Bayer Leverkusen boost top-four hopes with Moussa Diaby and Nadiem Amiri securing win over Augsburg
Bayer Leverkusen closed the gap on fourth-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach thanks to a 2-0 win over Augsburg, with Moussa Diaby and Nadiem Amiri on target for Die Werkself.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Diaby (25'), 2-0 Amiri (59')
Havertz, captaining Leverkusen for the first time, took on responsibility for creating their opening goal midway through the first half. The 20-year-old skipped past his marker and executed a pass few others would even have imagined, threading the ball between Augsburg's retreating players into the path of Diaby, who completed the move with an accomplished finish. It gave Die Werkself a deserved lead as they had dominated the early proceedings, even if that was the first time they actually managed to puncture Augsburg's defence. Getting through the Bavarians' robust three-man rearguard continued to pose a challenge to Leverkusen as they could not add to that goal before the half-time whistle.
When Diaby did get round the back of the Augsburg defence again early in the second half, the linesman's flag was raised. Amiri took matters into his own hands on the hour mark and, rather than looking to pass his way beyond the Augsburg defence, he just dribbled his way through before sending a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner for his first goal for Leverkusen. Havertz hit the crossbar in Leverkusen's 2-1 win over Porto in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, and he had the very same piece of woodwork rattling again as he tried to turn the screw. Leverkusen's lead started to look slender when Augsburg substitute Ruben Vargas led a reaction from the Bavarians, with Lukas Hradecky remonstrating with his defence after a third opportunity was wasted by the guests. The hosts duly tightened things up and held on for the points without any unnecessary concern as they prepare for a trip to Oporto, where a similar shut-out would be rewarded with a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.
- Leverkusen have collected 15 points from their first six league fixtures in 2020. Only Bayern have picked up more (16).
- Havertz became the youngest captain of a Bundesliga side since Lukas Podolski captained Cologne back in August 2005.
- Havertz provided two assists in Leverkusen's 3-0 win over Augsburg in the reverse fixture, with this assist meaning more than a third of his eight direct involvements in goals this season have come against the Bavarians.
- Three of Diaby's four goals this season have come in 2020, with only Kevin Volland netting more (four) in the current calendar year for Leverkusen.
- Bayer have never lost to Augsburg in the Bundesliga (W12, D6).
- Augsburg have lost their last four away games in a row without scoring.
Watch: Diaby: "Kai Havertz set me up beautifully"
Leverkusen: Hradecky - Tah, S. Bender (Baumgartlinger 72'), Tapsoba - Weiser, Amiri (Bellarabi 72'), Palacios, Wendell - Havertz (c) (Demirbay 84'), Diaby - Alario
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Paulinho, L. Bender, Bailey, Sinkgraven
Out: Aranguiz (illness), Volland (foot)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Augsburg: Koubek - Jedvaj, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai - Framberger, Khedira (Löwen 78'), Baier (c), Max - Richter (Finnbogason 89'), Niederlechner, Jensen (Vargas 59')
Unused subs: Luthe, Suchy, Sarenren Bazee, Iago, Gruezo, Hahn
Out: Giefer (foot), Lichtsteiner (knee), Moravek (flu), Schieber (calf), Cordova (ankle)
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Watch:Hradecky: “We stayed in touch with the top four”
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