Leipzig’s fairytale start to the season continued Sunday as the side moved level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
A fully merited 3-1 home win over visiting Mainz extended Leipzig’s record unbeaten start for a promoted side to ten games and puts pressure on Bayern, top only by virtue of a five-goal difference.
After 10 games, Hoffenheim, the only other unbeaten side is third, ahead of Hertha Berlin on goal difference.
Timo Werner got Leipzig off to a flying start in the third minute, when Emil Forsberg ran at the Mainz defense and eluded two defenders before Werner crossed his path to score.
Forsberg made it 2-0 in the 21st, beating the hapless Giulio Donati to Werner’s cross for his fourth goal of the season.
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Werner should have grabbed his second shortly afterward as Leipzig threatened to run riot against the shaken visitors.
It got worse for Mainz when midfielder Suat Serdar went off injured, forcing Martin Schmidt to bring on Yunus Malli, who was due a rest.
Werner effectively ended the game before the break when he was again set up by Forsberg.
Leipzig kept pushing after the interval. Werner almost scored again on the hour-mark when Donati’s chest got in the way and Forsberg had another good chance shortly afterward.
But Stefan Bell’s consolation with a quarter-hour remaining was the only score of the second half.
A fire alarm before the game caused the evacuation of the stadium to begin due to a “serious technical disruption,” only for it to be declared a false alarm minutes later.
Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick had said talk of challenging Bayern was premature after the side’s eighth game, a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen.
“I said before the season that the table can only be taken seriously after the 10th game. If we’re still there after the 10th round then you can really say we’re on the right path,” Rangnick said at the time.
Schalke was hosting Bremen for the late game Sunday.