Kevin Volland and Kai Havertz exchanged goals and assists as Bayer Leverkusen warmed up for their UEFA Champions League clash with Juventus with a comfortable 3-0 victory away to Augsburg.
Augsburg 0-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Niederlechner (o.g. 35'), 0-2 Volland (76'), 0-3 Havertz (84')
With an eye on their meeting with Juventus on Tuesday, Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz left out Wendell and Lars Bender, and gave Daley Sinkgraven his debut. There was little change to the visitors' playing style, though, as Die Werkself greedily held the ball among their ranks, albeit without making much vertical progress. Chances were at a premium and it almost stood to reason that the opening goal, when it came in the 35th minute, was an own goal from Florian Niederlechner, who inadvertently helped the ball in with the back of his head.
Augsburg had no choice but to take the game to their guests in the second half, but winning the ball back was still proving to be something of a challenge for Martin Schmidt's men. They succeeded in raising their own share of possession to 40% – a considerable improvement on the first half – and they nearly levelled when Julian Schieber brought a fine one-handed save out of Lukas Hradecky. Their hopes of a recovery were dashed when Leverkusen doubled their lead, though, Havertz unwittingly providing an assist with his back for Volland to lob Tomas Koubek. Volland then returned the favour for Havertz to make it three and seal a fourth Bundesliga victory this term for Leverkusen.
- Augsburg have still never beaten Leverkusen in 19 meetings in the Bundesliga (D6, L11) and the DFB Cup (L2). No two teams have played so often in the German top flight without one of them winning at least once.
- Leverkusen's opening goal was their 2,300th in the Bundesliga.
- Joel Pohjanpalo made his return to the Leverkusen squad for the first time in 18 months.
- Leverkusen have won eight Bundesliga away games in 2019, second only to RB Leipzig (10).
- With 13 points from six games, Die Werkself are off to their best start in five years.
- Niederlechner has had a hand in a goal in all six league outings this season, scoring three and providing two assists. This was, however, his first ever own goal.
- Volland has scored five goals in his last five games in Augsburg.
- Volland is Leverkusen's most decisive attacking player this term with three goals and three assists.
Augsburg: Koubek - Lichtseiner, Jedvaj, Uduokhai, Iago – Oxford, Khedira – Vargas, Niederlechner (Cordova 87'), Max (Moravek 80') – Finnbogason (Schieber 67')
Unused subs: Luthe, Baier, Gregoritsch, Jensen, Hahn, Framberger
Out: Gouweleeuw (groin), Götze (hip), Gruezo (ankle), Richter (thigh), Suchy (hip)
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, Dragovic (Tah 83'), S. Bender, Sinkgraven (Wendell 73') - Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger - Havertz, Amiri, Volland (c) – Alario (Paulinho 66')
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, L. Bender, Demirbay, Pohjanpalo, Diaby
Out: Bailey (muscle tear), Bellarabi (ill)
Coach: Peter Bosz