Victor Boniface bagged his fifth and sixth goals of the season as Bayer Leverkusen beat Heidenheim 4-1 at the BayArena to maintain their undefeated start to the campaign.
Leverkusen 4-1 Heidenheim
Goals: 1-0 Boniface 9' (assist: Palacios), 1-1 Dinkçi 58' (assist: Beste), 2-1 Hofmann 63' (assist: Palacios), 3-1 Boniface 74', 4-1 Adli 82' (assist: Grimaldo)
Boniface had the first real chance of the game after some slick interplay on the edge of the Heidenheim box, but his shot deflected wide of the far post. The Nigerian had his fifth goal of the season soon after, though. Exequiel Palacios played into his feet and Boniface still had work to do, but he turned his man before finishing low beyond Kevin Müller. Jeremie Frimpong forced a save from Müller from a tight angle midway through the half before Jonas Hofmann had a pair of chances, pulling one wide and volleying another straight at Müller. Tim Kleindienst had Heidenheim's best chance at the end of the half, but Lukáš Hrádecký saved and it was 1-0 at the break.
Nikola Dovedan had a half chance for the visitors at the start of the second half but his indecision allowed Edmond Tapsoba to recover the danger. Eren Dinkçi thought he should have had a free-kick from Frimpong after a similar opening soon after, but referee Christian Dingert waved play on. Things went the former Werder Bremen man's way minutes later, though, when Jan-Niklas Beste squared to him to steer the equaliser into the bottom corner. Parity lasted all of five minutes, though, with Palacios' pin-point pass finished off by Hofmann. Boniface then completed the scoring with a penalty sent straight down the middle. Second half substitute Amine Adli then added gloss to the scoreline with a fine lob as it ended 4-1.
- Boniface scored his fifth and sixth goal of the season. Alongside his two assists he has had a hand in a goal every 56 minutes he has played.
- Palacios, who assisted both goals today, has never previously registered two provisions across a domestic season.
- Leverkusen remain undefeated this season, winning four and only drawing with champions Bayern Munich 2-2 on Matchday 4.
- Die Werkself dominated possession with 67 per cent of the ball.
- Dinkçi has now scored three this season having been without a Bundesliga goal since December 2020, when he fired Bremen past Mainz.
- Former US youth international Lennard Maloney covered the most distance one again, with 13.4 km.
Watch: Alonso - "We can't take anything for granted."
Leverkusen: Hrádecký (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba - Frimpong (Tella 79'), Palacios (Andrich 71'), Xhaka, Grimaldo (Hincapie 85') - Hofmann, Wirtz (Adli 71') - Boniface (Hložek 84')
Unused subs: Kovář, Stanišić, Amiri, Puerta
Out: Arthur (thigh), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Mbamba (knee), Schick (groin)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
Heidenheim: Müller - Traoré, Mainka (c), Siersleben, Föhrenbach - Maloney, Theuerkauf (Pick 69') - Dinkçi (Sessa 82'), Dovedan (Beck 63'), Beste (Thomalla 82') - Kleindienst (Pieringer 82')
Unused subs: Eicher, Schöppner, Keller, Schimmer
Out: Busch (muscular), Qenaj (knee)
Coach: Frank Schmidt
Watch: Boniface: "I didn't expect to score six goals in five games."
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