Leipzig run riot at Schalke, Haaland hits 40th goal of season

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Berlin (AFP)

RB Leipzig stayed within a point of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga after a 5-0 thrashing of Schalke on Saturday, while Erling Braut Haaland scored his 40th goal of the season in Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 win at Werder Bremen.

Leipzig remain second in the table after captain Marcel Sabitzer opened the scoring with less than a minute gone in Gelsenkirchen with a powerful drive.

Germany striker Timo Werner, defender Marcel Halstenberg, new signing Angelino and playmaker Emil Forsberg added second-half goals as Leipzig built on their 1-0 mid-week Champions League win at Tottenham with another impressive away display.

Leipzig sit just behind Bayern who squeezed past bottom side Paderborn on Friday when Robert Lewandowski netted twice in a 3-2 victory.

Sabitzer gave Leipzig a spectacular lead by smashing a long-range shot past goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel.

An hour later, Werner claimed his 21st league goal by rifling into the top corner past Nuebel, who will join Bayern for 2020/21.

It turned into a rout when Halstenberg headed Leipzig's third goal on 68 minutes, then Angelino, on loan from Manchester City, beat two defenders for their fourth on 81 minutes.

In the dying stages, Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku produced his fourth assist to tee-up Forsberg, on for Werner, to fire home.

- Haaland strikes again -

Earlier, Haaland, 19, scored his 12th goal in eight games for Dortmund at Bremen to keep Lucien Favre's side third in the table, four points behind Bayern.

Haaland, who scored twice in Tuesday's Champions League last 16, first-leg win over Paris Saint-Germain, also netted 28 goals for Salzburg before joining Dortmund for 20 million euros ($22 million) in December.

Dortmund ground out victory after showing some early nerves in Bremen where they crashed to a 3-2 German Cup defeat earlier this month.

"We allowed them almost nothing and controlled the game more in the second half," said Dortmund midfielder Emre Can.

"Then Bremen got tired and we scored our goals at the right time."

Centre-back Dan-Axel Zagadou gave the visitors the lead by volleying home a Jadon Sancho corner on 52 minutes.

"Another crappy goal conceded from a dead-ball situation. It's getting very tight for us now," said Bremen's Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen whose side are second from bottom.

Haaland doubled the advantage by drilling Achraf Hakimi's square ball into the corner on 66 minutes to score his ninth Bundesliga goal.

After five straight league defeats, Bremen remain 17th and five points from safety.

They suffered another blow in the relegation battle as Fortuna Duesseldorf, who are a place above them, enjoyed a 2-0 win at Freiburg.

Fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach slipped six points behind Bayern, albeit with a game in hand, as Lucas Ribeiro's injury-time strike snatched Hoffenheim a 1-1 draw at Borussia Park.

Matthias Ginter had powered in an early opener for Gladbach, but the hosts were made to pay after Alassane Plea saw a 75th-minute penalty saved by Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.

- Hertha routed -

Despite splashing out 77 million euros ($83 million) on transfers in January, Hertha Berlin's poor form continued in a 5-0 thrashing at home to Cologne.

Hertha were brought crashing back down to earth after Alexander Nouri won his first game in charge following Jurgen Klinsmann's shock resignation last weekend at Paderborn.

The home side defended woefully and were 2-0 down inside 22 minutes as Jhon Cordoba scored an early double.

The Colombian striker exploited a four-on-two situation for his first goal and easily escaped his marker to head in the second.

Midfielder Florian Kanz added two goals of his own before Mark Uth curled home a free-kick 20 minutes from time as Hertha capitulated.

There was a minute's silence at all grounds before kick-off in Germany's top flight to honour the nine victims of the Hanau shootings earlier this week.