Bayer Leverkusen extended their unbeaten streak to three games and inflicted a fourth straight defeat on faltering Augsburg with Lucas Alario sealing a 1-0 home win at the BayArena.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Alario (75')
Augsburg welcomed their top-scorer Alfred Finnbogason back after injury, although the Icelandic forward was left foraging and frustrated as the guests were forced to spend much of the first half on the back foot, defending – successfully – as Die Werkself sought a route to goal. Two efforts from Charles Aranguiz missed the target before Kai Havertz's header was saved by Andreas Luthe. Finnbogason showed that he needs just half a sight of goal to be dangerous as he sent his first two opportunities Lukas Hradecky's way, but they were rare punctuations on an otherwise one-sided first half, which nevertheless ended all-square.
The hosts had a hat-trick of chances to break the deadlock early in the second half with Kevin Volland's volley saved by Luthe, Havertz's follow-up blocked by Martin Hinteregger and Karim Bellarabi firing the loose ball over. Finnbogason left the field on the hour mark, with the injured Jonathan Tah's day ending shortly after, but it was the next change which made a difference. Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich took an unenforced roll of the dice by bringing on Julian Brandt and Alario, and it proved to be an inspired move as the latter struck within minutes of taking to the field as the Augsburg defence got caught napping. Dong-Won Ji was denied an equaliser as Aleksandar Dragovic deflected his shot onto the underside of the crossbar, as the hosts held on valiantly to the points.
- Augsburg have lost four in a row for only the second time in the Bundesliga.
- The last games Sven Bender missed were the first two of the season – which Die Werkself lost, conceding five goals in total.
- Bailey made his first Bundesliga start in almost two and a half months: since the Matchday 5 clash in Düsseldorf.
- Leverkusen top-scorer Kevin Volland made his 200th Bundesliga appearance, while Augsburg's Philipp Max and Michael Gregoritsch both brought up a century of Bundesliga appearances.
- Tah made a successful return to action for Leverkusen, not losing a single tackle before being replaced due to injury.
- Alario opened his account for the season with his 19th shot.
Leverkusen: Hradecky – L. Bender (c), Tah (Wendell 64'), Dragovic, Jedvaj – Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz (Alario 73') – Bellarabi, Havertz, Bailey (Brandt 73') – Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Kiese Thelin, Kohr, Weiser
Out: S. Bender (head), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Retsos (thigh)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Augsburg: Luthe – Gouweleeuw, Khedira, Hinteregger – Framberger, Baier (c), Gregoritsch, Max – Hahn (Richter 82'), Finnbogason (Ji 61'), Caiuby (Cordova 87')
Unused subs: Giefer, Schmid, Koo, Danso
Out: Götze (concussion), Jakob (knee), Moravek (calf)
Coach: Manuel Baum
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