Reiss Nelson scored his fifth goal of the season as Hoffenheim delivered a superb display to win 4-1 at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Nelson (19’), 1-1 Bellarabi (30’), 1-2 Joelinton (34’), 1-3 Grifo (pen. 49’), 1-4 Joelinton (73')
The home side came into this game on the back of a stunning 5-0 DFB Cup win at Borussia Mönchengladbach and their tails were up from the first minute. Karim Bellarabi laid a chance on a plate for Lars Bender, who headed over, before Hoffenheim’s Kasim Adams put through his own net, only to be rescued by the linesman’s raised flag. As such, the opening goal came against the run of play but what a beauty it was, the 18-year-old Nelson, on loan from Arsenal, collecting a short corner and dispatching an unstoppable curling shot into the top corner.
Leverkusen responded well and Karim Bellarabi netted his seventh goal in six matches with a fizzing drive inside the near post, but the visitors restored their lead when Joelinton nodded in Pavel Kaderabek’s precise cross. Immediately after the break it was 3-1, Vincenzo Grifo scoring from the penalty spot after Joelinton was fouled. Bayer attempted a fightback and the away side were grateful to Oliver Baumann for some smart stops, most notably from Kevin Volland, to preserve their two-goal advantage. Joelinton then had the final say with a cool finish on the break to make the final score an impressive 4-1 and complete a third away league win on the trot.
- Reiss Nelson has scored five goals in just six Bundesliga appearances this season, and has one more goal than compatriot Jadon Sancho at Dortmund.Nelson is the third youngest player to score five goals in the #Bundesliga (18y, 10m, 25d), behind Lukas Podolski (18y, 10m, 14d) and Olaf Thon (18y, 10m, 15d) were younger.Hoffenheim's opener was their earliest scored this season, and just the third of a total of 16 to be scored in the first half.Karim Bellarabi has now scored seven goals in his last six appearances.Vincenzo Grifo scored his first goal for Hoffenheim and his first in the league since playing for Freiburg in April 2017.Joelinton scored his first away goal in the Bundesliga.The Sinsheimers have now recorded three away wins in the league for the first time.Leverkusen had only scored nine goals in eight games before hitting six past Werder Bremen last Sunday. They had also scored 11 in their previous two games including the midweek DFB Cup win at Gladbach.
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Tah, S. Bender (Baumgartlinger 46'), Jedvaj – Weiser, Havertz, L. Bender (c), Wendell – Bellarabi (Bailey 38'), Volland, Brandt (Paulinho 67')
Unused substitutes: Özcan, Dragovic, Alario, Kohr
Absentees: Pohjanpalo (ankle)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Akpoguma , Vogt (c) (Bicakcic 59'), Adams – Kaderabek, Nordtveit, Grillitsch, Schulz – Grifo (Bittencourt 78') – Joelinton, Nelson (Belfodil 64')
Unused substitutes: Stolz, Otto, Zuber, Demirbay
Absentees: Hübner (concussion), Rupp (cruciate ligament), Amiri (foot), Szalai (illness)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Nelson hopes there's more to come