Heung-Min Son opened the scoring for the dominant visitors to give Roger Schmidt’s side a one-goal lead at the break, with Stefan Kießling and Hakan Calhanoglu sealing three points for Leverkusen, despite two late Ja-Cheol Koo’s penalties.
Son breaks the deadlock
Bayer started positively, dominating with pace and rhythm against a Mainz side looking to play on the counter. The visitors' first opportunity came in the tenth minute when Wendell set up the approaching Lars Bender, the midfielder forcing Loris Karius into a fine save. Son bettered his team-mate minutes later, though, volleying home Calhanoglu’s cross to give the Werkself the lead. Johannes Geis, meanwhile, could have twice levelled matters at the other end, firing two free-kicks wide.
Leverkusen remained the superior side after the break, too, and Son should have doubled their advantage on a one-on-one with Karius, but it was Kießling who made it two on the hour, finishing smartly for his third goal in his last two league appearances. Calhanoglu appeared to have put the icing on the cake for the guests, curling a stunning free-kick into top corner, although the strike actually proved to be the decisive goal after Koo's late brace from the spot.
Line-ups and statistics