Two teams stepped onto the pitch, but only one team ever entered thinking about a victory. Leipzig blitzed through a scattered and disorganized Mainz and never left third gear.
Timo Werner became the first player since the 1998-99 Bundesliga season to score a hat trick against the same opponent in both fixtures of a league season, showcasing a power play performance as he and his assistants on attack, Sabitzer and Poulsen, tore apart an overmatched opponent.
Mainz showed nary a whisker in Leipzig’s attacking third, and any times they did venture forward it was tentative and hopeful at the best of times. Elsewhere, the pressing and speed of the Leipzig attack cut the Mainz midfield to ribbons and left the defense exposed and unable to respond. In perhaps the defining moment of the match, Mainz defender and former Spanish youth international Aarón Martín simply lay prone on his back while play around him developed into the third goal for Leipzig. An attack just too overwhelming to recover from laid low Mainz on this evening and sent Leipzig back into their winning ways.
Willi Orban returned after a six month layoff for his first game action, entering the game alongside Tyler Adams (who suspiciously returned to his defensive midfield position) and gave a nice sense of normalcy to a Leipzig team that has been in flux for some time. While Orban wasn’t called on to do much in the way of defensive effort, seeing himself back on the pitch was probably enough.
The real star of the match was the captain for today’s game, the talismanic Yussuf Poulsen. Poulsen scored again on another emphatic header, but his real role was in centering the attack and breaking away defenders to secure fantastic looks for Werner. Poulsen had a hand in nearly every goal the team scored. Including the first, where he had the presence of mind to help screen the defensive help to allow Werner an uncontested chance on goal. Poulsen dominated this match, and kept the backline of Mainz in total chaos throughout the game.
RB Leipzig return on a short week tomorrow against Hertha Berlin, who sit mid table at 10th. You might remember Hertha from their rough run of form under former United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Since the departure of Klinsmann, the Blue Berlin team has leveled out and are carrying a four match unbeaten streak coming into Wednesday’s fixture. Berlin throttled city neighbors Union Berlin in a hectic Berlin derby on Friday May 22nd and have re-energized their attack. Leipzig won the last encounter 4-2 behind the attacking prowess of Timo Werner who netted a brace against the hapless Berlin club.
Hertha Berlin have long suffered against Leipzig since Die Roten Bullen entered the Bundesliga, and have lost their last four against Leipzig. Indeed, Berlin haven’t beaten Leipzig since 2017, a 3-2 result at Red Bull Arena.
RB Leipzig currently sit third in the 2019-20 Bundesliga table with 54 points. They trail second place Dortmund by 3 points and leaders Bayern by 7. Leipzig remain a point ahead of fourth place Bayer Leverkusen and two points clear of the Europa League spots, firmly in Champions League placing for the moment.