Summary

  • Goals from Morales and Cohen earn Die Schanzer third win of 2016/17.
  • Aranguiz sent off for Leverkusen.
  • Ingolstadt climb out of automatic relegation places.

FC Ingolstadt 04 claimed three precious points in their battle to avoid the drop by beating ten-man Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-1 at the BayArena on Sunday evening.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-2 FC Ingolstadt 04

Goals: 0-1 Morales (26'), 1-1 Mehmedi (63'), 1-2 Cohen (74')

Red card: Aranguiz (49')

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Roger Schmidt made five changes to his Leverkusen side following their win at FC Schalke 04 on Matchday 14, but they struggled to settle early on and Ingolstadt dominated. Jonathan Tah’s error allowed Pascal Groß a shot at goal that the 25-year-old should have done better with, before the same player struck a post with a free-kick and then sent another set-piece narrowly over.

It was therefore no surprise that Maik Walpurgis’ men went in front on 26 minutes. Groß was involved again as his corner was rescued by Markus Suttner, whose delicious ball into the box was headed low into the net by USA international Alfredo Morales. The home side regained something of a foothold thereafter and began to dominate territory, but they barely threatened in the first half.

In search of a response, Schmidt sent on Julian Brandt and Wendell at the start of the second half, but his plans looked to have been thrown into disarray within moments of the restart as Charles Aranguiz clashed with Anthony Jung and was shown a second yellow card. Moments later, Bernd Leno produced a brilliant save to thwart Marcel Tisserand from another Groß delivery, while Almog Cohen blazed over as the visitors poured forward in search of a second.

They almost proved costly misses, as Brandt stole possession in the penalty area and squared for Admir Mehmedi to equalise, setting up a barnstorming final half-hour. Cohen then made amends for his glaring miss, however, when he calmly rolled a shot into the corner with 16 minutes remaining. The home side huffed and puffed but could find no way back, and they might have lost by a heavier margin had Leno not made two excellent stops to deny substitute Sonny Kittel.

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Admir Mehmedi's goal proved to be in vain for Leverkusen. © gettyimages / Maja Hitij

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Man of the match

His coach would have admonished him for a horrible miss just before Leverkusen equalised, but Cohen showed great composure in converting the winner, crowning an all-action midfield performance in style.

Talking point

While Ingolstadt celebrate an excellent away win to end 2016, it has been a Hinrunde to forget for Leverkusen. Losing their final home game of the calendar year has meant they have recorded just six wins from 15 in the campaign so far and trail fourth-placed Hertha Berlin by seven points. Improvement is needed if they are to qualify for the UEFA Champions League places come May.

Match stats

  • Suttner’s ball for the opening goal was his first assist provided from a cross.
  • Both of Morales’ Bundesliga goals have come with his head (his first was in a 2-2 draw with Hannover 96 back in April).
  • Ingolstadt led an away game at the interval for the first time this season. 
  • Mehmedi's strike was his 21st goal in his 100th Bundesliga appearance.

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Leno (c) - Jedvaj (Havertz 82'), Tah, Dragovic - da Costa (Wendell 46') - Baumgartlinger (Brandt 46'), Aranguiz - Calhanoglu, Kampl - Mehmedi – Chicharito

Coach: Roger Schmidt

Ingolstadt: Hansen - Matip (c), Roger, Tisserand - Hadergjonaj, Suttner - Morales, Cohen, Groß (Kittel 75'), Jung (Levels 90') - Lezcano (Hinterseer 75')

Coach: Maik Walpurgis