Buoyed by their 3-0 win over Hannover a week ago, Gladbach began brightly in the BayArena, combining well and leading the ball forwards with intent. Juan Arango was at the heart of the action and his direct free-kick provided the first warning to Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen goal.
Stefan Kießling had Leverkusen’s first shot, but the danger did not end when Raffael cleared the ball off the line and behind for a corner. From the corner, the ball struck Arango’s arm and a penalty was given, allowing Kießling to step up and score his 100th goal for Leverkusen. Sam made it two within five minutes as Leverkusen gained control of the game, thanks to Kießling’s assist.
Gladbach rally, Bayer hit back
Gladbach came out for the second half with the same hunger they had shown at the start of the first, and this time they got their reward. Martin Stranzl went on a rare foray forward, and he found the right position to turn Patrick Herrmann’s cross in. Three minutes later, Arango put the cherry on top of the next clinical counterattack, pouncing as Leno fumbled the ball at his feet.
Having thrown away a two-goal lead in a matter of minutes, Leverkusen responded with Sam grabbing his second of the game. Kießling was the provider yet again, although the Leverkusen forward still had a lot of work to do to burst past two defenders and beat an unsighted Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Gonzalo Castro then completed the win, finding the bottom corner from Sam’s pass to take Leverkusen level with Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Mainz at the top of the table.
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