RB Leipzig on Sunday swept past Hertha BSC with a 3-0 away win to cut Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga to just two points.
Leipzig capitalized on Bayern’s 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt 24 hours earlier.
A long-range goal by captain Marcel Sabitzer gave second-placed Leipzig a first-half lead in Berlin.
A superb second-half strike by defender Nordi Mukiele and a header from centerback Willi Orban sealed the victory.
“It was a very important three-pointer,” Sabitzer told Sky. “It’s a two-horse race now, but we can’t just talk about it — we have to stay in it, be focused, and then at the end it could be enough.”
Leipzig bounced back from last week’s defeat by Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League with a clinical display.
Sabitzer struck at the Olympiastadion in Berlin when his long-range shot crashed in off the crossbar on 28 minutes.
After US midfielder Tyler Adams robbed Matteo Guendouzi of possession in Hertha’s penalty area, Mukiele smashed home the second on 71 minutes.
Orban headed home Sabitzer’s cross six minutes from time to seal Leipzig’s fourth straight league win.
In contrast, Hertha are winless in their past eight league games.
They are 15th, but only goal-difference is keeping them out of the relegation playoff place, as they are level on 18 points with DSC Arminia Bielefeld.
Earlier, hosts Augsburg were denied a first win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the 20th attempt by a last-gasp equalizer from Burkina Faso defender Edmond Tapsoba as the visitors snatched a 1-1 draw.
Augsburg were 1-0 up deep into stoppage-time when Leverkusen defender Tapsoba was left unmarked to convert a cross seconds before the final whistle.
Leverkusen needed the late equalizer because their reserve goalkeeper Niklas Lomb had gifted Augsburg an early freak goal.
Five minutes into his first league start this season, Lomb completely mistimed his clearance and the ball rolled to Augsburg striker Florian Niederlechner, who tapped it into the empty net.
“The fact that I messed up like that really annoys me,” Lomb told DAZN. “The lads told me afterwards that it can happen, that we are a team. They wanted to help me and then they did it with the equalizer.”
Lomb’s early mistake rattled Leverkusen, who struggled to impose themselves until Tapsoba’s late strike.
With Augsburg gaining in confidence, Niederlechner thought he had won a penalty just after halftime following a tap on his ankle from Timothy Fosu-Mensah, but the video assistant referee spotted Augsburg winger Ruben Vargas offside in the buildup and the spot-kick was reversed.
With time running out, Leverkusen leveled just before the final whistle when former Leicester City winger Demarai Gray whipped in a corner which Tapsoba drilled home.
After losing six of their nine league games since the start of the year, the result leaves Augsburg in 13th place.
Leverkusen remain fifth, five points behind third-placed VfL Wolfsburg and fourth-placed Frankfurt in the race for the Champions League places.
In the evening match, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim romped to a 4-0 home win over Werder Bremen, who they passed in the table.
Hoffenheim’s Ihlas Bebou, Christoph Baumgartner and Munas Dabbur hit the net, before French teenager Georginio Rutter, 18, came off the bench late on to mark his Bundesliga debut with a goal just before the final whistle.
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