Berlin, Feb 17 : Leipzig increased Stuttgart's relegation worries after Yussuf Poulsen provided a brace to wrap up a 3-1 away win at the 22nd round in Bundesliga on Saturday.
The visitors ensured a bright start on the road as Yussuf Poulsen opened the scoring with just six minutes played after the Denmark international tapped home Timo Werner's build-up play from close range.
It was a short-lived joy though as Stuttgart restored parity 10 minutes later when Steven Zuber benefitted on a handball penalty to beat Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi from the spot. Leipzig almost grabbed the lead again but Timo Werner pulled just wide from promising position. However, the hosts had also the chance to take the lead but Marcel Sabitzer cleared Andreas Beck's header on target before the break.
After the restart, Leipzig took the reins but still Stuttgart worked out the best chance as Santiago Ascacibar's volley forced custodian Gulacsi into action on 64 minutes. Nevertheless, the goals were scored at the other end of the pitch moments later as Marcel Sabitzer unleashed an unstoppable free kick into the top right corner to make it 2-1 in the 68th minute.
Struggling Stuttgart tried to threw everything up front but they got promptly punished as Leipzig finished off a counter attack with Poulsen overcoming goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler from 14 meters six minutes later.
Stuttgart thought they had reduced the arrears in the 80th minute but Mario Gomez' goal was called offside.
With the result, Leipzig cement their fourth place in the standings whereas Stuttgart remain on the 16th position, which is a relegation play-off spot.
Elsewhere, Mainz suffered their third straight loss as goals from Wolfsburg's Maximilian Arnold, Wout Weghorst and Robin Knoch were enough to secure all three points. Hoffenheim showed no mercy to the bottom side Hannover as Joelinton, Ishak Belfodil and Kerem Demirbay handed the hosts their 14th loss of the season.
Schalke and Freiburg played out a goalless stalemate meanwhile Claudio Pizarro's late equalizer snatched Bremen a 1-1 draw at Berlin.
The following fixtures are set for Sunday: Eintracht Frankfurt host third placed Borussia Monchengladbach, and Bayer Leverkusen encounter Fortuna Dusseldorf.