BERLIN: Timo Werner scored a hat-trick as RB Leipzig demolished hosts Mainz 05 5-0 on Sunday to reclaim third place in the Bundesliga with an emphatic victory after three straight draws.
Germany international Werner, a target for several top European clubs this summer, opened his account in the 11th minute and Yussuf Poulsen nodded in the second goal in the 23rd.
Marcel Sabitzer killed off the game before the break, flicking in from close range as Mainz collapsed.
Werner scored again three minutes after the restart and the 24-year-old forward chipped the ball over keeper Florian Mueller in the 75th for his 24th goal of the season and 91st in all competitions for Leipzig to become their all-time top scorer.
Leipzig, who crushed Mainz 8-0 earlier in the season with Werner grabbing another hat-trick, moved back into third on 54 points, one place ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and two clear of Borussia Moenchengladbach, and have the upper hand in the battle for a Champions League spot.
Leipzig also set a new club record with 68 goals scored this season, more than in any other entire campaign since their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016.
Mainz piled bodies into their defence but were unable to match Leipzig’s speed down the wings and they failed to launch any sustained attacks of their own until late in the game.
Bayern Munich lead the standings with 61 points, four ahead of Borussia Dortmund whom they face on Tuesday.
The Bundesliga became the first major sports league to resume last week, with no fans in attendance, after being suspended for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.