Two goals in two minutes from Dani Olmo gave RB Leipzig a 2-0 win at Hoffenheim on Friday to allow them to close within a point of second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga.
Leipzig now have 62 points with three games left although Dortmund, still hopeful of chasing down Bayern Munich for the title, have a game in hand.
They face Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday.
Leipzig remain comfortably on course for a return to the Champions League, having already made the quarter-finals this season, with a six-point cushion over closest pursuers Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen who play at the weekend.
Spanish midfielder Olmo found the net after nine and 11 minutes while substitute Christopher Nkunku was close to a third in stoppage time when a shot came off the post.
“The most important thing was the three points,” Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann told DAZN as his team stretched their unbeaten run to 12 games.
“We could have done better. But the will and attitude worked, so it was deserved in the end.”
Hoffenheim went into the game in seventh place and well-placed to still push for a Europa League spot.
However, they had parted company with coach Alfred Schreuder in midweek.
Schreuder, 47, joined the Bundesliga outfit last year from Ajax to succeed Julian Nagelsmann – now the coach of Leipzig.
The home side had their opportunities on Friday with nine shots on goal in the opening 35 minutes alone.
Munas Dabbur was presented with the best opportunity but his 27th minute header came back off the bar.
By then the damage had been done with former Dinamo Zagreb star Olmo tucking away the opener thanks to Nordi Mukiele’s pass.
Two minutes later, he pounced on a clever header from Marcel Sabitzer to once again fire sharply past Oliver Baumann in the Hoffenheim goal.
“Dani has extreme quality in the box,” said Leipzig sporting director Markus Kroesche.
“That’s why we signed him.”