Summary

  • Calhanoglu at the double as Bayer win.
  • Toprak also finds the net.
  • Stocker scores for Hertha.

Hakan Calhanoglu scored twice as Bayer 04 Leverkusen began 2017 on a winning note by beating Hertha Berlin 3-1 in an entertaining game at the BayArena on Matchday 17.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-1 Hertha Berlin

Goals: 1-0 Toprak (12'), 2-0 Calhanoglu (pen. 36'), 2-1 Stocker (44'), 3-1 Calhanoglu (89')

With Karim Bellarabi restored to the line-up after injury, Leverkusen burst out of the blocks and took the lead early when Ömer Toprak popped up at the back post to fire past Rune Jarstein following a free-kick. Firmly in control, the hosts doubled the advantage when Calhanoglu sent Jarstein the wrong way from the penalty spot after a Marvin Plattenhardt handball. There was hope for the Berliners before the break, however, when Valentin Stocker took advantage of confusion in the penalty area to poke past Bernd Leno from close range.

Toprak celebrates his opening goal. © gettyimages / Lars Baron

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Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez thrice came close after the restart. The first chance he shot wide, the second he headed straight at Jarstein, while Plattenhardt cleared the Mexican's third attempt in quick succession off the line. Vedad Ibisevic almost punished the hosts for their second-half profligacy in the 73rd minute, but Calhanoglu had the final say and rounded off a comfortable win with a fine volley late on.

Calhanoglu doubles Leverkusen's advantage from the spot. © gettyimages / Lars Baron

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Man of the match

Calhanoglu was his usual elegant self throughout. The Turkey international kept his cool to convert the first-half penalty and then rounded proceedings off acrobatically with his sixth goal of the season.

Talking point

The return of Bellarabi made Leverkusen look a much better side than they did for much of the first half of this season. The winger's pace and power add a touch of unpredictability to Die Werkself's attacking game, and his link-up play with Calhanoglu and Julian Brandt was a joy to behold.

Match stats

  • Toprak's goal means he has now scored in each of the last five Bundesliga seasons.
  • This was Calhanoglu's first Bundesliga brace in a Leverkusen shirt.
  • Leverkusen scored from a penalty at the fifth attempt this season.

Line-ups

Bayer Leverkusen: Leno - Henrichs, Toprak (c), Dragovic (Tah 8'), Wendell – Bellarabi (Havertz, 84'), Baumgartlinger, Kampl, Calhanoglu – Brandt (Mehmedi, 75'), Chicharito

Coach: Roger Schmidt

Hertha Berlin: Jarstein - Pekarik, Stark, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Lustenberger, Skjelbred (Allagui, 87') – Esswein (Haraguchi, 66'), Darida (Schieber, 82'), Stocker – Ibisevic (c)

Coach: Pal Dardai

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Watch: Calhanoglu explains his extraordinary goal celebration: