Summer recruit Lucas Alario was handed his first start for Leverkusen as one of six changes from their midweek defeat at Hertha Berlin, yet it was another new face Leon Bailey who nodded the ball down for Kevin Volland to sweep the hosts in front. Alario made his mark moments later, though, sticking a leg out to turn another fine Bailey assist in to mark his debut with a goal. Bailey almost set up a third, but Admir Mehmedi struck over at the far post.
Two changes were made by Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol at the start of the second half, with Bakery Jatta and Luca Waldschmidt on, and Lewis Holtby's stinging shot suggested their fortunes may also be about to change. Andre Hahn hit the side-netting with another good opportunity before Bailey's goalbound effort was blocked at the other end and Volland put the result beyond doubt, turning Alario's pass into an open goal to make it three.
Man of the match
All eyes were on Alario as he made his debut, but it was Bailey who really stole the show with intelligent assists for Kevin Volland and Alario's first goal in a Leverkusen shirt, while he almost got his own name on the scoresheet with Leverkusen's best chance of the second half before Volland's second.
Leverkusen: Leno (c) – Henrichs, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – Mehmedi (69' Brandt), Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz (84' Kohr) – Bailey, Alario (86' Pohjanpalo), Volland
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Hamburg: Mathenia – Diekmeier, Mavraj, Papadopoulos, Sakai (c) – Walace (46' Waldschmidt), Jung, Salihovic (46' Jatta) – Hahn (82' Ito), Wood, Holtby
Coach: Markus Gisdol
- Alario became the second Argentinian to play and score for Leverkusen (after Diego Placente – 2001-2005).
- Bailey's two assists were his first in the Bundesliga.
- Leverkusen are now unbeaten in nine home games against Hamburg (seven wins, two draws).
- Hamburg’s last win at Leverkusen was a 2-1 triumph on 22 February 2009 — Marcell Jansen scored both of the visitors’ goals in Düsseldorf, where Leverkusen were playing at the time.
- This fixture has never ended goalless.
- Leverkusen boss Herrlich celebrated his first-ever Bundesliga win as a coach against Hamburg, triumphing in northern Germany with Bochum in November 2009.
Watch: Bailey: "Outrageous feeling!"