Kai Havertz, captain Lars Bender and a Lucas Alario penalty saw Bayer Leverkusen beat local rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-0 in an entertaining game.
Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 1-0 Havertz (40'), 2-0 L. Bender (79'), 3-0 Alario (pen. 87')
While Leverkusen controlled the possession, it was Düsseldorf who managed to carve out the early chances, but they only tested Lukas Hradecky in the Bayer goal once all half. Otherwise it was one-way traffic in the other direction. The first opportunity for the hosts fell to Kevin Volland but he slipped after a free-kick into the box was headed down into his path. Markus Suttner then cleared a Karim Bellarabi effort off the line after Havertz picked out the run of Moussa Diaby with a fine chip before the former two combined to break the deadlock shortly before the break. Bellarabi’s right-footed cross from the left curled perfectly onto the head of Havertz to nod home from six yards. Leverkusen had two more chances from a corner but Jonathan Tah’s volley was blocked by Volland before Julian Baumgartlinger’s deflected header was turned aside by Florian Kastenmeier, deputising for the injured Zack Steffen.
The goalmouth action continued at both ends after the break at the BayArena as Volland, who scored two headers last week at Paderborn, nodded a Diaby cross over the bar, Kaan Ayhan fluffed his lines unmarked at a corner and Diaby blasted wide on the break. Perhaps the best chance, though, came from Fortuna’s top scorer Rouwen Hennings as he connected sweetly with a cross from the left but Hradecky’s lightning reactions saw the Finland international stick out a hand at his near post for a terrific stop. The local rivals continued to exchange blows before captain Bender turned home a corner at the far post for his first goal of the season. That was then followed by an Alario penalty in the final minute after Nadiem Amiri had been brought down in the box.
- Havertz has scored 19 goals in the second halves of Bundesliga seasons. That’s more than twice as many as he has in the first (nine).
- The 20-year-old has scored in back-to-back league games for the first time in 2019/20.
- Bender's goal was his first in any competition since October 2018 against Hannover. It ended a run of 27 Bundesliga games (36 in all competitions) without finding the back of the net.
- His goal was also the first by a Leverkusen defender in the league this season.
- Alario's penalty was the first scored by Leverkusen this campaign.
- Leverkusen have won each of the last six Bundesliga matches against their local rivals, scoring at least two goals on each occasion. It’s currently Die Werkself’s longest winning run against a top-flight club.
Watch: Havertz: “Going 1-0 up gave us momentum”
Leverkusen: Hradecky - L. Bender (c), Tah, S. Bender, Sinkgraven - Baumgartlinger, Demirbay – Bellarabi (Bailey 64’), Havertz, Diaby (Alario 76’) – Volland (Amiri 87')
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Dragovic, Wendell, Weiser, Stanilewicz
Out: Aranguiz (torn calf), Palacios (suspended), Paulinho (international duty)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Düsseldorf: Kastenmeier - Zimmermann, Ayhan, Hoffmann, Suttner - Sobottka, Morales, Fink (c) (Stöger 63’) – Skrzybski (Kownacki 65’), Hennings, Thommy (Ampomah 87')
Unused subs: Rensing, Adams, Gießelmann, Contento, Bormuth, Appelkamp
Out: Karaman (pneumonia), Steffen (knee), Zimmer (cold)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Watch: Hradecky: “It was a deserved win”