Source: China State Council Information Office
Leon Bailey’s first-half brace fired Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 past Hoffenheim and helped his side to clinch the top spot in the closer of the 11th round in Bundesliga on Sunday.
Leverkusen’s Bailey was a menace once again as he provided his second brace within four days.
Hoffenheim caught a better start into the clash though as Florian Grillitsch wasted the chance to break the deadlock from inside the box with less than a minute played after pulling Andrej Kramaric’s pinpoint cross over the target.
The “Werkself” needed no warm-up time and responded straight away with their next chance as Bailey exchanged passes with Nadiem Amiri following a corner and curled the ball into the top left corner with four minutes gone.
Three minutes later, Bailey should have made it two but the Jamaica international couldn’t finish the job with his right foot.
Meanwhile, Hoffenheim had to wait until the 24th minute before reaping its first chance as Christoph Baumgartner wasn’t able to beat Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky from very close range.
The goals were scored at the other end of the pitch as Kramaric’s return pass to his goalkeeper ended in a disaster after Bailey intercepted the pass before rounding the Hoffenheim custodian Oliver Baumann for the 2-0 lead in the 27th minute.
After the restart, Hoffenheim grew in confidence whereas Leverkusen couldn’t find their rhythm. So it was no surprise when Hoffenheim halved the deficit in the 49th minute after Baumgartner had enough time and space to drill the ball from 18 meters into the top right corner.
Hoffenheim pressed Leverkusen into defence and had a golden chance to restore parity but Hradecky parried Grillitsch’s long-range effort while Baumgartner squandered the rebound from six meters with 52 minutes played.
Moments later, Leverkusen halted Hoffenheim’s momentum and made it 3-1 after Patrik Schick assisted youngster Florian Wirtz, who danced through the defense before chipping the ball past Baumann ten minutes into the second half.
The visitor’s resistance was broken and the dismissals of Grillitsch and Stefan Posch gave the hopes of a comeback another setback.
To make things worse, Leverkusen wasn’t done with the scoring as Lucas Alario converted a penalty to round off the win.
With the result, Bayer Leverkusen move atop the standings with a one-point lead over Bayern Munich, while Hoffenheim slip to the 12th position.
Elsewhere, Augsburg extended Schalke’s winless run to 27 games after sharing the spoils following a two-all draw.
The “Royal Blues” failed to defend its one-goal lead with superior numbers as ten-men Augsburg snatched a late draw courtesy of Marco Richter’s injury time equalizer.
Schalke stay in last place of the Bundesliga standings whereas Augsburg jump to the 10th position.