RB Leipzig overcame a comeback from Paderborn to hold on for a 3-2 victory on Saturday and provisionally climb to the top of the Bundesliga while 10-man Borussia Dortmund spoiled Juergen Klinsmann’s debut as Hertha Berlin coach with a 2-1 away win.
Leipzig opened their account in the third minute with a Patrick Schick goal and immediately doubled their lead through Marcel Sabitzer. Timo Werner made it 3-0 in the 26th minute as they looked to be cruising to a comfortable win over the promoted club.
But Paderborn rallied after the break, cutting the deficit just past the hour through a fine solo effort by Streli Mamba before Klaus Gjasula grabbed their second in the 73rd to set up a tense finale.
Leipzig held on, however, to move up to 27 points, two ahead of Borussia Moenchengladbach who face Freiburg on Sunday.
Bayern Munich, on 24 points, entertain Bayer Leverkusen later on Saturday.
Dortmund gave their embattled coach Lucien Favre some respite at Hertha, despite having to play the second half with 10 men after the dismissal of Mats Hummels for a second booking on the stroke of halftime.
They were 2-1 ahead at the time after striking twice in two minutes with Jadon Sancho slotting home in the 16th minute and Thorgan Hazard grabbing their second.
Favre has been under mounting pressure, with his team — self-proclaimed title contenders at the start of the season — having lost their winning touch and in danger of an unexpectedly early Champions League exit after their 3-1 loss to Barcelona in midweek.
Hertha, with Klinsmann on the bench, pulled one back through Vladimir Darida’s deflected effort in the 34th minute and almost piled more pressure on Favre but despite a frantic final 20 minutes they could not find an equaliser.
Former Germany and United States coach Klinsmann, who had not worked in the Bundesliga since his hapless spell at Bayern in 2009, took over this week.
“It was extremely important to get the three points today,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus. “We took a good step in the right direction. But we know all is not fine now. We have to continue working hard.”
Dortmund’s first win in three league games lifted them to fifth on 23 points while Hertha dropped to the relegation playoff spot on 11.