Berlin, Feb 22 (IANS) RB Leipzig capitalised on Bayern Munich's third defeat of the season, beating struggling Hertha Berlin 3-0 to reduce the gap at the top of the Bundesliga to two points.
The Bulls started the match well, knowing that a win would take them closer to Bayern. Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin focused on defence, trying to keep Leipzig as far from the danger zone as possible.
Leipzig combined its way through the midfield on Sunday, but Hertha's well-positioned defence was always on guard to intercept the final passes.
The hosts almost shocked Leipzig against the run of the play, but Lukas Klostermann snuffed out a dangerous square pass to the far post with 20 minutes gone.
The opener, however, was scored at the other end of the pitch, as Marcel Sabitzer tried his luck with a long-range effort from 30 meters into the top right corner on 28 minutes.
Leipzig then let the ball do the work and took the narrow 1-0 lead into the break as Hertha lacked in penetration.
After the restart, the visitors handed over control but Hertha wasn't able to threaten Leipzig's defence at all.
To make things worse for Hertha, Tyler Adams dispossessed Matteo Guendouzi in the box before squaring to substitute Nodri Mukiele, who made no mistake to make it 2-0 from very close range in the 71st minute.
Hertha showed vital signs through Nemanja Radonjic, but Klostermann was once there to deflect a dangerous rebound with ten minutes remaining.
Four minutes later, the deal was sealed as Willi Orban nodded home Sabitzer's corner to round off the 3-0 victory.
With the result, Leipzig stay second in the standings, just two points adrift of Bayern. Hertha Berlin are 15th.
"It wasn't an easy first half so it was important that we scored before the half time. After the restart we remained in control and took a deserved win," said Leipzig captain Sabitzer.
Elsewhere, Edmond Tapsoba's last-gasp equalizer helped Bayer Leverkusen rescue a 1-1 draw at Augsburg, and Hoffenheim returned to winning ways after cruising 4-0 past Werder Bremen.