Lucas Alario hits third consecutive brace in Bayer Leverkusen's big win over Borussia Mönchengladbach
Lucas Alario hit his sixth and seventh goals in his last four appearances for Bayer Leverkusen who put four past Borussia Mönchengladbach - with Valentino Lazaro scoring an outrageous hit - in a seven-goal thriller on Sunday.
Bayer Leverkusen 4-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 0-1 Stindl (pen. 18'), 1-1 Alario (27'), 1-2 Stindl (30'), 2-2 Alario (41'), 3-2 Bailey (68'), 4-2 Baumgartlinger (82'), 4-3 Lazaro (90'+4)
Both sides were bang in form coming into a mouth-watering meeting on Sunday, and the game gave Der Klassiker a run for its money from the get-go. After putting a shot wide just two minutes in, Leon Bailey almost set up Alario to open the scoring with some silky dribbling in the box, but it was Gladbach hit first after soaking up early pressure. Breel Embolo was brought down by Lukas Hradecky after reaching Jonas Hofmann's pass just ahead of the Finn, and captain Lars Stindl slotted home the ensuing spot-kick. Leverkusen thought they had equalised minutes later when Nadiem Amiri's shot beat Yann Sommer, but Edmond Tapsoba was ruled offside as he came close to getting a touch on the ball on its way to goal. The hosts weren't to be denied for long, though, as the in-form Alario curled home a stunning equaliser. The game was level for only three minutes before Stindl restored Gladbach's lead, with Florian Wirtz's tackle on Marcus Thuram sending the ball his way to score past Hradecky. The Foals came within inches of doubling their lead as Embolo's fierce hit was saved and Ramy Bensebaini could only find the crossbar from close range. Leverkusen made them pay and levelled for a second time before the break with Alario on target once more, this time heading in Wirtz's cross ahead of Sommer and above of Nico Elvedi to bring the scores level at the end of a pulsating first half.
Both sides took a more measured approach to the second half and Hannes Wolf came on for Florian Neuhaus at half-time. Bailey had another chance to get on the scoresheet as he drifted centrally from the right, but his curling strike was blocked behind. Gladbach had two golden chances to take the lead again but Stindl saw his sliding effort at the back post miraculously cleared off the line by Hradecky before Wolf blazed a shot over the crossbar from the rebound. Die Werkself made the Foals pay again as Bailey got his goal. An outstanding pass from Wirtz sent Moussa Diaby away, and his through ball met Bailey's run before he slid the ball in through Sommer's legs. Leverkusen continued to look the most likely to score next and sealed all three points in the final 10 minutes. Amiri saw his brilliant flick and shot blocked behind for a corner, but he claimed an assist as he played the ball low across goal for Julian Baumgartlinger to slide home after the resulting corner had been cleared. The excitement was not over though as Valentino Lazaro scored one of the best goals the Bundesliga has seen as he flicked the ball into the top corner with a scorpion-kick from Patrick Herrmann's cross in added on time.
- Alario has now scored in four successive Bundesliga matches for the first time, and hit his first goals in five career meetings with Gladbach.
- The Argentina international has also hit braces in three consecutive Bundesliga games, making it seven goals in his last four league appearances.
- Each of Stindl's last six Bundesliga goals have all come away from home. It's also his fifth brace in Gladbach colours, which have all also come on the road.
- Bailey scored his first goal of the season and ended a run of 14 Bundesliga games without finding the net. His first strike since March, against RB Leipzig.
- This fixture has not finished goalless since April 2004 - 31 Bundesliga meetings ago - when Gladbach were still playing at their old Bökelbergstadion.
- Things are close between the two now, but between 1994 and 2010, die Werkself went a club-record 26 Bundesliga games without defeat against Sunday's opponents.
Watch: Bailey: "It's a great feeling to score and win"
Leverkusen: Hradecky - L. Bender (c), S. Bender, Tapsoba, Wendell - Baumgartlinger - Bailey, Wirtz (Dragovic 85'), Amiri, Diaby - Alario (Bellarabi 80')
Unused ubs: Lomb, Tah, Demirbay, Jedvaj, Sinkgraven, Weiser, Palacios
Out: Aranguiz (muscular), Arias (ankle), Paulinho (knee), Schick (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer (Plea 74‘), Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer (Benes 75‘), Neuhaus (Wolf 46‘) - Hofmann, Stindl (c), Thuram (Herrmann 80') - Embolo (Lazaro 63‘)
Unused subs: Sippel, Traore, Wendt, Jantschke
Out: Poulsen (shoulder), Zakaria (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose
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