Bayer Leverkusen on top at Christmas after Victor Boniface and Co. put Eintracht Frankfurt to the sword


Victor Boniface scored and provided an assist as Bayer Leverkusen guaranteed top spot at Christmas with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 1-0 Boniface 14' (assist: Wirtz), 2-0 Frimpong 51', 3-0 Wirtz 57' (assist: Boniface)

Leverkusen had lost a little bit of steam in recent weeks with back-to-back 1-1 draws, admittedly against 2022/23 runners-up Borussia Dortmund and this season's high-flyers Stuttgart, and the visit of Bayern Munich conquerors Frankfurt to the BayArena provided them with another stern test. The first half was akin to a tactical chess match, as the visitors' looked to sting Die Werkself, who played their usual possession-based game, on the counterattack. There were only two shots on target before the interval - one for either team - but, while Willian Pacho's early effort was easily saved by Lukáš Hrádecký, Boniface's low attempt after driving from the middle of the park found the bottom corner, although Kevin Trapp will be disappointed not to have kept it out. Xabi Alonso's men looked dangerous down the the flanks but were unable to find the required end product to breach Frankfurt's sturdy backline, while Alejandro Grimaldo kissed the bar with a trademark free-kick shortly before half-time.

In the opening stages of the second period, Leverkusen were able to turn their territorial dominance into more tangible opportunities and, after Florian Wirtz had pulled a close-ranged shot narrowly wide, the home team were two to the good. Boniface was again involved, testing Trapp with a low curler that the Germany goalkeeper could only push into the path of Jeremie Frimpong, who tapped into the now empty net. It was three before the hour mark, too, as Wirtz got himself off the scoresheet with a delicate lob over Trapp following Boniface's through ball. That strike effectively ended the game as a contest and, while Farès Chaïbi's effort forced a super stop from Hrádecký, only the woodwork stopped Wirtz and substitute Piero Hincapié from extending the margin of victory before the final whistle. The win means that, regardless of the result against Bochum in midweek, Leverkusen will be at the table's summit going into the winter break. Frankfurt, meanwhile, sit eighth and will end 2023 with a home fixture against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Watch: Boniface - "We're proud of ourselves"

Match stats

  • Boniface's strike was the fourth time this campaign he has scored the game's opening goal - no other player in the division has done so frequently.
  • Leverkusen have now equalled the German record for the most matches consecutive matches unbeaten at the start of the season in all competitions (24), matching Hamburg's 1982/83 tally.
  • Wirtz has now directly contributed to 11 Bundesliga goals this term (five goals, six assists) - only Boniface (nine goals, seven assists) has managed more.
  • This fixture has never seen a goalless draw in 77 renditions, which is the most of any match-up in Bundesliga history without a 0-0 draw.
  • Frankfurt have now lost six of their last seven games in all competitions - the odd result out during that run is the 5-1 victory over Bayern.
  • The Eagles last avoided defeat in Leverkusen on 20 December 2013 (1-1).

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Leverkusen: Hrádecký (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba - Frimpong (Tella 82'), Palacios (Hincapié 82'), Xhaka, Grimaldo - Hofmann (Hložek 83'), Wirtz (Amiri 87') - Boniface (Schick 72')
Unused subs: Kovář, Stanišić, Andrich, Adli
Out: Arthur (thigh)
Coach: Xabi Alonso  

Frankfurt: Trapp (c) - Buta, Tuta, Koch (Smolčić 64'), Pacho - Dina Ebimbe (Hauge 72'), Larsson (Baum 73') - Knauff, Chaïbi (Ngankam 82'), Nkounkou - Götze (Shkiri 64')
Unused subs: Grahl, Hasebe, Max, Ferri
Out: Chandler (calf), Jakić (calf), Mamroush (suspended), Rode (calf)
Coach: Dino Toppmöller