bundesliga

Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey fire Bayer Leverkusen to victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf

Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey both scored as Bayer Leverkusen continued their rich vein of form with a 2-0 victory over Rhineland neighbours Fortuna Düsseldorf on Sunday.

Leverkusen 2-0 Düsseldorf

Goals: 1-0 Havertz (18'), 2-0 Bailey (66')

The hosts came into the game on the back of three successive league wins - scoring 11 goals in the process - so it was no surprise that they started strongly here. Karim Bellarabi, Havertz and Kevin Volland were all lively early on and the latter two combined to break the deadlock when Havertz converted a teasing right-wing cross from close range. Düsseldorf struggled to get into the game and rarely threatened Lukas Hradecky's goal, but for all their dominance, Leverkusen never came close to adding to their lead before the break.

The visitors were much improved after the interval and attacked with greater purpose and aggression. Niko Gießelmann had their best chance to pull level, only to drag his shot wide when well positioned. They would come to rue that miss midway through the half when Jaroslav Drobny could only parry Mitchell Weiser's fierce long-range shot into the path of Bailey, who squeezed in the rebound from a tight angle. That effectively killed the game off and Peter Bosz's men were subsequently able to run down the clock comfortably and climb to fifth in the standings.

Kai Havertz poked home his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season for Bayer Leverkusen against Fortuna Düsseldorf. - imago/mika

Match stats

  • Nineteen-year-old Havertz made his 75th Bundesliga appearance. Former Schalke and Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler is the only player to have played in more German top-flight games at that age.
  • Havertz now has nine Bundesliga goals this season, including five in his last six outings.
  • Fortuna boss Funkel drew level with Felix Magath on 801 Bundesliga appearances as a player or coach. Only Jupp Heynckes and Otto Rehhagel have turned out more in the German top flight.
  • Düsseldorf goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny made his first Bundesliga appearance in over two years (since 21 January 2017). In doing so, the 39-year-old became the oldest player ever to play for the club.
  • Bailey scored his third league goal of the season, all of which have come on home turf.
  • With 12 points from five games, 13 goals scored and just three conceded, Leverkusen are statistically the best side in the Bundesliga so far in 2019.

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, Dragovic, Wendell – Havertz, Aranguiz, Brandt (Baumgartlinger 80') – Bellarabi (Alario 15'), Volland (c) (Paulinho 89'), Bailey
Unused subs: Özcan, Kiese Thelin, Jedvaj, Kohr
Out: L. Bender (thigh), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Retsos (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz

Düsseldorf: Drobny - Zimmermann, Hoffmann, Kaminski, Gießelmann - Zimmer (Barkok 27'), Fink (c) (Kownacki 75'), Morales, Karaman, Suttner (Raman 64') - Lukebakio
Unused subs: Theisen, Ducksch, Hennings, Bormuth
Out: Ayhan (suspended), Bodzek (stomach muscle), Contento (knee), Sobottka (ankle), Stöger (suspended), Rensing (flu)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel

Watch: Bailey reflects on his team's winning streak