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Werner fires warning shots to England, France


Berlin (AFP) – Timo Werner proved his form ahead of Germany’s forthcoming internationals as his late goal sealed RB Leipzig’s 2-1 comeback win against Hanover 96 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, who has just recovered from a neck injury, is set to feature for the world champions in high-profile friendly matches against England and France in the next 10 days after missing his country’s matches last month.

On Saturday, he set up Yussuf Poulsen’s equaliser and then netted an 85th-minute winner after the Brazilian Jonathas had given visitors Hanover the lead at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena.

The result left Leipzig provisionally second in the table, one point behind defending champions and current leaders Bayern Munich and two points ahead of Borussia Dortmund in third.

Dortmund play host to Bayern later (1730 GMT) in the game of the weekend.

Before kick-off on Saturday, Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl declared “this is a game which will be decided by mentality,” and his team proved him right.

Haasenhuettl said the second-half introductions of key midfielders Naby Keita and Emil Forsberg made the difference.

“We spared a few players (from the starting line-up), because we knew it would be a tight game,” explained Hasenhuettl.

“I had hoped Forsberg and Keita would give everything when they came on.

“I must pay the young centre-backs a compliment. Apart from the goal conceded, they did everything right,” he added as French teenagers Ibrahima Konate, 18, and Dayot Upamecano, 19, paired up in defence.

Having beaten Dortmund 4-2 last weekend, Hanover were on course for another major scalp when Jonathas fired home on 56 minutes against the run of play.

Werner earlier had a first-half effort disallowed for offside, then rattled the woodwork just before the break.

Liverpool-bound Keita, who has been accused by German police of using a forged driving licence, and Forsberg helped turn the game when they came on for the final half hour.

Leipzig drew level when Werner’s pass to Poulsen was tapped home by the Danish international at the far post with 20 minutes left.

Werner then grabbed the winner by rifling home a cross from Forsberg five minutes from time.

The result got Leipzig back to winning ways after last week’s back-to-back cup and league losses to Bayern and a 3-1 defeat at Porto in the Champions League.

Elsewhere Schalke, who are now undefeated in their last six games in all competitions, climbed to fourth with a 1-0 win at Freiburg as Daniel Caligiuri scored the only goal against his old club.

Hamburg moved out of the bottom three with a 3-1 win at home to Stuttgart, who had midfielder Dzenis Burnic sent off after just 13 minutes for two yellow cards.

Aaron Hunt put Hamburg ahead from a free-kick after a goalkeeping blunder by Ron-Robert Zieler, but Stuttgart levelled just after half-time when Daniel Ginczek converted a penalty.

However, Filip Kostic put Hamburg back in front and Germany Under-17 international Jann-Fiete Arp, with his second in two games, sealed the win.

Borussia Moenchengladbach dropped to seventh after their 1-1 draw at home to Mainz.

Mainz took the lead on 19 minutes through French defender Abdou Diallo, but Gladbach equalised when towering Danish centre-back Jannik Vestergaard headed home midway through the second half.

Mid-table Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen shared the points in a 1-1 draw as Kevin Volland’s strike just after the break was quickly cancelled out by Austrian defender Kevin Danso.

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