Leon Bailey scored one and set up another for Lucas Alario as Bayer Leverkusen threw their hats into the ring for UEFA Champions League football next season by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 at the BayArena.
Leverkusen were quick out of the traps, but Frankfurt had a Trapp of their own - goalkeeper Kevin - who was holding things together well between the posts. He made two excellent saves from Patrik Schick and Bailey before making a third crucial intervention to deny Karim Bellarabi as the hosts laid siege to his goal. Frankfurt's No.1 once again showed sharp reactions and reflexes to deny Florian Wirtz from close range, frustrating Die Werkself even more during a first half in which they were getting very little wrong. Frankfurt did emerge as the half wore on, but Lukas Hradecky was equal to anything they threw his way.
It was a much different story to the second half with Frankfurt impressing early on. Andre Silva crossed invitingly for Daichi Kamada, whose attempt to guide the ball inside the near post was deflected wide. Bailey flashed an effort over the crossbar, but it was a rare opportunity for Leverkusen in a half being dominated by the guests, who went close again through Filip Kostic. Moussa Diaby was sent on by Leverkusen coach Hannes Wolf, and he soon made an impact with a sweeping cross which was met at the far post by Bailey, who slotted his shot through Trapp's legs to give the hosts the lead. Bailey then turned provider with a neat pass through for substitute Alario to dink in ten minutes from time. Silva and Kerem Demirbay exchanged late goals as Leverkusen held on to maintain a slight chance of a top-four finish, with Frankfurt's own Champions League aspirations suffering a setback.
- Leverkusen have only beaten VfB Stuttgart (37 wins) and Schalke (34) more times than they have Frankfurt (33).
- There has never been a goalless draw between Leverkusen and Frankfurt in the Bundesliga after 72 Bundesliga meetings.
- Die Werkself have won the last six meetings with Eintracht on home soil.
- Bailey scored twice in his last outing at the BayArena and has now scored eight of his nine league goals this season on home soil.
- Unbeaten at home, all of Frankfurt's five league defeats this season have come away from home.
Watch: Bailey: "It's always nice scoring goals"
Leverkusen: Hradecky - Dragovic, Tah (c), Tapsoba, Sinkgraven - Palacios, Demirbay - Bellarabi (Diaby 61'), Wirtz (Amiri 85'), Bailey (Wendell 85') - Schick (Alario 77')
Unused subs: Grill, Jedvaj, Aranguiz, Weiser, Gray
Out: Arias (ankle), Baumgartlinger (knee), L. Bender (knee), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Paulinho (knee)
Coach: Hannes Wolf
Frankfurt: Trapp - Ilsanker (Tuta 83'), Hinteregger, N'Dicka - Durm (Chandler 76'), Sow, Hasebe (c) (Jovic 76'), Kostic - Barkok (Younes 76'), Kamada (Zuber 83') - Silva
Unused subs: Schubert, Hrustic, Willems, Brugger
Out: Ache (hamstring), Rode (suspended), Toure (pelvis)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Watch: Silva: "We continue to believe in ourselves and our dreams"