Leipzig, Mainz win in German Bundesliga
Berlin, Dec 18 (IANS) German football club Leipzig gave a dominant performance to ease 2-0 past Hertha Berlin while Mainz came from behind to beat Hamburg 3-1 in their respective Bundesliga matches.
Leipzig returned to winning ways and moved atop the standings for the moment after beating third placed Hertha Berlin thanks to the goals from Timo Werner and Willi Orban on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.
From the kick-off, Ralph Hasenhuettl’s men seized control as Naby Keita and Emil Forsberg kept Berlin goalkeeper Rune Jarstein busy in the opening period.
Hertha Berlin lacked in penetration and were unable to keep the hosts on the distance. Hence, Leipzig broke the deadlock before the break as Naby Keita’s through ball allowed Timo Werner to overcome Jarstein into the far post corner and get his 9th goal of the season.
After the restart, Leipzig started where they left off as they pressed uninspired Berlin into defence. It was just a matter of time before Leipzig doubled the lead as Forsberg’s corner kick into the box found unmarked Willi Orban, who headed home in the 62nd minute.
With the result, Leipzig returned to the top spot for now whereas Hertha Berlin slipped from the 3rd to the 4th place.
Mainz snapped their three-game losing streak by courtesy of Danny Lazat, who provided a hat-trick to down Hamburg 3-1.
The hosts controlled the proceedings from the kick off, but Hamburg opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Bobby Wood drilled the ball from 17 meters into the near post corner.
The opener gave the visitors momentum but they failed to turn their promising chance into a tangible reward as Nicolai Mueller came close twice.
The hosts punished Hamburg’s poor chance conversion in the 35th minute when Danny Lazat capitalized on a misplaced clearance attempt from Douglas Santos to slot home the equalizer and his first Bundesliga goal.
Lazat remained in the thick of things after the restart as the midfielder made use on a rebound to hammer home from the edge of the box to ensure the 2-1 lead for Mainz in the 56th minute.
Lazat wrapped up his hat-trick with another long-range effort from 25 meters in the 67th minute to put the game beyond doubt.
With the victory, Mainz climb from the 11th to the 9th position meanwhile Hamburg stay on the 16th place, which is a relegation play-off spot.
Elsewhere, Werder Bremen extended their unbeaten run to four games as Serge Gnarby cancelled out Artjoms Rudnevs opener for Cologne.
Schalke shared the spoils with Freiburg following a 1-1 as Yevhen Konoplyanka restored parity late in the game.
Monchengladbach suffered the fifth straight loss on the road after Augsburg’s Martin Hinteregger marked the only goal of the match, and Wolfsburg ended Frankfurt’s unbeaten run as Jeffrey Burma’s first-half header smoothed the way for the win.