RB Leipzig 1 Bayer Leverkusen 4: Brandt inspires rout in top-four battle

Julian Brandt inspired Bayer Leverkusen to a 4-1 at RB Leipzig, which greatly enhanced their top-four chances in the Bundesliga.

Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen   -  Getty Images Sport

Julian Brandt scored one and created two more as Bayer Leverkusen ran riot in a 4-1 rout of RB Leipzig to leap-frog their top-four rivals in the Bundesliga.

Leverkusen rebounded from going behind to Marcel Sabitzer's opener when Kai Havertz equalised on the stroke of half-time, and Brandt – who last week signed a new deal until 2021 – was the inspiration for second-half domination, putting Leverkusen in front before setting up goals for Panagiotis Retsos' and Kevin Volland.

Victory for Heiko Herrlich's men, which was their first over Leipzig in the top flight, lifts them into fourth in the table and the last qualification spot for next season's Champions League.

The hosts broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time with Sabitzer finishing after a slickly executed one-two with Yussuf Poulsen.

But Leon Bailey led a speedy Leverkusen counter-attack to set up Havertz to volley home the equaliser, and it was 2-1 shortly after the break when Brandt collected Bernd Leno's goal-kick, slipped around the opposition defence and blasted into the bottom-right corner.

The Germany international then deflected a free-kick into the path of Retsos to score his first Bundesliga goal, and laid on the assist for Volland to score his 50th Bundesliga goal and end a drought that stretches back to January 12.

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