Patrik Schick took his goal tally to six for the season as Bayer Leverkusen moved level on 16 points with Bayern Munich at the Bundesliga summit thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 win away at Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.
The hosts might not yet have won this season but they began the match determined to go toe-to-toe with their in-form visitors in a full-blooded opening period. Leverkusen’s attacking quality soon began to tell, however, as Florian Wirtz and Schick combined to tee up Moussa Diaby for the opening goal at the back post in the 18th minute. Bielefeld had the ball in the net seconds later but Patrick Wimmer’s clever back-heeled effort was ruled out for offside. Matters soon took a turn for the worse for Frank Kramer’s side as the effervescent Wirtz slid a pass into Schick’s path and the Czech Republic international made no mistake from 10 yards. Wirtz, Schick and Diaby continued to torment the home defence, but there were no further goals before the interval.
Bielefeld emerged with renewed purpose for the second half, aware that a goal would lift the home crowd and carry the team forward, but they never seriously threatened to get behind the Leverkusen rearguard. Schick showed them how it was done shortly before the hour mark when he drifted between two defenders to nod in Jeremie Frimpong’s precise right-wing delivery. Both teams subsequently made a number of changes, which disrupted the flow of the game somewhat, although Bielefeld did go close when Fabian Klos got on the end of a cross to the back post, but his close-range header was straight at Lukas Hradecky. It summed up a frustrating evening for the hosts, who conceded a fourth late on to a Kerem Demirbay penalty, leaving them down in 16th place, far removed from Leverkusen at the opposite end of the table.
- Leverkusen have set a new a club record of 20 goals after just seven rounds of Bundesliga fixtures.
- Wirtz has provided the assist for four of Schick's last five league goals, and now has a league-high five for the season.
- Schick has found the net in five of his last six Bundesliga outings, scoring six overall.
- The Czech forward's second goal was exactly a year to the day since his last headed goal in the Bundesliga.
- Diaby has four goals already this term - as many as he managed in the entire 2020/21 campaign.
- Lennart Czyborra (Bielefeld), Amine Adli and Piero Hincapie (both Leverkusen) all made their starting debuts in the Bundesliga here.
Watch: Schick: “We have to keep going like this”
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner, Pieper, Nilsson, Czyborra (de Medina 77') - Prietl (c), Schöpf (Kunze 62') - Wimmer (Krüger 62'), Okugawa, Hack (Fernandes 77') - Klos (Lasme 77')
Unused subs: Kapino, Ramos, Laursen, Cherny
Out: Vasiliadis (ankle)
Coach: Frank Kramer
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Frimpong, Kossounou, Tah, Hincapie (Sinkgraven 64') - Aranguiz (Amiri 75'), Demirbay - Diaby (Paulinho 64'), Wirtz (Bellarabi 75'), Adli - Schick (Alario 75')
Unused subs: Lunev, Retsos
Out: Andrich (suspended), Baumgartlinger (knee), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Palacios (ankle), Tapsoba (ankle)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Watch: Hradecky looks ahead to the Matchday 8 meeting with Bayern Munich