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
Red card: Aranguiz (49')
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.