Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez proved to be Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s match-winner once again after netting the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over FC Ingolstadt 04.

FC Ingolstadt 04 0-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Goals: 0-1 Hernandez (73’)

There was no noticeable discrepancy in quality during the evenly-contested opening exchanges, with Marvin Matip slicing an effort wide before Pascal Groß stung the palms of Bernd Leno with a first-time volley. Leverkusen lacked a cutting edge in the final third, and although Ingolstadt enjoyed the better of the play throughout the first half, they were missing a clinical touch in front of goal to take a deserved lead before the break.

The match was just as scrappy after the restart, with Ingolstadt resolutely making life difficult for the visitors who, to their credit, gradually forced die Schanzer deeper inside their own half. Wendell almost turned Mathew Leckie’s drilled cross into his own net, but having survived the scare at one end it was Chicharito who struck at the other, sweeping home to hand Leverkusen all three points.

Man of the match

Approaching the festive season, Chicharito is the gift that keeps on giving for Leverkusen. The Mexican scored with his first and only shot of the game - the true test of a clinical striker - once again proving that in a scrappy affair he can make all the difference for Die Werkself.

Click here for our mini-site dedicated to Chicharito

Talking point

Where would Leverkusen be without their Mexican megastar? Saturday’s result guaranteed Bayer 04 a place in the top six over the winter break, but the story could have been very different had they not made the signing of the season during the summer.

Match stats

  • Ingolstadt are still yet to score before half-time in a Bundesliga home game.
  • Chicharito has now scored 17 goals in his last 14 competitive appearances.

Line-ups

Ingolstadt: Nyland - da Costa, Matip (c), Bregerie, Danilo - Roger, Cohen (Hinterseer 72’) - Groß, Morales, Lex (Hartmann 64’) - Leckie

Leverkusen: Leno - Donati, Tah, Toprak (c), Wendell - Kramer, Kampl – Bellarabi (Brandt 90+1’), Calhanoglu (Mehmedi 71’) – Hernandez (Papadopoulos 84’), Kießling