Bayer Leverkusen picked up their first Bundesliga win since early October as Amine Adli’s header proved to be the difference in a 1-0 win at home to Bochum.
Buoyed by an impressive win over Hoffenheim before the international break, Bochum were by no means intimidated by Leverkusen, with Elvis Rexhbecaj hitting the post inside two minutes with a swerving drive from distance. Eduard Löwen also kept Lukas Hradecky on his toes with a couple of probing efforts from range, but it was the hosts who took the lead when Jeremie Frimpong scampered to the byline on the right and crossed for Adli to head in at the back post. The home side were in firm control thereafter, and could have extended their lead when Robert Andrich picked out Florian Wirtz with a brilliant chip over the visiting defence, but the Germany international planted his header wide of the post.
Wirtz missed the target with the first clear-cut chance of the second half, too. After running almost the entire length of the pitch on a counter-attack, the 18-year-old drilled wide with just Manuel Riemann to beat. Takuma Asano brought a routine save from Hradecky with a deflected shot, but it was another effort from distance; Bochum could not find a way to get behind the Leverkusen rearguard to seriously trouble the home custodian. Gerardo Seoane’s side had no such trouble and could have been out of sight in the closing stages as substitute Paulinho and Moussa Diaby both fired straight at Riemann wtih presentable openings. It ultimately mattered little in the end, however, as Die Werkself comfortably saw their sixth Bundesliga win of the season over the line to go fourth.
- Adli scored the first Bundesliga goal of his career.
- Frimpong now has four league assists in 2021/22, more than any other defender in the division.
- Leverkusen have now scored a league-high nine times in the opening 15 minutes this season.
- Wirtz scored, assisted or both in his first seven Bundesliga appearances of the season, but has since gone three games without contributing a goal.
- Bochum had 15 efforts on goal (to Leverkusen's seven) - their highest such tally in any away game this season.
- The away side have now lost six of their last seven fixtures on the road, only winning at rock-bottom Greuther Fürth.
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven (Hincapie 76') - Andrich, Demirbay (Palacios 66') - Diaby, Wirtz (Kossounou 90'+3), Amiri (Paulinho 76') – Adli
Unused subs: Lomb, Lunev, Retsos, Sertdemir, Gedikli
Out: Alario (calf), Aranguiz (calf), Bakker (ankle), Baumgartlinger (knee), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Schick (ankle)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Bochum: Riemann - Stafylidis, Masovic, Lampropoulos, Soares - Löwen (Novothny 82'), Losilla (c), Rexhbecaj (Pantovic 70') - Asano, Polter (Ganvoula 82'), Antwi-Adjei (Bockhorn 70')
Unused subs: Esser, Gamboa, Chibsah, Bonga, Bella Kotchap
Out: Blum (thigh), Decarli (shoulder), Holtmann (groin), Tesche (hip), Zoller (knee)
Coach: Thomas Reis
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