"Left, right or through the middle, I know you'll score goals." RB Leipzig's Timo Werner (l.) has taken his game to another level under Julian Nagelsmann (r.). - © getty images
"Left, right or through the middle, I know you'll score goals." RB Leipzig's Timo Werner (l.) has taken his game to another level under Julian Nagelsmann (r.). - © getty images

RB Leipzig's Timo Werner: "I've become more versatile under Julian Nagelsmann"


Timo Werner has credited RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann for his prolific run of form in front of goal this season.

Werner, 23, scored twice to take his overall tally for the 2019/20 campaign to 18 as Bundesliga leaders Leipzig came from 2-0 down in a pulsating 3-3 draw with title rivals Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 16.

The Germany international is now level with Bayern Munich counterpart Robert Lewandowski - the league's leading marksman in each of the past two campaigns - at the head of the scoring charts. In his first three seasons at Leipzig, he registered 21, 13 and 16 goals respectively.

"I've become more versatile under Julian Nagelsmann, and have already played in a number of positions," Werder explained after scoring more than one goal in a single Bundesliga match for the fifth time this season. "I haven't just played out on the left or right like today against BVB, but also as a No.10 or lone striker.

"My role was to try to pull the Dortmund defence out of position. It didn't go so well in the first half, but was better in the second."

Although Werner was gifted possession for his two goals at the Signal Iduna Park - his first in 10 career meetings with Dortmund - his reading of both situations - misplaced passes from goalkeeper Roman Bürki and Germany teammate Julian Brandt - was second to none. As was the former VfB Stuttgart academy player's finishing.

"I wasn't expecting it for the first goal," he explained. "Roman Bürki wanted to head it clear, but because of the heavy rain it slid off his head. The rain was our friend today, but it wasn't easy for me to score from that position.

"For the second goal, I gambled. I saw that [Julian] Brandt didn't have his head up and didn't have me in his view. They were two fortuitous goals for me."

Watch: Timo Werner talks to bundesliga.com about his "strange" first goal in Dortmund

Werner's lucky streak means he has now scored 12 goals in his last seven league appearances. Leipzig are unbeaten that time, winning six and only dropping points to Dortmund.

Second-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach can move level on 34 points with Die Roten Bullen if they beat Paderborn on Wednesday, but Leipzig are in pole position to claim the nominal Herbstmeisterschaft (autumn championship) ahead of their year-ending home game with Augsburg, thanks to a vastly superior goal difference (+26; +13).

Werner was the Bundesliga's top Germany-born scorer back in 2016/17, when Leipzig finished as debutant runners-up, but is on course to blow that 21-goal haul out of the water this term. - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Leipzig finished second, third and sixth in their first three seasons in the Bundesliga, and recently booked their place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 for the first time. Werner, nevertheless, believes topping the league tree at Christmas would be another notable achievement for a club only founded in May 2009.

"It's going really well for us," admitted Werner, who joined Leipzig from Stuttgart following their maiden promotion to the German top flight in summer 2016. "If we win at home to Augsburg, we'll be autumn champions. It's not a real trophy or anything like that, but it would be really special for us!"