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European football

Werner double sends Leipzig six points clear at the top

Leipzig's Timo Werner and Freiburg's Florian Niederlechner battle for the ball

Timo Werner struck twice as promoted RB Leipzig crushed hosts Freiburg 4-1 on Friday to go six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with their seventh consecutive victory.

The talented 20-year-old, who joined the club from VfB Stuttgart for a reported 10 million euros ($10.59 million) this season, took his tally to seven goals in the current campaign, as unbeaten Leipzig moved on to 30 points from 12 games.

Second-placed champions Bayern Munich host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, having lost their last two matches in all competitions.

“At the end of the day it looked easier than it was,” said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl. “We had to pinch ourselves when we looked at the final score.

“We got the early goal and that obviously gave us a lot of confidence. We do look at the standings but this team does not rest when it is successful. Instead it works that bit harder.”

The impact of Leipzig’s win was felt as far south as Munich, with newly-elected Bayern president Uli Hoeness announcing the result of Leipzig’s game at the club’s annual general meeting.

“Finally we now have another team we can attack,” Hoeness, whose team are chasing a record-extending fifth straight Bundesliga title, said amid loud applause.

Leipzig’s Naby Keita fired the opener from 18 metres after two minutes but Freiburg levelled in the 15th with Florian Niederlechner’s well-timed header from Pascal Stenzel’s cross.

Werner then took over, charging through to round goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow in the 21st minute and then rounding off a quick break with another goal 14 minutes later.

Marcel Sabitzer, who had earlier hit the post, made amends in the 79th by rifling home a low shot for Leipzig’s 10th goal in their last three matches.

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