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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.
Goal! Five goals for Leipzig! Timo Werner bags his hat-trick!
Goal! Leipzig running riot in Mainz! Marcel Sabitzer gets in on the goals, arrowing a shot into the top corner!
Goal! Yussuf Poulsen with is left unmarked and heads Leipzig 2-0 up! What an effort from the Leipzig captain!
Goal! Leipzig takes an early lead! Timo Werner sweeps the ball into the bottom corner! That's goal number 22 of the season for the German international!
Timo Werner primed and ready to go today! He hates missing! Even in training!
Now for Leipzig! Timo Werner leads the line, whilst January signing Dani Olmo gets the nod in midfield!
Nice to see that the balls are nice and clean! Always important to have clean balls... especially at this uncertain time.
Team news! First up Mainz! Ji Dong-won drops to the bench, Jean-Paul Boëtius should anchor the midfield.
It's a sunny day in Mainz... and we should have team news any minute for you...
Have you caught up with the action from yesterday? Bayern eased past Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 to set up a tasty encounter with second-placed Dortmund on Tuesday.
It's all about revenge for Mainz Striker Robin Quaison, his side were thumped 8-0 in the reverse fixture! Ouch!
So three draws in a row for Leipzig, hardly the form of Champions elect. Can young coach Julian Nargelsmann arrest the slide of the Rotten Bullen?
Good afternoon! Welcome to the Live Updates from Mainz Vs Leipzig. Julian Nargelsmann's side return to the Bundesliga started with a frustrating 1-1 draw with Freiburg, and a win against strugglers Mainz could push them back into third spot in the standings. Join me for all the build-up, team news and even some live video content from the game!