Summary

  • Papadopoulos strikes against his parent club.
  • Hamburg move out of automatic relegation places.
  • Leverkusen needed almost an hour for first shot.

Hamburger SV secured a crucial three points in their fight to avoid relegation thanks to on-loan defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos' header against his parent club Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Hamburger SV 1-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Goals: 1-0 Papadopoulos (76')

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Both sides began this match with a number of changes and the knowledge that defeat was not an option. There was no real flow to the first half of the game as Hamburg were only able to threaten from two free-kicks, which forced Bernd Leno into two routine saves from Mergim Mavraj. The only chance from open play fell to USMNT striker Bobby Wood, but he was promptly closed down by Kevin Kampl when free inside the Leverkusen box. At the other end, Die Werkself failed to register a single first-half effort on Rene Adler’s goal despite their superior possession.

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Leverkusen brought on Stefan Kießling for Julian Baumgartlinger for the start of the second half, but it was Hamburg who raced out of the blocks with Wood firing past Leno but also just wide after only a few moments. Not much goal-threatening action followed, although Kießling did manage the visitors' first attempt on goal just before the hour mark. The game looked to be heading towards a goalless draw until Papadopoulos put a powerful header past Leno with 15 minutes to go to leave his parent club in all sorts of trouble. Kießling again came closest for Leverkusen when his header hit the crossbar, but the visitors never did enough on the night.

Nicolai Müller provided the assist for Papadopoulos' winning header and was a constant menace with his penetrating runs. © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin

Man of the match

Hamburg's joint-top scorer with four goals, Nicolai Müller was a constant threat for the home side throughout the game and provided the assist for Papadopoulos' winning header. The 29-year-old completed the most sprints on the pitch (39) and it was his pace and willingness to run forward that so often troubled the Leverkusen defence.

Talking point

Papadopoulos arrived at Hamburg from RB Leipzig during the winter window, but he is still a Bayer Leverkusen player. The Greece international celebrated his goal passionately with his new coach Markus Gisdol, as he condemned the club still paying his wages to a disappointing 1-0 defeat.

Match stats

  • Hamburg started with their 13th different back four of the season.
  • Leverkusen managed no shots in the first half for the second time this season (MD13 vs. SC Freiburg).
  • Papadopoulos scored his first Bundesliga goal since April 2015 (for Leverkusen).

Line-ups

Hamburg: Adler (c) - Diekmeier, Papadopoulos, Mavraj, Jung - Ekdal, Ostrzolek - Müller (Waldschmidt 86'), Holtby (Djourou 87'), Kostic – Wood (Hunt 90')

Coach: Markus Gisdol

Leverkusen: Leno - Henrichs, Tah, Toprak (c), Wendell - Kampl, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger (Kießling 45'), Bellarabi (Brandt 64') - Volland, Mehmedi (Bailey 82')

Coach: Roger Schmidt

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Watch: USMNT star Bobby Wood on a deserved win for Hamburg: