Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen stay top of the table and extend their winning run to six games as a Alejandro Grimaldo double led them to a 3-2 victory over Hoffenheim.
Looking to stretch their lead at the top of the table, Leverkusen took less than 10 minutes to take the lead at the PreZero Arena. It was yet another team goal of the highest quality that broke the deadlock, with Victor Boniface ultimately squaring the ball for Florian Wirtz to tap home from close range. Hoffenheim were left stunned by the visitors' fast start and Boniface forced Oliver Baumann into a smart save moments later. At the other end, Marius Bülter's menacing, swerving effort from a good 30-yards out brought the first save from Lukáš Hrádecký but the Leverkusen 'skipper was otherwise largely inactive in a first half bossed by Die Werkself. Their excellent work was provided the additional gloss of a second goal in stoppage time, Grimaldo sweeping home Jonas Hofmann's short corner in stunning fashion.
Pellegrino Matarazzo's side started the second half brightly and Wout Weghorst came close to tapping home to half the deficit but the ball was just out of the big Dutch striker's reach. The two-goal cushion allowed Alonso's team to sit off and look to pounce on the break, something they looked comfortable doing until Hrádecký's missplaced pass found Anton Stach. There was still a great deal to do, but Stach superbly chipped the Leverkusen 'keeper from 44-yards out to pull his side back into the game. Two minutes later, Hoffenheim were level, this time Weghorst reacting first to tap home after Maximilian Beier's effort struck the upright. Suddenly, Leverkusen looked ragged and Weghorst should have put the hosts in front, but could only send his free header over the bar from close range. The visitors would make Weghorst pay, Grimaldo curling home a second excellent goal of the game to deliver the points and keep Leverkusen top.
- Leverkusen have scored at least two goals in all 15 of their competitive fixtures in 2023/24. Their 30 Bundesliga goals is a new club record after 10 matchdays of a season.
- Wirtz scored his third league goal of the season, to go with his four assists in 10 appearances. He has contributed six goals and nine assists in 14 games across all competitions. Boniface, meanwhile, now has five top-flight provisions this term.
- Weghorst has scored in each of his last two Bundesliga matches.
- Summer signing Stach opened his account for the club with just the third Bundesliga goal of his career, and first since 21 October 2022.
- Hoffenheim have now lost four out of five matches at the PreZero Arena in the league so far in 2023/24. Their three point return is the joint-worst on home soil in the division.
- Exequiel Palacios made his 100th Leverkusen appearance.
Watch: Xabi Alonso calms title talk
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Akpoguma (Conté 88'), Kabak, Vogt - Skov (Bebou 78'), Prömel, Stach, Becker (Kramarić 78'), Bülter - Weghorst, Beier (Berisha 87')
Unused subs: Philipp, Samassekou, Brooks, Tohumcu, Szalai
Out: Geiger (groin), Grillitsch (thigh), John (knee), Kadeřábek (knee)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Leverkusen: Hrádecký (c) - Kossounou (Stanišić 46'), Tah, Tapsoba - Frimpong, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo - Hofmann (Andrich 80'), Wirtz (Hložek 90'+1) - Boniface (Adli 88')
Unused subs: Kovář, Hincapie, Amiri, Tella, Puerta Molano
Out: Arthur (thigh), Schick (muscular)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
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