RB Leipzig finishes 13-0 season sweep of Mainz, may yet play big part in Bundesliga title race (video)

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Timo Werner (11) and RB Leipzig could be dangerous down the stretch in the Bundesliga. Photo by KAI PFAFFENBACH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Timo Werner (11) and RB Leipzig could be dangerous down the stretch in the Bundesliga. Photo by KAI PFAFFENBACH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Bayern Munich is the heavy favorite. Borussia Dortmund is the closest challenger.

But RB Leipzig may still have a big say in the Bundesliga title race.

Timo Werner had a hat trick and RB Leipzig beat Mainz 5-0 on Sunday, a victory that comes after a staggering eight-goal shutout over Mainz back in November.

Werner hadn’t scored in his past three leagues games (or since Feb. 22, a time period elongated by the coronavirus suspension), and he ended his drought barely 10 minutes into the game:

Yussuf Poulsen and Marcel Sabitzer also scored before halftime to put the game out of reach for Mainz. Werner scored the fourth goal shortly after halftime before finishing his hat trick with this gorgeous half-volley after Poulsen’s smart free kick:

It was arguably the best performance by any Bundesliga team post-coronavirus return, and it speaks to how dangerous RB Leipzig can be down the stretch. They’re third in the table after this weekend, seven points back of Bayern but only three behind Dortmund, and with an equal goal difference.

They also Dortmund at home in the penultimate matchweek of the season, with no other fixtures remaining against any of the top eight teams in the table. Meanwhile, Bayern and Dortmund’s schedules aren’t so favorable — if we can even pretend to know what to make of this uncharted mid-pandemic finish — and it starts with Tuesday’s seismic Der Klassiker against each other.

Will Bayern slip up? Most likely not. They’ve been navigating these business-end waters for seven years and counting. Will Dortmund slow down? Also unlikely.

But the Bundesliga’s two giants had better be careful. If they’re not, RB Leipzig could be there to pounce.

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