Leon Bailey scored one of the goals of the 2017/18 season so far as Bayer Leverkusen climbed back into second place in the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win over Mainz.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Bailey (48'), 2-0 Wendell (68')
The hosts dominated possession in the opening stages without seriously threatening Robin Zentner in the Mainz goal. In-form Bailey fashioned the game’s first clear-cut opportunity in the 16th minute, cutting inside Nigel de Jong and firing a low cross towards Lars Bender, who failed to direct his effort on target. Lucas Alario went close to breaking the deadlock in first-half stoppage time, but the Argentine’s header whistled just wide of Zenter’s right-hand post.
The BayArena faithful had precious little to shout about during the first 45 minutes, but the home fans were lifted off their seats just two minutes into the second half when Bailey picked the ball up on the right flank, cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot past Zentner and into the far corner. Julian Brandt saw a curling effort flash just wide of the target not long afterwards, before Wendell confidently stroked home from the penalty spot following Giuliano Donati’s handball to seal the three points for Leverkusen.
Man of the match
Bailey’s 48th-minute thunderbolt was worthy of winning any game. The Jamaican was Leverkusen’s liveliest player throughout and fully deserved his goal early in the second half, which lifted his 2017/18 tally to eight.
- Leverkusen have now scored in their last 25 Bundesliga matches - a new club record.The hosts won only their second spot-kick of the campaign against the Zerofivers on Sunday.Heiko Herrlich named an unchanged team for only the second time this season.Bailey’s second-minute yellow card was the quickest booking in the Bundesliga this term.Donati made his first Rückrunde start at the BayArena.
Watch: Bailey on his preferred position on the right wing
Leverkusen: Leno - L. Bender (Henrichs 63'), Tah, S. Bender, Wendell - Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger (Kohr 27') - Bailey, Brandt (Havertz 81') - Volland, Alario
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Mehmedi, Havertz, Bellarabi
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Mainz: Zentner - Donati, Diallo, Hack, Brosinski (Holtmann 60') - Gbamin, De Jong (Berggreen 60'), Latza - Serdar - Muto (Ujah 75'), Quaison
Unused subs: Huth, Maxim, Bell, Ujah, de Blasis
Absentees: Adler (tendon), Onisiwo (flu)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Watch: Leverkusen hero Bailey on his development at the club