After resisting for the first quarter of an hour, Hoffenheim were finally beaten when Stefan Kießling put the hosts in front.
The striker appeared to be on his way to a second when he was brought down by Eugen Polanski inside the penalty area. The Hoffenheim midfielder was shown the red card, but further punishment was averted by Koen Casteels, who denied Simon Rolfes from the spot. A second Leverkusen goal was not long in arriving, though, with Andre Schürrle firing an unstoppable shot past Casteels from outside the area.
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Hoffenheim have never recovered from a two-goal deficit to win a game in the Bundesliga, and with only ten men, the writing was on the wall for Markus Gisdol’s men at half time. Kießling netted his 21st goal of the season with a header from Daniel Carvajal’s cross, before Schürrle got in on the act again with his second.
There was no resistance at all from a Hoffenheim defence, but the hosts were not yet finished, as Stefan Reinartz made it five, pouncing first on the loose ball after Arkadiusz Milik was denied first by Casteels and then by the post. With two wins and two draws in their last four games, Leverkusen are now within touching distance of a place in the Champions League next season.
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