RB Leipzig the latest side to succumb to high-flying Bayer Leverkusen
There's no stopping Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen, whose latest scalp includes 10-man RB Leipzig, put to the sword on a rainy day at the BayArena following goals in either half by Adam Hlozek and Nadiem Amiri.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 RB Leipzig
Goals: 1-0 Hlozek 40' (assist: Diaby), 2-0 Amiri (pen.) 86'
Red card: Szoboszlai 85'
Leverkusen may have been fresh from sealing a spot in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals but it was title hopefuls Leipzig who started the brighter at the BayArena. Kevin Kampl and Josko Gvardiol menaced early on while Timo Werner – who registered his 100th Bundesliga goal on Matchday 28 – saw on effort from a tight angle saved by Lukas Hradecky. Bayer’s impressive rise up the Bundesliga standings under Alonso has been well documented of late. As they slowly came into the game, the Spaniard’s side were inches away from hitting the front when Janis Blaswich felt it safe enough to leave Piero Hincapie’s rising effort from distance to fate. When the ball cannoned off the crossbar, the Leipzig custodian was mightily relieved. But not for long. With the Werkself hitting their stride, Robert Andrich played a defence-splitting pass that caught Moussa Diaby on the run and his first time cut-back was met by an angled finish from Hlozek for 1-0.
Marco Rose introduced his side’s 12-goal top scorer, Christopher Nkunku, at the break and the change added an injection of pace to the visitors. The France international soon had an effort deflected narrowly wide after being teed up by Gvardiol. Home hearts were in mouths once again soon afterwards when Nkunku was crowded out on the line after Hradecky saved Werner’s shot. As Die Roten Bullen pressed hard for an equaliser, Bayer’s goalkeeper and captain was again called into action when saving Willi Orban’s close-range header from a corner. With Leipzig now laying siege to Leverkusen's goal, the hosts must have wished Florian Wirtz - missing with an illness - was available to supply an outlet. They did, however, have speedster Jeremie Frimpong in their side. The full-back threatened when drawing a save from Blaswich while, not long afterwards, it was the Dutchman's powerful run that drew a foul from the despairing Dominik Szoboszlai. The penalty award led to the Leipzig man's sending off while Amiri's finish from the spot had the home fans singing in the rain.
- Hlozek scored in back-to-back games for the first time in Leverkusen colours, the striker having netted in Bayer's Europa League quarter-final second-leg win against Union SG during the week.
- All five of the Czech's Bundesliga goals this season have come when he has been a starter.
- Leverkusen have hit the woodwork 15 times this term, more than any other team in the top flight.
- Diaby is Bayer's nine-goal top scorer. The France international also boasts a team-best seven assists.
- Amiri took, and scored, his first-ever Bundesliga penalty. In doing so, he brought his tally up to four goals for the campaign.
- Szoboszlai received his second red card of the Bundesliga campaign, having also been sent off on Matchday 2 against Cologne.
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Watch: Hradecky: “We’re in a wonderful situation”
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Hincapie (Fosu-Mensah 78') - Frimpong, Andrich, Demirbay, Bakker - Diaby (Amiri 68'), Hlozek (Azmoun 68'), Adli (Bellarabi 90'+1)
Unused subs: Pentz, Mbamba, Sinkgraven, Azhil
Out: Hudson-Odoi (unconfirmed), Lunev (back), Palacios (thigh), Schick (groin), Tapsoba (muscular), Wirtz (ill)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
Leipzig: Blaswich - Klostermann (Laimer 72'), Orban (c), Gvardiol - Henrichs, Kampl (Nkunku 46'), Haidara (Forsberg 81'), Halstenberg (Simakan 60') - Szoboszlai, Werner (Silva 81'), Olmo
Unused subs: Nyland, Poulsen, Ba, Diallo
Out: Gulacsi (knee), Raum (suspended), Schlager (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose
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