Timo Werner ended an eight-game goalless run by hitting his third Bundesliga hat-trick of the season in RB Leipzig's comprehensive 5-0 victory away to Mainz.
Mainz lost 8-0 in Leipzig in the reverse fixture, and must have felt they were on another hiding to nothing after Werner - who helped himself to a hat-trick of goals and assists back on Matchday 10 - stroked in Konrad Laimer's inch-perfect cut-back after 11 minutes. Leipzig looked capable of scoring whenever they poured forward, and duly added a second midway through the half when the unmarked Yussuf Poulsen, celebrating his 250th appearance for the club, powered in Marcel Sabitzer's right-wing cross. Florian Müller denied Werner from point-blank range and Christopher Nkunku shot wide with the goal at his mercy, before Sabitzer started and finished a flowing move with a sumptuous first-time strike late in a decidedly one-sided first period.
The second half was no different, with Werner doubling his tally following another incisive team move, this time involving Nkunku and the brilliantly effective Kevin Kampl. Moussa Niakhate then made a goal-saving challenge at the feet of Nkunku, but the Frenchman's intervention only delayed the inevitable. After Marcel Halstenberg had tested Müller and the VAR chalked off a Kampl rocket, Werner raced onto Poulsen's long ball and dispatched with aplomb to complete his hat-trick. Mainz substitute Taiwo Awoniyi was denied a consolation the hosts would have barely deserved by the otherwise untested Peter Gulacsi as Leipzig saw out a win that takes them to within three points of second-placed Borussia Dortmund.
- Werner has scored a personal best 24 Bundesliga goals this season. He helped himself to a hat-trick in the reverse fixture, and has now scored more than once on seven separate occasions in 2019/20.
- Sabitzer's ninth goal of the season is also a personal record for the Austrian midfielder.
- Poulsen joined Leipzig in summer 2013, when they were in Germany's third division. The Dane has scored 63 goals in a club-record 250 competitive outings for the club, including four in the current Bundesliga campaign.
- Leipzig have now scored more goals (68) than they managed across last season in its entirety (63), breaking their club-record 66-goal return of 2016/17.
- Every outfield Leipzig player was involved in at least one goal-scoring chance.
- Leipzig ended Mainz's three-game unbeaten run.
Watch: Werner: "If it happened all the time it would get more difficult"
Mainz: Müller - St. Juste, Bruma (Mateta 45'+3), Niakhate (c) - Baku, Kunde (Barreiro 61'), Fernandes (Latza 74'), Martin - Boetius (Awoniyi 61') - Onisiwo (Öztunali 74'), Quaison
Unused subs: Dahmen, Ji, Brosinski, Hack
Out: Zentner (knee)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Klostermann, Upamecano (Orban 60'), Halstenberg - Laimer (Mukiele 42'), Kampl (Wolf 70') - Sabitzer (Adams 60'), Olmo, Nkunku (Lookman 70') - Poulsen (c), Werner
Unused subs: Mvogo, Angelino, Haidara, Schick
Out: Ampadu (back), Forsberg (tonsilitis)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Poulsen: "I'm only 25, 250 games is a lot!"