Hertha Berlin recorded their first Bundesliga win of the year, running out 2-0 victors away to high-flying Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 0-1 Lazaro (43'), 0-2 Kalou (57')
Even without Leon Bailey in the starting line-up, Leverkusen flew out of the blocks as Lucas Alario went within a whisker of applying the finishing touch to Karim Bellarabi's teasing cross inside six minutes. Rune Jarstein pushed a bullet header from Bayer defender Panagiotis Retsos over the crossbar, but Hertha withstood the early pressure and took the lead late in the half when Vladimir Darida slipped in Valentino Lazaro, who calmly tucked away his first Bundesliga goal.
Bailey entered the fray shortly after the restart, but the Jamaican flier was powerless to prevent Hertha doubling their advantage. Jonathan Tah misjudged a speculative punt from Peter Pekarik, allowing Salomon Kalou to burst clear and slot beyond the advancing Bernd Leno. Bailey saw a fierce free-kick cleared off the line by Niklas Stark, with Kai Havertz hitting the bar and Jarstein saving at the feet of Kevin Volland in the ensuing melee. Leverkusen probed for a way back, as substitute Joel Pohjanpalo tested Jarstein, but Hertha held on for a morale-boosting win.
- Under Pal Dardai, Hertha have never lost a game in which they have taken a first-half lead. (W25, D3).Kalou scored Hertha's second in the reverse fixture - a game they Old Lady won 2-1.Lazaro opened his Bundesliga account in his 16th game, with his eighth effort on goal.Leverkusen's Havertz made his 50th Bundesliga appearance.Bayer have failed to score in consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time this season.
Leverkusen: Leno (c) - Retsos, Tah, S. Bender, Henrichs (Bailey 56') - Kohr (Pohjanpalo 77'), Baumgartlinger - Bellarabi, Volland, Brandt (Havertz 67') – Alario
Unsed subs: Özcan, Jedvaj, Wendell, Aranguiz
Absentees: L. Bender (adductor), Baumgartlinger (ill)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik (c), Stark, Torunarigha (Skjelbred 53'), Plattenhardt- Maier, Lustenberger - Darida (Mittelstädt 88'), Lazaro, Kalou (Leckie 80') – Selke
Unused subs: Kraft, Esswein, Mittelstadt, Ibisevic, Weiser
Absentees: Rekik (muscular), Duda (muscle fibre tear), Schieber (muscle fibre tear)
Coach: Pal Dardai