Berlin, Feb 2 : A second half brace from Leipzig's Willi Orban were enough to snatch all three points from struggling Hannover at the curtain raiser of the 20th round in German Bundesliga on Friday.
Leipzig took control from the kick off and came to their first chance with just three minutes played when Marcel Halstenberg's free kick on target forced Hannover goalkeeper Michael Esser to make a diving save. Hannover's custodian remained in the thick of things as he defused the efforts from Marcel Sabitzer and Matheus Cunha from close range in the 11th minute.
The hosts were unable to keep Leipzig on the distance as Matheus Cunha rattled the woodwork following a corner kick from Marcel Halstenberg with 19 minutes into the game. Hannover's Esser was again on guard as he denied Marcel Sabitzer's shot on target in the 42nd minute. However, the goalkeeper was hapless moments later as Halstenberg converted a foul-play penalty to give Leipzig the 1-0 lead before the break.
After the restart, Leipzig continued on the front foot whereas Hannover posed absolutely no threat. It was just a matter of time before Leipzig doubled their lead as Halstenberg's delivery into the box found Willi Orban at the far post in the 64th minute.
The visitors retracted with the lead and handed over control. Nevertheless, Hannover remained uninspired and got punished in the 85th minute when Orban wrapped up his brace following a corner kick from Emil Forsberg. With the second win in a row Leipzig continue on the second place of the standings meanwhile Hannover stay on the 17th position after suffering their fourth straight loss.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: Eintracht Frankfurt face front runners Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen encounter runner up Bayern Munich, Hoffenheim see newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hertha Berlin clash with Wolfsburg, last placed Nuremberg take on Werder Bremen and Schalke meet Borussia Monchengladbach.(XINHUA)