RB Leipzig followed a dull first-half display with a blindingly bright second period to secure a 3-2 win at Mainz on Wednesday and reinforce their grip on second spot.
Mainz 2-3 RB Leipzig
Goals: 0-1 Sabitzer (48'), 0-2 Werner (52'), 1-2 Jairo (69' pen.), 1-3 Keita (81'), 2-3 Muto (90+1')
Red cards: Gbamin (89')
Jean-Philippe Gbamin's long-range free-kick — saved by Peter Gulasci flying to his left — might have broken the deadlock inside the opening ten minutes while the subtler threat of Bojan Krkic almost provided the opening goal midway through the half. The visitors' sticky patch of form appeared to have ended with the 4-0 defeat of Darmstadt last weekend, but bar Yussuf Poulsen bursting clear only to shoot tamely at Jonas Lössl, they were a pale imitation of their Matchday 26 selves.
As tentative as Leipzig had been before the break, they were ruthless after it. Emil Forsberg brilliantly backheeled across goal for Marcel Sabitzer to head home the first and then delivered the corner for Timo Werner to do the same to rip the game away from a bewildered Mainz in the space of four minutes. Jairo's penalty revived home hopes of levelling, but Yoshinori Muto's header that struck a post was the closest they came to realising them. Naby Keita's surging run and finish ended them for good with Muto's late, late header little more than a footnote.
Man of the match
Forsberg had a hand in all four goals against Darmstadt last weekend, and again orchestrated his team's win at the OPEL Arena with another two assists.
Even when they don't play particularly well, Leipzig have that happy knack of picking up victories, and they responded in the best possible way to Hoffenheim closing to within a point of them in second place just 24 hours earlier.
- Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl has won all four of his Bundesliga games against Mainz.Leipzig started with eight non-German players in a Bundesliga game for the first time.Mainz have now lost their last four league games.
Mainz: Lössl - Donati, Bell (c), Hack, Brosinski - Frei, Gbamin - Öztunali, Bojan (Muto 67'), Quaison (Samperio 54') - Cordoba (De Blasis 88')
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Bernardo, Orban (c), Upamecano (Werner 41'), Halstenberg - Ilsanker, Demme - Sabitzer, Keita (Kaiser 85'), Forsberg (Khedira 76') - Poulsen
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Watch: Werner gives his thoughts on Leipzig's win: