Bayer Leverkusen left it late to earn a share of the spoils against 1. FSV Mainz 05 in an end-to-end 2-2 draw on Matchday 8.
Second-half goals from Mainz duo Adam Szalai and Marcel Risse looked to have won it for the 05ers, after Stefan Kießling had earlier fired Leverkusen ahead, before Gonzalo Castro struck an emphatic equaliser.
Die Werkself were looking to make the most of their home advantage early on, with Simon Rolfes getting on the end of Kießling’s cross and heading straight at Christian Wetklo. Leverkusen’s no.11 was involved again moments later, but was unable to direct Lars Bender’s teasing cross on target.
Mainz finally found respite in the 16th minute as Andreas Ivanschitz rifled over from the edge of the area, before Leverkusen reasserted their authority on the contest by winning a very presentable free kick, which Andre Schürrle fired straight at the goalkeeper. Sami Hyypia’s side were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, and got their reward shortly before half-time when Kießling headed home Daniel Carvajal’s cross, despite Wetklo’s best efforts.
Mainz had created very little, so it came as quite the surprise when Adam Szalai beat his marker to prod home Zdenek Pospech's right-wing cross and his fourth goal of the season in the 58th minute. Leverkusen were flagging and crumbled 17 minutes later as Szalai sprayed a stunning ball over the top for Risse to slam past Bernd Leno from 18 yards out and complete the reversal.
Leverkusen are always going to create chances, though, and did just that as a defensive scramble allowed Castro just enough time and space to smash beyound Wetklo from the edge of the area to ensure honours even at the BayArena.
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