bundesliga

Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario steer Bayer Leverkusen past 10-man Union Berlin

Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from successive defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Lokomotiv Moscow as they eased to a 2-0 victory over Union Berlin at the BayArena thanks to goals from Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Union Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Volland (20'), 2-0 Alario (25')
Red card: Polter (64')

Having lost 4-0 to Dortmund in the Bundesliga and 2-1 to Lokomotiv in the UEFA Champions League, Peter Bosz's side were determined to get back on track and snap a three-game winless run in all competitions. They thought they had taken the lead through Lucas Alario on the quarter-hour mark, but the goal was ruled out for interference by Kevin Volland, who had strayed offside. The German striker atoned for his error shortly afterwards, firing a low drive past Rafal Gikiewicz for 1-0 after a fortunate deflection off Christopher Trimmel. Alario was also on the scoresheet five minutes later following a fine interception from Wendell, picking out the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors failed to muster a single shot on goal in the first half as Leverkusen went in to the break with a two-goal cushion.

Union coach Urs Fischer rang the changes at the start of the second half, making all three of his substitutions by the hour mark – but his attempts to spark his side into life backfired when Sebastian Polter was sent off within three minutes of coming on, for a reckless challenge on Julian Baumgartlinger. That put the result beyond doubt – the only question was whether Leverkusen would add gloss to the scoreline. Mitchell Weiser and Kerem Demirbay both went closing after coming off the bench, while Charles Aranguiz squandered a fine opportunity and Kai Havertz rattled the crossbar. There was no third goal in the end but it was still a straightforward day at the office for Bosz's men as they picked up their third victory of the season.

Lucas Alario (red) scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season with Bayer Leverkusen's second. - imago images/Contrast

Match stats

  • Volland opened the scoring with the game's first attempt on goal. Last season, he gave Leverkusen a 1-0 lead with five of his 14 Bundesliga goals.
  • Alario opened his account for 2019/20. It was the Argentine's first goal since the final game of last season, when he scored a hat-trick against Hertha Berlin to take his tally for the campaign to nine goals.
  • Leverkusen have now won both of their meetings with Union Berlin. Their only previous game came in the DFB Cup in 2017/18, with Die Werkself easing to a 4-1 win.
  • Leverkusen captain Lars Bender made his 300th appearance for the club in all competitions.
  • Leverksen defender Jonathan Tah was on the bench in the Bundesliga for the first time since 20 September 2017.
  • Havertz, just three months past his 20th birthday, is only seven games away from a century of Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen.

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky – Dragovic, S. Bender, Wendell – Baumgartlinger (Demirbay 70'), Aranguiz – L. Bender (c) (Weiser 67'), Havertz, Amiri (Paulinho 83'), Volland – Alario
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Tah, Diaby, Sinkgraven, Bellarabi
Out: Bailey (muscle tear), Pohjanpalo (ankle)
Coach: Peter Bosz

Union: Gikiewicz – Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Lenz (Reichel 49') – Becker (Gogia 46'), Gentner, Andrich, Bülter – Andersson, Ingvartsen (Polter 61')
Unused subs: Nicolas, Mees, Ujah, Kroos, Schmiedebach, Parensen
Out: Prömel (knee), Subotic (suspended)
Coach: Urs Fischer

Watch: Alario: "I wanted to prove to the coach that I can play"