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Tuesday, 07 April 2020

Leipzig warm up for Spurs by regaining top spot in Germany

AFP , Saturday 15 Feb 2020
Leipzig
Leipzig's Nordi Mukiele, right, and Bremen's Niklas Moisander challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match RB Leipzig against SV Werder Bremen in Leipzig, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 AP
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RB Leipzig warmed up for their Champions League last 16 tie at Tottenham Hotspur next week with a 3-0 win over strugglers Werder Bremen to regain top spot in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

With Bayern Munich playing Cologne away on Sunday, Leipzig took the chance to usurp the defending champions and establish a two-point lead.

Goals by defender Lukas Klostermann, forward Patrik Schick and midfielder Nordi Mukiele sealed the home win.

Klostermann broke the deadlock when he tapped home on 18 minutes when Schick had nudged the ball back from the far post after a free-kick.

Schick then grabbed his sixth Bundesliga goal of the season just before the break when he headed home a corner by Spain Under-21 playmaker Dani Olmo.

Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi put in a great save to prevent an own goal just before halftime after defender Dayot Upamecano had stretched to block a shot.

France Under-21 midfielder Mukiele put the matter beyond doubt immediately after the break when he darted into the box, held off his marker and beat Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.

The defeat piles the pressure on Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt after his 10th loss in 12 league games keeps his side second from bottom.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin ended a chaotic week, following the shock departure of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, with a 2-1 win at bottom side Paderborn as Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha, signed from Leipzig, scored on his debut.

Klinsmann dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he quit after just 10 weeks in charge.

His assistant Alexander Nouri was in a caretaker capacity at Paderborn where defender Dedryck Boyata headed Hertha into an early lead before Cunha had a goal disallowed.

Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein gave Paderborn brief hope with an own-goal early in the second-half, but Cunha grabbed the winner with a cheeky backheel on 67 minutes.

The win leaves Hertha 13th, nine points above the relegation places.

Dutch striker Wout Weghorst netted a hat-trick, including two penalties, for Wolfsburg in their 3-2 win over Hoffenheim which left them ninth, four points from the European places.

The goals flew in the dying stages of Bayer Leverkusen's stunning 3-2 win at Union Berlin as Karim Bellarabi netted the winner four minutes into added time.

Having scored two late goals within 82 seconds of each other in last weekend's 4-3 home win over Borussia Dortmund, Peter Bosz's Leverkusen again left it late.

With the scores locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes, Bellarabi finished a move he started and beat Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz to send the ball rolling over the line in the 94th minute.

The win leaves Leverkusen fourth before Saturday's late game when Borussia Moenchengladbach are at relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf.

On Friday, Erling Braut Haaland continued his phenomenal scoring record for third-placed Borussia Dortmund when he netted his ninth goal in six games in their 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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