Mainz have announced the departure of head coach Achim Beierlorzer following back-to-back losses at the start of the new Bundesliga season.

After a 3-1 defeat at RB Leipzig in their opener, Mainz were beaten 4-1 at home by newly promoted Stuttgart on Saturday.

Beierlorzer made sure the club retained their top-flight status in the previous campaign, having taken over in November 2019 shortly after losing his job at Cologne.

However, following talks involving sports director Rouven Schroder and chairman Stefan Hofmann on Sunday, Mainz have decided to make a change.

"I am disappointed with the club's decision. Nonetheless, I wish Mainz and the team all the best for the future," Beierlorzer said.

Assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte takes charge on a temporary basis; his first game in charge will be against Union Berlin on Friday.

"Jan-Moritz Lichte has the technical expertise, more than 10 years of experience as a coach and of course knows our team inside out," Schroder said.

"We therefore trust him to lead our team into the rest of the season. The new role also gives Jan-Moritz Lichte the opportunity to implement his ideas for our football and to develop and profile himself as a leader.

"We will include his development in our decision on the future filling of the coaching position and give him and us the necessary time for this."

 

RB Leipzig will be able to welcome fans back into their stadium for their game against Mainz on September 20.

Ligue 1 is the only major domestic league to allow fans to attend matches since football first resumed in Europe in May following the coronavirus-enforced stoppage.

However, with Germany having curtailed the spread of the virus, Leipzig have been given the green light to have crowds back in attendance for their home match against Mainz.

Leipzig will be able to have up to 8,500 fans in the stadium, after a location-specific agreement was reached with the city's health department. 

The decision comes following new measures being introduced in the Saxony region on Tuesday, though it is dependant on infection rates in the area staying low.

"It is great news for the team but above all for our fans," said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. 

"It's almost six months since the last game with supporters and we've always stressed how much we missed the fans and atmosphere."

Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga in 2019-20, while also reaching the Champions League semi-finals, going out to Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon.

Florian Kohfeldt said he was "brutally empty" after Werder Bremen were left on the brink of Bundesliga relegation by a 3-1 defeat at Mainz on Saturday.

Werder failed to make the most of 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf dropping points at home to Augsburg, who, along with Mainz and Cologne, secured their safety on the penultimate weekend.

Robin Quaison put the hosts ahead at the Opel Arena after Josh Sargent and Theodor Gebre Selassie failed to communicate and clear Karim Onisiwo's goal-bound header sufficiently, with Danny Latza teeing up Jean-Paul Boetius for their second after a brilliant run five minutes later.

Yuya Osako pulled one back for Werder before the hour mark but Edimilson Fernandes put the game to bed in the 85th minute.

Kohfeldt's side must now defeat Cologne next Saturday to have any hope of retaining their top-flight status, with Dusseldorf two points ahead of them in the relegation play-off spot.

Four-time Bundesliga champions Werder have only been demoted from the division once, spending the 1980-81 season in the second tier.

Kohfeldt was drained after seeing his team fall to a fourth defeat in their past five matches.

"We had a great chance to turn everything in our favour. Now we owe it to ourselves to give ourselves a shake and not make the same stupid mistakes as we did today," said Kohfeldt.

"I will not find a tactical solution in a week's time to make things different. It's not a matter of tactics … I'm just brutally empty.

"There was a great chance today – it isn't the case that it would have been impossible to win here.

"It hurts me for the club, for all the staff, for the fans. We'll try everything next week. Now I am sorry, I have to let it sink in first."

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre said his team underestimated Mainz in their surprise Bundesliga loss.

Dortmund's grip on second position in the table loosened after suffering a shock 2-0 defeat against struggling Mainz on Wednesday.

After Bayern Munich secured an eighth consecutive league crown on Tuesday, Dortmund were below their best at home to Mainz midweek.

Dortmund succumbed to goals from Jonathan Burkardt and Jean-Philippe Mateta at Signal Iduna Park as Favre's men ending the day just three points ahead of RB Leipzig with two rounds remaining.

"I think we underestimated them," Favre said post-match. "So far we've always tried our hardest in every game and every game was tough. Very tough. Especially at the start of the season."

The Bundesliga resumed in May after the 2019-20 season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Of course the season has been long, now one and a half months longer than usual," Favre said. "Sometimes it's like back in school and you just count the days until it's summer. But we are not in school.

"Until today we always gave our best, today it was not good enough. We didn't defend as a team, which would have given you more courage in the offense, more possession of the ball. We couldn't do that.

"It is a great disappointment how we played today. We now have two more games left and can't through too much at the team now. That's too much. Way too much. And I know that. Let's focus only on the next match."

Next up for Dortmund is Saturday's blockbuster trip to third-placed Leipzig, who drew 2-2 at home to lowly Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Two goals in the space of three minutes from Kevin Kampl and Timo Werner put Leipzig 2-0 ahead in the 63rd minute, however, the hosts capitulated after conceding twice in the final three minutes.

Leipzig are three points clear of fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen and four ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach in the race for Champions League qualification.

"This was not enough," Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said. "Again we couldn't win at home. We could have secured out spot in the Champions League next season but failed.

"Now we have more pressure, even though we still have the best position. But it would have been nice to have it in the bag before we play a strong Dortmund side. Now we have to show out on Saturday."

Nagelsmann continued: "I haven't spoken to the team yet. I'll talk to them tomorrow [Thursday]. I don't think there is anything to gain by ripping them now. I know they didn't draw on purpose.

"We have our next game in two days against Dortmund which will be very important for us. We'll stop talking about Dusseldorf now and focus on Dortmund and get our Champions League spot which now only has been postponed by two days."

Borussia Dortmund's grip on second in the Bundesliga has loosened slightly after they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat at home to struggling Mainz, who took a huge step towards safety.

Dortmund had seen Bayern Munich clinch an eighth successive Bundesliga crown on Tuesday, and perhaps the disappointment combined with the realisation of their title hopes being over was to blame for a lacklustre performance at Signal Iduna Park.

For all of their monopolisation of the ball, Dortmund struggled to supply Erling Haaland with adequate service and Mainz took a shock lead into the break thanks to Jonathan Burkardt's header at the end of a slick counter.

Complacency was then the root of their issues just after half-time as Lukasz Piszczek conceded a penalty, and Jean-Philippe Mateta converted the resulting kick.

Lucien Favre's men made desperate attempts to get back on level terms, but they were given too much to do by a Mainz side who move five points clear of the bottom three with two games left.

Dortmund were dominant for the majority of the first half, but clear-cut chances were difficult to craft against Mainz's packed defence – Axel Witsel and Raphael Guerreiro having efforts at presentable opportunities blocked.

The visitors then edged ahead against the run of play just past the half-hour mark, as Mateta fed Bote Baku on the right-flank and his first-time cross was expertly headed in by Burkardt to round off a clinical move.

That lead was almost wiped out just three minutes later, but Emre Can's header from a Dortmund corner was tame and straight at Florian Muller in the Mainz goal.

Mainz elevated their game to another level at the start of the second half.

The lively Mateta saw a ferocious effort parried by Roman Burki, who then also blocked a long-range effort courtesy of Karim Onisiwo, but the rebound fell to Danny Latza and the switched-off Piszczek tripped the midfielder to concede a penalty.

After Mateta coolly swept home his spot-kick, Mainz unsurprisingly sat back again, inviting Dortmund on to them.

But BVB fared no better than before, their best chances coming from distance, as Achraf Hakimi drew a couple of necessary saves from Muller.

 

What does it mean? Dortmund looking over their shoulder, Mainz almost safe

This result combined with RB Leipzig's draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf could have serious ramifications at the end of the season.

Leipzig are three points behind Dortmund, whom they host at the weekend, while Mainz are left five points clear of Fortuna in the relegation play-off place and six ahead of Werder Bremen in 17th. Their vastly superior goal difference puts Mainz on the brink of safety.

Mateta makes his mark

It has not been an easy season for Mateta, who has struggled for goal-scoring form since returning from a serious knee injury in December. But the 22-year-old Frenchman, who netted 14 times last term, was a real livewire here, regularly showing classy touches. He scored Mainz's second and had a pivotal role in their first – a very promising display.

Haaland anonymous

There is no doubt Haaland's difficulties were partly down to poor service, but similarly we have grown used to him taking games by the scruff of the neck and deciding them on his own. Not this time – he failed to muster a single shot and his 19 touches were the fewest of all Dortmund players who started.

What's next?

Dortmund's final position in the table will surely heavily influenced by the result in their next game, as they go to third-placed Leipzig on Saturday. Mainz can secure survival against fellow strugglers Werder Bremen on the same day.

Robert Lewandowski is out to end his disappointing goals return against Fortuna Dusseldorf as Bayern Munich look to close in on an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

The prolific Poland striker has scored 229 goals in the German top flight over the past decade, but he has never previously netted against Dusseldorf in five attempts.

Bayern head into this weekend's fixture sitting seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who need to quickly respond from their Klassiker defeat when they head to Paderborn.

Elsewhere, third-place RB Leipzig host Cologne on Monday in what will be the first Bundesliga match played in the month of June for 25 years.


FREIBURG V BAYER LEVERKUSEN

- Leverkusen have lost just one of their last nine league encounters with Freiburg and are unbeaten in each of the last five.

- However, Freiburg have not lost any of their last six home Bundesliga meetings with Leverkusen on home soil, with four of the last six finishing goalless.

- Freiburg have won only one of their last seven league games and could go four successive games without a win for the first time this season.


MAINZ V HOFFENHEIM

- Mainz have lost just one of their last seven Bundesliga home games against Hoffenheim, with three of those games ending all square.

- Four or more goals have been scored in eight of the last nine Bundesliga matches between these sides.

- Mainz have conceded a league-high 61 goals this season at a rate of 2.2 per game. They had never previously let in more than 57 across an entire Bundesliga campaign.


SCHALKE V WERDER BREMEN

- Bremen have won more Bundesliga games against Schalke than they have versus any other opponent, claiming victory in 43 of the previous 101 encounters.

- Schalke are winless in 10 Bundesliga games - not since the end of 1996-97, when going 11 games without victory, have they been on a longer-such run.

- Maximilian Eggestein has had a hand in five goals in six league games against Schalke. He has not been directly involved in more than two against any other Bundesliga side.


HERTHA BERLIN V AUGSBURG

- Hertha had gone nine games without defeat against Augsburg prior to their 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- However, the capital club are unbeaten in their seven Bundesliga home games with Augsburg - their longest unbeaten run at home in the top flight against one side.

- Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt has assisted four goals in his last four league outings, which is more than he accumulated in his previous 31 matches combined (three).


WOLFSBURG V EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

- Wolfsburg have won five of their last seven Bundesliga games against Frankfurt, with the only defeat in that run coming in January 2018.

- Frankfurt average 0.83 points-per-game against Wolfsburg in the German top flight - only against Blau-Weiss 90 Berlin (0.5 after two games) do they have a lower return.

- Maximilian Arnold had a hand in three goals for Wolfsburg against Leverkusen in midweek. His 11 goal involvements this term is a personal best for him in a Bundesliga season.

 

A touch of class #Kimmich #BVBFCB #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/Xdgk5CHLSF

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 29, 2020 BAYERN MUNICH V FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

- Dusseldorf are winless in each of their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern - only against Hamburg (12 matches) have they endured a longer winless run in the division.

- Bayern have scored at least three goals in each of their last six league games against Dusseldorf, netting 24 in total at an average of four per game.

- Lewandowski has scored against 17 of the 18 current Bundesliga sides, the exception being Dusseldorf, having failed to score in his previous 381 minutes against them.


BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH V UNION BERLIN

- Gladbach have yet to beat Union, losing both previous competitive encounters, including a 2-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- Marco Rose's side have tasted defeat in two of their last three league home games - twice as many losses as their previous 11 top-flight matches combined.

- Gladbach have lost only one of their last 19 top-flight home games against promoted sides - 2-1 versus Leipzig in 2016-17 - which is also their only home loss against a Bundesliga debutant this millennium.

 

PADERBORN V BORUSSIA DORTMUND

- Paderborn have failed to win any of their five previous competitive games against Dortmund, a run that includes a 7-1 away loss in the DFB-Pokal four seasons ago.

- However, Dortmund only have a lower win percentage against Bayern (25 per cent) in the entire Bundesliga than they do versus Paderborn (33 per cent).

- Dortmund fired a blank against Bayern are aiming to avoid going back-to-back matches without scoring a Bundesliga goal since March 2015.

 

COLOGNE V RB LEIPZIG

- Out of all the teams Cologne have faced at least twice in the Bundesliga, their loss percentage against Leipzig (60 per cent) is higher than against any other side.

- Cologne are without a win in their last four Bundesliga games - their longest wait for a victory under Markus Gisdol, with all four matches played behind closed doors.

- Leipzig are unbeaten in nine league matches either side of the two-month shutdown, though six of those games have ended in draws.

After Borussia Dortmund saw their Bundesliga title hopes seemingly end with defeat to Bayern Munich in the Klassiker, Lucien Favre's side could slide to third place on Wednesday.

A victory for RB Leipzig over Hertha Berlin would take Julian Nagelsmann's team up to second spot in the table.

There are some growing winless runs in the German top flight, with worrying times for the likes of Union Berlin and Hoffenheim.

Alarm bells will be ringing at Schalke, however, if their fruitless streak stretches to 10 games. David Wagner's side tackle third-bottom Fortuna Dusseldorf.

RB LEIPZIG V HERTHA BERLIN

- Leipzig usually enjoy this fixture, having won six of their previous seven Bundesliga matches against Hertha – losing the other 3-2 at home in December 2017. They have won more Bundesliga games against Hertha than against any other side, and have scored 26 goals in those seven previous clashes.

- Leipzig have taken 54 points from 27 matches this Bundesliga season, just shy of the 55 they had at this stage of their debut top-flight campaign in 2016-17.

- Striker Timo Werner has had a hand in 31 Bundesliga goals for Leipzig this season, with 24 goals and seven assists, including a hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend. Since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, no other player has been involved in as many goals at this stage of a season.

- Hertha have been rejuvenated under new boss Bruno Labbadia, with a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim followed by a 4-0 victory against city rivals Union Berlin last Friday. Curiously, every goal in those two games came between the 51st and 77th minutes.

UNION BERLIN V MAINZ

- Mainz parted company with head coach Sandro Schwarz after losing 3-2 when these two teams met in November. It was just Union's second win in seven competitive matches against Mainz.

- Union sit 13th in the Bundesliga but have not won in their past four Bundesliga matches, losing their past three, including a 4-0 derby loss to Hertha. It is their longest winless run in the Bundesliga, albeit this is their first season in the league.

- Mainz must set aside their latest Leipzig humiliation. Their 5-0 loss at the weekend followed an 8-0 defeat to the same opposition earlier in the season. The last Bundesliga team to concede 13 goals in a single season against one team were Ulm in 1999-2000 against Bayer Leverkusen.

- Mainz sit 15th and have conceded a league-high 60 goals this season, more than in any previous season in their existence.

AUGSBURG V PADERBORN

- Augsburg have won four of their past six competitive matches against Paderborn (D1 L1), including a 1-0 success earlier this season when Philipp Max's goal made the difference.

- A 3-0 win at Schalke last time out ended Augsburg's run of four Bundesliga defeats in a row and gave them a first clean sheet in 2020.

- Augsburg have a rocky recent record at home against promoted teams, winning five and losing five of their past 10 such fixtures. The last promoted team they beat at home were Paderborn – 3-0 in November 2014.

- Paderborn sit bottom of the Bundesliga with 18 points from 27 matches. No team with 18 points or fewer at this stage of a season have ever avoided relegation from the league.

HOFFENHEIM V COLOGNE

- Rather a favourite fixture for Hoffenheim, they have won each of their past three Bundesliga games against Cologne and are unbeaten in the past seven in their rivalry. They have only managed to string together a longer sequence of Bundesliga wins against one team – winning five in succession against Hannover from 2013 to 2015.

- Hoffenheim will need to buck the trend of their recent 2019-20 season results, however, having not won in their past seven Bundesliga matches (D3 L4), their longest winless run since going eight games without a victory from October to December in 2015.

- Cologne's Jhon Cordoba scored his 11th goal of the season on matchday 27, a late equaliser against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday. He has now netted more goals in his 23 appearances this term than in his previous three Bundesliga campaigns combined (10 goals in 69 games).

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF V SCHALKE

- Schalke have lost only one of their past six competitive matches against Fortuna (W3 D2), but that 4-0 home setback in March 2019 will be fresh in the memory.

- Fortuna sit precariously in 16th place but are unbeaten in their past five games (W1 D4) under Uwe Rosler. They have drawn six of eight games under Rosler – the only other coach in Bundesliga history to draw six of his first eight matches was Thorsten Fink with Hamburg in 2011.

- If Fortuna go ahead, they might not stay ahead, having thrown away a league-high 22 points from winning positions this season. However, they face a slumping Schalke side who have gone nine games without a Bundesliga win, scoring just twice in that dismal run.

Timo Werner could have scored even more goals for RB Leipzig against Mainz, according to head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Werner netted a hat-trick as RB Leipzig climbed back into third in the Bundesliga with a 5-0 win on Sunday.

Linked heavily with a move to Liverpool, Werner became the first Bundesliga player to score two hat-tricks against the same opponent in a single season in 21 years.

But Nagelsmann felt the prolific forward could have netted even more for his side.

"I think we were also ready the last game for games without fans. I think we were well-focused in the last game too," he told a news conference.

"We just didn't have so many chances and didn't score so many goals like today. We started off pretty well and built pressure, I think it's a well-deserved victory.

"We had even more chances to score. I think even Timo Werner could have scored more goals.

"But especially his development after the Freiburg game is very interesting. He kept the ball really well, performed well. He had a good game."

Werner has scored 30 goals in 38 games in all competitions for RB Leipzig this season, including 24 in the Bundesliga.

Mainz did not have much joy against RB Leipzig in the 2019-20 Bundesliga season.

After suffering an 8-0 loss to Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena in November, Mainz succumbed to a 5-0 defeat against Julian Nagelsmann's side on Sunday.

With an aggregate score of 13-0 it was clearly a mismatch, but how does it compare to the records in Europe's top five leagues?

Opta delved through the archives to find out the greatest goalscoring margins between two teams in a single season.

Bundesliga

Leipzig's goal difference of 13 against Mainz does not constitute a record in Germany's top flight.

That honour belongs to Borussia Monchengladbach, who beat Braunschweig 10-0 and 4-0 in the 1984-85 season.

Eintracht Frankfurt put 14 past Rot-Weiss Essen in 1974-75 and 1860 Munich did it against Karlsruher in 1964-65, but they both conceded one.

Premier League

No side has scored more than 12 against another in a single Premier League campaign.

Blackburn Rovers had the better of a 12-1 aggregate score against sorry Nottingham Forest in the 1995-96 campaign – a scoreline Tottenham also recorded versus Wigan Athletic in 2009-10.

The only other team to claim the same goal difference against a single opponent is Liverpool against Ipswich Town in 2001-02, with the combined score from their two games being 11-0 to the Reds.

Ligue 1

The 1930s was seemingly a prolific period in French football.

After setting a record with a 13-0 aggregate victory over SO Montpellier in 1934-35, Sochaux surpassed it the next season.

Andre Abegglen scored seven as Sochaux overcame Valenciennes 12-1 and they followed it up with a 5-0 victory later in the campaign.

LaLiga

Barcelona are top of the list in LaLiga courtesy of a 16-0 aggregate score against Las Palmas in the 1959-60 campaign.

The Catalan giants won both fixtures 8-0, with Barca's Eulogio Martinez scoring one in the away game and five at Camp Nou.

Real Madrid are the only other team to score 16 against one team in the same season, also doing it in 1959-60 against Elche. However, they conceded three times.

Serie A

Italian teams have earned a reputation for being strong at the back over the years, but that has certainly not always been the case.

Milan (1950-51) and Padova (1949-50) hold the aggregate record of scoring 11 and not conceding in a single season against Palermo and Venezia respectively.

Torino scored a dozen times twice against Alessandria and Atalanta in the 1940s, but conceded twice in each of those seasons, while Inter put 12 past Lazio in the 1933-1934 campaign but also let two in.

Timo Werner has successfully added the awareness to his skillset and that has helped him become all the more unpredictable for defences, according to RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Germany international Werner was in lethal form on Sunday, scoring his third Bundesliga hat-trick of the season as Leipzig crushed struggling Mainz 5-0 away from home.

It took his tally to 24 in the league this term, a new personal best for the 24-year-old, who has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool.

Much of Werner's career has been played from the left flank or on that side of the attack, but this term he has more regularly taken up central positions.

And Nagelsmann feels Werner's ability to combine the skills required in those differing roles is helping him get the better of defences, as he did once again on Sunday.

"Timo now has a good sense not only of letting himself attack on the wing, but also of going into the No. 10's position," Nagelsmann said after the Mainz win.

"Coupled with his speed, this makes him more variable and more difficult for his opponents to get to grips with him."

Leipzig had little difficulty sweeping Mainz aside and were 3-0 up by half-time. Their ruthless approach to the contest, effectively having the three points wrapped up by the 36th minute, impressed Nagelsmann.

He said: "Today we cleared things up relatively quickly. It was a very confident performance against Mainz.

"I really liked not only the result, but also the way it occurred here."

Werner added: "We played very well from the first minute and put pressure on the whole game.

"We absolutely wanted to secure the important three points for the qualification for the Champions League next season."

Victory put Leipzig back up to third, leaving them seven points adrift of the summit.

But with the top two, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, set to face each other on Tuesday, the title race could have been blown wide open before Leipzig play against Hertha Berlin the following day.

Timo Werner would be a good fit for Manchester United where he could expect to play a more integral role than if he were to join Liverpool, according to Owen Hargreaves.

RB Leipzig star Werner is enjoying a spectacular season, with his hat-trick against Mainz in Sunday's 5-0 win taking him to 30 goals for the campaign across all competitions.

For well over a year his future has been the subject of speculation, with Bayern Munich and Liverpool long considered to be the favourites to land him when he eventually leaves Leipzig.

Following a recent public rebuttal of Bayern, it seemed to leave Liverpool – who are coached by fellow German Jurgen Klopp – with a free run at the rapid frontman.

But former United midfielder Hargreaves thinks the Red Devils should make an attempt to lure him to Old Trafford, suggesting Werner would struggle to dislodge Roberto Firmino at Anfield.

"Well, he's not going to get past Bobby Firmino, who is one of my favourite players to watch," Hargreaves said while commentating for BT Sport.

"I think that's the thing. Wherever he goes, he has to play. With the way United play right now, I could see him there. They need a number nine.

"Chelsea could be a good fit, I just think he's perfect for Liverpool in a way, but he's not guaranteed to start. If he's happy rotating in the front three then yes, he'd be a great fit for Jurgen Klopp.

"He works hard, he's a good goal-scorer, he's a good team-mate, all those things they need but he's not going to play ahead of Roberto Firmino, I just don't see that. He's too good in that team."

Firmino has had a hand in 15 Premier League goals this term – Werner's goal-involvements figure in the Bundesliga is more than double at 31.

Timo Werner became the first Bundesliga player to score two hat-tricks against the same opponent in a single season in 21 years with his treble against Mainz on Sunday.

RB Leipzig star Werner, who has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, hit three in an 8-0 win over Mainz in November and repeated the trick in a 5-0 success at Opel Arena this weekend.

The last player to register hat-tricks in two games against one opponent in the same Bundesliga season was Bayer Leverkusen's Ulf Kirsten against Borussia Monchengladbach in 1998-99.

Germany international Werner's tally for the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign now stands at 24 – the best single-season return of his career.

RB Leipzig were at their devastating best as they crushed Mainz 5-0 away from home on Sunday, Timo Werner's hat-trick helping to reinvigorate their Bundesliga title challenge.

Julian Nagelsmann's side had lost ground in their most recent domestic matches, drawing three in a row, but found a familiar groove again in their second outing since the season's resumption.

Leipzig played some wonderful football and blew Mainz away as they moved back up to third and within seven points of the summit.

Werner got Leipzig up and running early on with just his second goal in nine league games, before Yussuf Poulsen – also a scorer last weekend – and Marcel Sabitzer had relentless Leipzig effectively home and dry by half-time.

The hosts were fortunate to avoid a demolition in the second half, with Leipzig proving a little more wasteful with their finishing, but Werner still managed to add another two goals to complete his second hat-trick of the season against Mainz and take his tally to 30 for the campaign across all competitions.

Given Werner's exploits the last time these teams met, having a hand in six of Leipzig's goals during an 8-0 win, it was perhaps unsurprising – despite his recent struggles – that he would be the one to open the scoring here as he guided Konrad Laimer's low cross in from an acute angle.

Poulsen made it 2-0 soon after in the 23rd minute, rising to meet Sabitzer's cross with an emphatic header on his 250th appearance for the club.

The pair then swapped roles nine minutes before the break, Poulsen's cut-back teeing up Sabitzer for a first-time finish into the top-right corner after Mainz – who had little answer to Leipzig when in full flow – were caught by a devastating counter-attack.

Mainz were ruthlessly carved apart again just after the restart. The lively Kevin Kampl charged into the box after a one-two with Christopher Nkunku and pulled the ball back for Werner to apply the straightforward finish.

Several opportunities went begging for the visitors, who also had a Kampl effort disallowed for an apparent offside, but Werner did eventually complete his treble 15 minutes from time, racing on to a lofted pass from Poulsen and nudging the ball past the approaching Florian Muller.

 

What does it mean? Leipzig show they are up for the fight

This victory does not instantly put Leipzig back in the hunt for the title – after all, they remain seven points adrift of pacesetters Bayern.

But it is not inconceivable to think Die Roten might drop points at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, and it is worth noting Leipzig have a relatively easy-going run-in – they will only face one of the current top eight before the season ends.

Delightful Kampl

Werner was obviously key, but Kampl was arguably even better. The Slovenian oozed class throughout in midfield, his use of the ball and ability on it helping to pull the answerless Mainz defence this way and that. He supplied three key passes and got an assist for the Germany striker's second strike – the only thing was missing was a goal, which Kampl was controversially denied by an offside decision in the second half.

St. Juste with a day to forget

Mainz centre-back Jerry St. Juste made one good clearance late on, though by that point the game was already lost. Before then, the Dutchman had done little to halt the Leipzig onslaught, and he failed to make a single tackle or interception.

What's next?

With Der Klassiker taking place a day prior, Leipzig could host Hertha Berlin on Wednesday with the title race having been blow open. Mainz have an entirely different reality, however, with their trip to Union Berlin on the same day providing them with a chance to increase the gap between them and the bottom three.

Erling Haaland has a chance to create more Bundesliga history when Borussia Dortmund take on Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Cologne's Mark Uth is another striker on a strong run who will be hoping to help his team pick up a victory over relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Kai Havertz will be out to maintain his impressive second half of the season.

Bayern remained four points clear at the summit following a victory over Union Berlin on the league's return from a two-month coronavirus stoppage last weekend and are up against Eintracht Frankfurt.

RB Leipzig fell further off the pace and would no doubt welcome a repeat of their Timo Werner-inspired 8-0 thrashing of Mainz from earlier this season when the pair meet again on Sunday.

Ahead of the next round of Bundesliga fixtures, we bring you the best Opta Facts.

FRIDAY
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
- Hertha lost 1-0 in the previous meeting in November 2019, which was the first time the two clubs faced each other in the Bundesliga. Hertha have never lost two Berlin derbies in a row in professional football.
- Union have won two of their past three Bundesliga away games (2-0 against Werder Bremen and 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt), picking up more wins and points than in their first 10 top-flight away matches this season (one win, five points).

SATURDAY
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
- Leverkusen have lost each of their last three Bundesliga games against Gladbach – they only ever lost four in a row against the Foals across 1980 and 1981.
- Havertz has recorded 10 of his 13 Bundesliga goal involvements this season in the Ruckrunde. He has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his last five top-flight games (four goals, three assists).

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
- Wolfsburg have only taken one point from their past nine Bundesliga games against Dortmund – a goalless draw at Signal Iduna Park in January 2018.
- Haaland needed just nine games for his first 10 Bundesliga goals – only Paco Alcacer and Gert Dorfel required fewer matches (both eight). Haaland will equal the top-flight's record with an 11th goal in his 10th outing.

Freiburg v Werder Bremen
- Bremen have a higher winning percentage (56 per cent) and average more goals per game (2.2) against Freiburg than they do against any other current Bundesliga side.
- Werder's 18 points from 25 games represents their worst Bundesliga season. In league history, all of the 37 teams that have had 18 points or fewer after 25 games have been relegated.

Paderborn v Hoffenheim
- Paderborn have failed to score in all five of their competitive matches against Hoffenheim – they have only ever endured a longer barren streak in professional football against Kaiserslautern (six games between 2006 and 2010).
- Paderborn are six points behind 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf. Since the introduction of the three-points-per-win rule in 1995-96, no Bundesliga team has made up such a deficit after 26 games.

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bayern have won each of their last 10 Bundesliga home games against Frankfurt – their longest winning run at home to any current top-flight side.
- Frankfurt are the weakest team away from home in the Bundesliga this season, picking up just seven points. They have lost nine of their 12 away games this term and have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road.

SUNDAY
Schalke v Augsburg

- Schalke have scored just two goals in their past eight Bundesliga games, fewer than any other side in this time frame. They have equalled a negative club record from 1965-66 with just four goals in nine Ruckrunde games.
- Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner has scored four goals in six Bundesliga games against Schalke – more than he has netted against any other top-flight team.

Mainz v RB Leipzig
- At least three goals have been scored in each of the seven Bundesliga meetings between Mainz and Leipzig.
- Mainz have 27 points and a goal difference of -19, which represents their second-worst Bundesliga campaign at this stage – they were only worse off after 26 games in 2017-18 (25 points).

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf
- It has been nearly 31 years since Dusseldorf's last win away to Cologne in the Bundesliga - they celebrated a 3-1 victory in October 1989.
- Uth has had a hand in a goal in each of his eight Bundesliga games for Cologne (five goals, four assists); his longest such run in the competition.

Mainz fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at Cologne and claim a point that boosts their fight to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

Cologne led when Mark Uth converted a sixth-minute penalty for his fifth goal in eight games since joining on loan from Schalke, with Florian Kainz's back-post header making it 2-0 early in the second half.

Mainz pulled one back through substitute Taiwo Awoniyi's first Bundesliga goal and Pierre Kunde levelled with a brilliant solo goal, running from near the centre circle and slotting home.

The result left Mainz nine points clear of 17th-placed Werder Bremen, and four above Fortuna Dusseldorf, who occupy the relegation play-off place.

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