Leipzig retain top spot as Coutinho scores first Bayern goal

BERLIN: RB Leipzig stayed top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 3-0 win at Werder Bremen while Philippe Coutinho  scored his first Bayern Munich goal as the defending champions climbed to second with a 4-0 rout of Cologne.

Bayern briefly had topped the table thanks to the win at the Allianz Arena before Leipzig replaced them despite finishing with 10 men in Bremen.

A first-half header by defender Willi Orban and a stunning free-kick by playmaker Marcel Sabitzer saw Leipzig go 2-0 up before midfielder Konrad Laimer was sent off for a second yellow card with 26 minutes remaining.

Leipzig made light of being a man down when they grabbed a late third when  Marcelo Saracchi scored his first goal since joining from Copa Libertadores winners River Plate.

Lewandowski strikes again as Bayern see off Red Star

“We’re satisfied, it was a dominant display, we didn’t let anything through. That was a very decent performance,” Leipzig’s managing director Oliver Mintzlaff told Sky.

Earlier Poland star striker Robert Lewandowski put Bayern ahead after just 150 seconds after Joshua Kimmich split the Cologne defence.

He then doubled the hosts’ lead with a header from a corner at the start of the season half to take his league tally to nine in five games.

Coutinho, on loan from Barcelona, converted a penalty on the hour at the second attempt, after Lewandowski gave the Brazilian the chance despite being on a hat-trick.

“It was a spontaneous decision, we didn’t talk about it before the game,” Lewandowski said about giving Coutinho the spot-kick.

“It was important for him here at the Allianz Arena, for the future and his confidence. He is a great player and we must all help him.”

Kingsley Ehizibue had been shown a straight red card just before the penalty for bringing down Coutinho in the area when the Brazilian was one-on-one with Cologne stopper Timo Horn.

Coutinho capped a superb display by setting up Ivan Perisic to slot the final goal on 73 minutes as Bayern climbed from fourth.

Coutinho expected to spark Bayern Champions League charge

Having also netted in the mid-week Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade, Lewandowski has scored in each of Bayern’s last seven games with 11 goals in all competitions.

He is the first to score in the first five Bundesliga games of a season since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Borussia Dortmund four years ago.

Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from their shock European defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow in mid-week with a 2-0 win over Union Berlin.

Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario scored inside the opening half-hour as Leverkusen responded after director of sport Rudi Voeller had accused them of being “scared” against Lokomotiv.

Third-placed Freiburg wasted the chance to go top as forward Lucas Hoeler gave them the lead only for striker Florian Niederlechner to equalise for Augsburg in a 1-1 draw.

Hertha Berlin climbed off the foot of the table with a nervy 2-1 home win over Paderborn, who took their place at the bottom of the league.

Ex-Manchester City winger Javairo Dilrosun weaved past defenders to slot home on 10 minutes and forward Marius Wolf netted in the second half at the Olympic Stadium before striker Ben Zolinski pulled a goal back for Paderborn.

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