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Leipzig return to top of Bundesliga

AAP logoAAP 17/12/2016

Bundesliga newcomers RB Leipzig bounced back from their first top-flight defeat last week by beating Hertha Berlin 2-0 to return to the top of the German league.

Timo Werner's goal late in the first half and captain Willi Orban's header ensured Leipzig recovered from the loss at Ingolstadt who ended their record 13-game unbeaten run.

Leipzig now lead Bayern Munich by three points, though the champions can regain top spot with a Sunday victory at Darmstadt before the pair meet on Wednesday.

In other games, Mainz beat SV Hamburg 3-1, Augsburg edged Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0, Schalke were held 1-1 by Freiburg, Cologne stumbled 1-1 at Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg downed Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0.

Hertha Berlin were looking to recover from their own setback last time round in the form of a surprise home loss to Bremen.

And their hopes in Leipzig took an immediate blow as Mitchell Weiser had to be substituted with injury in the opening minutes with a muscle injury.

The hosts gradually took control but the 41st minute breakthrough still came out of the blue as Naby Keita passed to Werner, who neatly evaded two defenders before finding the corner of the net.

And the points were sealed just after the hour mark as Orban met Emil Forsberg's corner with a powerful header which beat keeper Rune Jarstein.

"We wanted to make a comeback from last week's defeat," Orban said.

"We did that and put on an impressive performance over the 90 minutes."

The loss drops Hertha to fourth in the table with Hoffenheim now third after they maintained their unbeaten record 2-2 against Borussia Dortmund on Friday.

Seventh-placed Cologne missed they chance to close in on the automatic European spots as they were held at Bremen.

Artjoms Rudnevs tapped in a rebound to open the scoring but back-up keeper Thomas Kessler fumbled Serge Gnabry's long-range shot for an equaliser before the break.

Frankfurt, in sixth, missed the chance to go third when they lost the late game to Wolfsburg, whose much-needed victory moved them three clear of the relegation play-off spot even if they remain 15th.

A hat-trick from Danny Latza gave Mainz victory over Hamburg, who had opened the scoring through Bobby Wood.

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