Leipzig thrash Mainz to strengthen grip on top-four spot

Berlin (AFP) –


Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen both scored twice as RB Leipzig brushed aside Mainz 4-1 on Sunday to strengthen their hold on a top-four place in the Bundesliga.

Ralf Rangnick's men went into the game reeling after a surprise elimination from the Europa League group stage in midweek and last weekend's 3-0 loss to Freiburg.

But Leipzig produced a strong performance at the Red Bull Arena to close to two points behind second-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayern Munich in third, although unbeaten Borussia Dortmund remain nine points clear at the top of the table.

Any disappointment about recent results was quickly put to one side as Danish international Poulsen struck twice inside the opening 20 minutes.

The 24-year-old stretched out a leg to volley home Kevin Kampl's 14th-minute cross, before tapping in from close range after good work by Werner.

Karim Onisiwo's header before half-time gave Mainz hope, but two fine individual strikes by Werner late on took him to 10 league goals this season and sealed the win in style.

Fifth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, who are now five points behind Leipzig, host Bayer Leverkusen later on Sunday.