Kai Havertz became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 30 goals, and set up one of two Paulinho strikes as Bayer Leverkusen continued their top-four push with a crushing 4-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Leverkusen survived an early scare as Daichi Kamada forced Lukas Hradecky into a diving save, but that was about as close as Frankfurt went all game to getting on the scoresheet. Evan N'Dicka couldn't live with the rampaging runs of Moussa Diaby, who powered clear in the fourth minute to set up a record-breaking goal for Havertz - his 30th at just 20 years and 270 days young. Karim Bellarabi added a second 10 minutes later following another incisive move down the Leverkusen left, this time with Brazilian pair Wendell and Paulinho doing the damage. Bayer looked capable of scoring whenever they ventured forward, but Frankfurt were spared any further punishment before the referee called time on a one-sided first half.
Havertz thought he'd added a third soon after the restart, only for his cute clipped attempt to be chalked off for a clear offside against Diaby in the build-up. Leverkusen's next effort did stand, though, as Paulinho collected a pass from Bellarabi, waltzed past a couple of challenges and sent a fine finish into the bottom corner. Hradecky was made to work at the feet of Martin Hinteregger in a rare moment of attacking promise from the visitors, before Paulinho - making his full top-flight debut - completed his maiden Bundesliga brace with less than an hour on the clock. The Brazil U23 international made no mistake with his finish from inside the box, but only after being found by a gem of a pass from the irrepressible Havertz. Leverkusen's reward is a place - temporarily at least - in the top four.
- Leverkusen have taken 22 points from the last 24 on offer, and are enjoying their best Bundesliga season in eight years after 25 rounds of fixtures.
- Only league leaders Bayern Munich (W6, D1) have fared better than Leverkusen (W6, D1, L1) in 2020.
- Havertz replaces Klaus Fischer as the youngest player to reach 30 Bundesliga goals.
- Paulinho scored one goal in his previous 21 substitute appearances in the Bundesliga, but netted twice and assisted one on his first start.
- Bellarabi has scored three goals in his last five competitive appearances. It's the first time he's scored in back-to-back games since December 2018.
- Frankfurt were 2-0 down after 14 minutes. They trailed 2-0 after 13 minutes in last season's 6-1 loss at the BayArena.
Watch: Paulinho: "Very important day for me"
Leverkusen: Hradecky - Weiser, S. Bender (Tah 35'), Tapsoba, Wendell - Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz (Palacios 68') - Bellarabi, Havertz (c) (Bailey 62'), Diaby - Paulinho
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Demirbay, Amiri, Alario, Sinkgraven
Out: Amiri (shoulder), L. Bender (thigh), Volland (foot)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Frankfurt: Trapp - N'Dicka, Hasebe (c), Hinteregger, Toure - Ilsanker, Kohr (Sow 57') - Rode, Kamada (Gacinovic 57'), Kostic - Silva (Paciencia 74')
Unused subs: Rönnow, Abraham, Chandler, da Costa, Durm, Cetin
Out: Dost (groin), Fernandes (hip), Russ (Achilles tendon), Torro (knee)
Coach: Adi Hütter