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It was all about the fight to avoid relegation on Wednesday night and Ingolstadt were the big winners with an invaluable win over fellow strugglers Augsburg. Mainz and Wolfsburg remain in trouble as both teams lost.
Mainz 2-3 Leipzig
(Samperio pen. 69', Muto 90'+1 - Sabitzer 48', Werner 52', Keita 81')
Leipzig closed the gap on Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga to ten points as Mainz’s woes deepened with another damaging defeat.
In an absorbing contest at the Opel Arena, Marcel Sabitzer put Leipzig ahead three minutes into the second half, leaping high to nod in after Emil Fosberg did superbly well to flick the ball into his path.
Leipzig doubled their lead four minutes later through another header, this time Timo Werner exploited some slack Mainz marking at a corner.
The home side were throw a lifeline when Jairo Samperio slotted home a penalty after Donati was fouled and they could have leveled less than a minute later, but Levin Öztunali was unable to stay onside during a promising counter-attack.
Naby Keita’s stunning solo effort late in the game, which saw him beat half the Mainz team and finish superbly, rounded off a fine night’s work for Leipzig.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin was sent off for Mainz, who pulled one back through Muto in stoppage time, but were unable to avoid a defeat that leaves them level on points with 16th-placed Augsburg.
Augsburg 2-3 Ingolstadt
(Verhaegh pen. 76', Altintop 81' - Kittel 25', Cohen 35', 67')
Almog Cohen scored a brace as Ingolstadt recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
Ingolstadt picked up their second league win in four days as their hopes of a great escape gather speed.
Sonny Kittel capitalized on a mix-up between Augsburg keeper Marwin Hitz and Kevin Danso to give Ingolstadt the lead.
They doubled their lead through Almog Cohen, who ghosted into space at the near post to flick in Pascal Gross’s free-kick from the left flank.
Ingolstadt notched their third through Cohen, who headed in another midway through the second half, with the visitors seemingly coasting to a big win.
A late penalty by Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh and a tap-in from Halil Altintop made Ingolstadt sweat but little more as the visitors got a deserved win on a night when they outplayed their relegation rivals.
Darmstadt 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen
(Brandt 15', Volland 56')
Bayer Leverkusen picked up a much-needed win at doomed Darmstadt.
Julian Brandt gave the visitors the lead with a tap-in after a neat cut back from Kevin Volland.
Darmstadt hit the bar through a Mario Vrancic free-kick shortly before halftime, but that was as good as it got for the home side against a Leverkusen side determined not to get dragged into a relegation scrap.
The decisive Leverkusen second came soon after the break when Volland lashed a loose ball into the roof of the net, deflating Darmstadt and securing Tayfun Korkut's first win as Leverkusen head coach.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 Hertha Berlin
Borussia Mönchengladbach edged out Hertha Berlin on a night when the home side could have scored many more.
Laszlo Benes scored the only goal of the game with a sizzling low drive from 25 meters. Collecting the ball from Lars Stindl, Benes let fly with a shot that was simply too powerful for Rene Jarstein to stop.
Salomon Kalou’s brilliant free-kick almost drew Hertha level on the stroke of halftime, but it couldn’t dip in time to avoid crashing back off the bar.
Jonas Hoffman hit the post twice and Thorgen Hazard fired just over as Gladbach pressed for another, but they held on for a win that keeps them in the mix for a Europa League spot.
Wolfsburg 0-1 Freiburg
Florian Niederlechner’s crisp late finish sucker-punched Wolfsburg, who remain mired in the relegation dogfight.
Mario Gomez, the hat-trick hero in Leverkusen on Matchday 26, should have given the home side the lead in the first half when he found himself with space six meters out, but somehow dragged his shot wide – despite being offside but not flagged.
Freiburg stayed in the game without playing their best but put their noses in front through a fine finish from Niederlechner from outside the box.
Borja Mayoral had the chance to salvage a point late on for Wolfsburg when he burst into the box but the striker couldn’t hit the target with the goal at his mercy. The result leaves Freiburg dreaming of Europe and Wolfsburg nervously looking down.
Bundesliga Matchday 27 - as it happened: