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Sport

Leipzig make winning Bundesliga start without Werner

BERLIN (Reuters) - RB Leipzig eased past Mainz 05 3-1 in their Bundesliga opener on Sunday to enjoy a successful start to league life without striker Timo Werner.

Werner joined Chelsea in the close season and missed their run to their Champions League semi-finals in August but Leipzig had little trouble finding the back of the net against Mainz, striking twice in four minutes.

Emil Forsberg converted a 17th-minute penalty for a foul on Dani Olmo and Yussuf Poulsen rose high to drill in a header for the second goal.

With Mainz struggling to find ways of stopping Leipzig, Forsberg almost scored again on the half hour mark when he dribbled past two opponents but his clever flick bounced off the post.

Mainz cut the deficit three minutes after the restart when Quaison threaded a ball through the entire Leipzig defence for Jean-Philippe Mateta to score with a fine finish.

Any hopes of a comeback lasted only three minutes, however, with Amadou Haidara tapping in a Forsberg assist in the 51st to restore Leipzig’s two-goal cushion.

“On the first matchday it is all about starting the season well,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann. “It is important to live up to your own expectations. We wanted to show from the start that we are fully there.”

Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen played out the only goalless draw of the opening matchday, with the Wolves repeatedly coming close in the first half and Leverkusen taking control after the break.

It was also the first time after 35 consecutive games against Wolfsburg that Leverkusen failed to score.

Champions Bayern Munich opened their season with an impressive 8-0 demolition of Schalke 04 on Friday.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge

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