second half as the visitors tightened their grip on the last place for Champions League qualification.

Fifth-place Eintracht Frankfurt, six points behind, hosts league leader Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Leipzig’s American midfielder, Tyler Adams, starting for the second game since his winter transfer from New York Red Bulls, was given a rude welcome in the fourth minute when he received a blow to the head from Brazilian striker Jonathas, who was also playing his second game.

Hannover’s Michael Esser was by far the busier goalkeeper early on and it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors took the lead.

Matheus Cunha struck the crossbar with a header, and the home side was fortunate not to concede before Marcel Halstenberg finally broke the deadlock against his former team with a penalty in first-half injury time.

Halstenberg set up Orban to effectively seal it from close range 20 minutes into the second half, and the Leipzig captain still had time to grab his second – again with a header – from substitute Emil Forsberg’s corner.

Hannover remained second from bottom, ahead of last-placed Nuremberg on goal difference, before the rest of the 20th round.