Kai Havertz scored a brace for the second time in a week to help Bayer Leverkusen beat top-four rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 and climb above them into third.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Havertz (7'), 1-1 Thuram (52'), 1-2 Havertz (pen. 58'), 1-3 S. Bender (81')
Die Werkself immediately carried on where they had left off in Monday’s comfortable 4-1 win over Werder Bremen, dominating from the outset at Borussia-Park. Kerem Demirbay sent out an early warning after dribbling past four defenders to get a shot away, before Havertz went one better a few minutes later. Gladbach lost the ball cheaply in midfield, allowing Demirbay to pounce and play the ball wide to Karim Bellarabi, who spied Havertz’s run behind the defence. The Germany international coolly slotted the opener under Yann Sommer for his ninth goal of the season. The visitors remained in control throughout the first half and had chances to add to their lead through Sven Bender and Bellarabi, while at the other end of the pitch Lukas Hradecky was only seriously called into action just before the interval to keep out Florian Neuhaus’ speculative drive from outside the box.
Gladbach, playing in front of a home ‘crowd’ of cardboard cut-outs donated by fans as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, improved after the interval and soon pulled level when Marcus Thuram peeled away from Aleksandar Dragovic to lash in a low shot from the edge of the area. Their joy was short-lived, though, as Havertz restored Leverkusen’s lead moments later from the penalty spot after Bellarabi had been felled by Nico Elvedi. The home team pushed forward in search of another equaliser and went close through Neuhaus following a brilliant Thuram back-heel, but it was Leverkusen who eventually scored again when Sven Bender sealed the points late on with a diving header, allowing Peter Bosz’s side to climb above Gladbach and into the top four.
- Havertz has now scored four goals in his last four Bundesliga games, and has netted eight of his 10 this season since the turn of the year. This was the first time he ever found the net against Gladbach.
- The Germany international has even been directly involved in at least one goal in each of his last 10 games (nine goals, six assists).
- Havertz has scored all four penalties he has taken in the Bundesliga.
- After going 12 games without a goal, Thuram now has two in his last two.
- Alassane Plea has been Gladbach's most potent attacking force this season with nine goals and eight assists.
- There have been 253 goals scored in the 76 Bundesliga meetings between these Rhine derby rivals - an average of more than three per game.
Watch: Havertz: “I’m even more dangerous in front of goal”
Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Strobl (Benes 76'), Neuhaus - Hofmann, Embolo (Stindl 12'), Thuram (Wendt 78') - Plea
Unused subs: Sippel, Kramer, Herrmann, Raffael, Stindl, Traore, Jantschke
Out: Johnson (muscular), Zakaria (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose
Leverkusen: Hradecky - S. Bender, Dragovic (Baumgartlinger 81'), Tapsoba - Weiser, Aranguiz, Demirbay, Sinkgraven - Bellarabi (Bailey 66'), Havertz (c), Diaby
Unused subs: Özcan, Tah, Paulinho, Amiri, Alario, Wendell, Wirtz
Out: L. Bender (foot), Volland (foot)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Watch: Hradecky: "Hopefully our run will continue"