Leipzig, Schalke win in Bundesliga
Berlin, Nov 7 (IANS) RB Leipzig are now equal on points with front runners FC Bayern Munich after beating Mainz 3-1 while FC Schalke 04 overpowered Werder Bremen by a similar scoreline thanks to a brace from Alessandro Schoepf to conclude the 10th round of matches in the German Bundesliga.
Bundesliga newcomers Leipzig continued their unbeaten run on Sunday to become the best promoted club since MSV Duisburg in 1997. The second placed "Bulls" are now in hot pursuit of front-runners Bayern, who still have a better goal difference, reports Xinhua news agency.
Leipzig ensured a fairy tale start on home soil as Timo Werner broke the deadlock from inside the box following the build-up play from Emil Forsberg with three minutes into the game.
Both players remained in the thick off things with the second goal as Werner sprinted down the right wing before he square passed into the box where Forsberg slotted home to double the lead in the 21st minute.
Mainz were unable to stop Leipzig's duo as Werner wrapped up his brace and the fifth goal of the season after Forsberg's pass allowed the striker to make it 3-0 on the scoreboards just before the break.
After the restart, Leipzig continued to pose a threat on fast breaks as Werner squandered a chance to reap his hat-rick before Forsberg worked out another opportunity to miss the target from promising position.
Despite Leipzig's dominance, Mainz were able to score their consolation when Stefan Bell nodded in a flicked on corner kick in the 74th minute.
With Sunday's result, Leipzig earned their seventh win of the season to come within touching distance of leaders Bayern. Meanwhile, Mainz slipped to the 10th place after suffering their fourth loss.
Elsewhere, Schalke extend their unbeaten run to five games as Schoepf provided two goals to inflict Werder Bremen the third defeat in row.
After a contested opening period the "Royal Blues" opened the scoring with 35 minutes into the game as Schoepf benefited on a rebound to head home the lead.
Only three minutes later, Schalke added another goal to their lead as Nabil Bentaleb tapped home a rebound following Naldo's free kick on target.
Bremen responded with three minutes remaining in the first half as Serge Gnarby converted a foul play penalty to pull one back.
After the break, Schoepf sealed his brace in the 63rd minute to put the game beyond doubt, as the "Royale Blues" protected their lead to the end.
Despite earning their third win of the season, Schalke continued to stay at the 12th place whereas Werder Bremen slumped to the 16th place, which is a relegation play-off spot.