BERLIN (Reuters) - RB Leipzig continued their remarkable first season in the Bundesliga when they brushed aside Mainz 05 3-1, their fifth win in a row, to go level on points with leaders Bayern Munich on Sunday.
Timo Werner scored twice as Leipzig, who trail Bayern on goal difference and are unbeaten after 10 games, raced to a 3-0 lead before halftime.
Bayern and Leipzig both have 24 points from seven wins and three draws and are four clear of third-placed Hoffenheim, who are also unbeaten.
Hosts Leipzig immediately took control when Werner put them ahead from close range in the third minute after Emil Forsberg’s shot was deflected into his path.
Leipzig, founded only in 2009, doubled their lead in the 21st minute with Werner turning provider as he burst down the right and squared the ball for Forsberg, who turned it in from close range.
The same pair combined again one minute before halftime, with Werner finishing the move with a left-foot shot, the 20-year-old’s fifth goal of the season.
Werner was denied a hat-trick when his effort was blocked by Jonas Loessl on the hour. Although Leipzig continued to dominate the game, Stefan Bell headed in a consolation goal for Mainz in the 74th minute.
”We did a lot of what we had set out to do today,“ said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl. ”The goals put us in a very good situation but Mainz did not give up and that was impressive.
“We learned a lot from this game. It was a very mature performance.”
Schalke, who lost their first five games, continued their climb up the table by beating lowly Werder Bremen, helped by two goals from Alessandro Schoepf.
The Austrian headed Schalke in front from a rebound in the 35th minute after Max Meyer’s header hit the crossbar.
The second goal also came from a rebound three minutes later when Naldo’s long-range free kick was parried by Felix Wiedwald and Nabil Bentaleb prodded the ball in.
Schoepf turned villain just before halftime when he gave away a penalty for a clumsy challenge on Serge Gnabry, who took the penalty himself and sent Raul Faehrmann the wrong way.
But Schoepf made amends when he scored his second goal of the game in the 63rd minute, controlling Sead Kolasinec’s cross and slotting the ball into the bottom corner. Schalke are 12th with 11 points while Bremen remain 16th, the relegation playoff spot, with seven.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Clare Fallon