Kevin Volland, Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt and Jonathan Tah all got on the scoresheet for Bayer Leverkusen as they kept up their push for European qualification with a win at Augsburg on Friday night.
Augsburg 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Danso (12'), 1-1 Volland (15’), 1-2 Havertz (48’), 1-3 Tah (60’), 1-4 Brandt (88')
The home side began on the front foot and had six of the first seven attempts on goal before finally taking the lead when Kevin Danso rose highest at a corner to head home his first goal of the season. However, Augsburg’s advantage lasted just three minutes as Leverkusen carved their way through the defence, Charles Aranguiz playing in captain Volland to smash past goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. Bayer thought they’d then taken the lead when Lucas Alario turned home Mitchell Weiser’s cross after a superb long ball from Sven Bender, but VAR ruled the goal out for offside against the full-back. The game settled down after that but sprung back into life on the stroke of half-time when Alario smashed an effort against the crossbar after Andre Hahn had lost possession in his own half.
In contrast to the start of the game, Leverkusen hit the ground running after the restart and were immediately rewarded as Havertz sneaked in front of a defender to get a cute touch onto Volland’s cross and loop the ball over Kobel to put the visitors ahead. Danso then struck again from a corner, this time heading into his own net under pressure from Tah, but VAR was once more called into action to rightly rule out the goal for offside. Bayer weren’t to be denied again, though, when Tah smashed home a rebound after Kobel parried a free-kick from Brandt, who wrapped up proceedings in the dying minutes when he tapped home a fourth from Volland's cross. While the win keeps Leverkusen in the hunt for European qualification, Augsburg are not yet completely safe at the bottom.
Watch: Kevin Volland: "Champions League qualification extremely tough"
- Leverkusen have never lost to Augsburg in 16 Bundesliga games (W10, D6). No other side in Bundesliga history has remained unbeaten after so many meetings.
- Leverkusen have scored an average of almost three goals a game (23) in their eight trips to Augsburg. Both sides have netted at least once in all of those meetings at the WWK Arena.
- Volland took his career total against Augsburg to five goals in 14 games. He has now scored a personal-best 14 goals this Bundesliga campaign and is Leverkusen’s top scorer, level with 19-year-old Havertz.
- Augsburg threw away a lead for the eighth time this season. Only Hoffenheim have done so more often (10).
- Danso netted the third Bundesliga goal of his career – all from corners.
- Augsburg have scored 16 goals from set pieces this season, which is a new club record for a top-flight campaign and a league high with Bayern Munich.
Augsburg: Kobel – Schmid, Gouweleeuw, Danso (Koo 60’), Stafylidis – Baier (c), Khedira – Hahn, Gregoritsch, Max (Teigl 81') – Richter (Schieber 71’)
Unused subs: Luthe, Oxford, Janker, Cheon
Out: Cordova (groin), Finnbogason (calf), Framberger (cruciate ligament), Giefer (ankle), Götze (hip)
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser (l. Bender 89'), Tah, S. Bender (Dragovic 46’), Wendell – Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger, Brandt – Havertz, Alario (Kohr 84'), Volland (c)
Unused subs: Özcan, Jedvaj, Kiese Thelin, Paulinho
Out: Bailey (muscular), Bellarabi (thigh), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Retsos (toe)
Coach: Peter Bosz