Peter Bosz picked up his first win as Bayer Leverkusen coach, with Kai Havertz, Kevin Volland and Julian Brandt firing Die Werkself to a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg.
Goals: 0-1 Havertz (pen. 45’), 2-0 Volland (62’), 0-3 Brandt (88')
Both sides came out with plenty of attacking intent at the Volkswagen Arena, although Leverkusen will feel they should have been a goal to the good inside the opening 10 minutes. Karim Bellarabi scooped an effort onto Wolfsburg’s crossbar with his weaker left foot before blazing another attempt wide of the far post from almost exactly the same spot on the edge of the area minutes later. The Wolves had their share of possession, though, and Renato Steffen could have given the hosts the lead when he got the break of the ball in the Leverkusen box, only to volley wide. Leverkusen ended the first half stronger, though, and once Leon Bailey had spun a free-kick into Koen Casteels’ hands, Havertz sent the Belgian shot-stopper the wrong way from the penalty spot after William had fouled Kevin Volland.
Wiliam nearly went from zero to hero at the start of the second half when he raced onto Weghorst’s pass and fired the ball past Casteel’s opposite number Lukas Hradecky, but Leverkusen captain Lars Bender was on hand to clear his shot off the line. Bailey, whose last Bundesliga goal came against Wolfsburg on Matchday 2, then found space at the back post before letting fly, but Casteels tipped his effort over the bar. Leverkusen deservedly doubled their advantage when Volland lashed home Charles Aranguiz’s cutback, though. Steffen then looked to have made amends for his first-half miss, lifting the ball over Hradecky for 2-1, but his effort was ruled out for offside. Brandt then secured a 3-0 win at the end, latching onto Bellarabi's cross and tapping home from close range.
- Havertz’s penalty was his seventh goal of the season – the same amount he managed in the two previous seasons combined.
- Havertz is also Leverkusen’s youngest ever penalty scorer at 19 years, seven months and 16 days of age.
- Leverkusen have now scored in 33 consecutive Bundesliga fixtures against Wolfsburg – a league best record.
- This fixture has never ended goalless in the Bundesliga, and there has only ever been one draw in 22 matches in Wolfsburg.
- Die Werkself have left the Volkswagen Arena with all three points on their last three visits.
- Brandt doubled his tally for the season. The Germany midfielder scored nine last term.
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) – William (Klaus 77'), Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Gerhardt, Arnold, Rexhbecaj (Brekalo 63’) – Mehmedi (Mali 28’), Weghorst, Steffen
Unused subs: Pervan, Verhaegh, Uduokhai, Itter
Out: Azzaoui (knee), Camacho (ankle), Ginczek (ankle), Guilavogui (thigh), Jung (fitness), Ntep (muscular), Tisserand (facial wound)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Leverkusen: Hradecky – L. Bender (c), Tah, S. Bender, Wendell (Weiser 78') – Havertz, Aranguiz, Brandt – Bellarabi, Volland, Bailey (Baumgartlinger 76’)
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Paulinho, Alario, Kohr
Out: Pohjanpalo (ankle), Retsos (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Watch: Havertz pleased with Leverkusen's progress