Bayer 04 Leverkusen attacker Karim Bellarabi scored the 50,000th goal in Bundesliga history to help his side beat FC Augsburg 3-1 in the Matchday 21 opener on Friday night.
FC Augsburg 1-3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
The Germany international broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute of an entertaining encounter that started brightly, with Kai Havertz, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Ja-Cheol Koo all going close earlier on. The visitors deserved their lead on the balance of play and went into the break with a two-goal advantage after Chicharito's composed finish from close range.
Watch: Bellarabi's celebration at scoring the 50,000th Bundesliga goal:
Man of the Match
Augsburg's Dominik Kohr reduced the deficit after the interval with an effort from close range, prompting a fierce period of pressure from the hosts as they sought an equaliser. However, their hopes of a comeback were quashed minutes later when Havertz's superbly disguised pass freed Chicharito, who put the result beyond Augsburg's reach. Leverkusen controlled the game thereafter, ensuring there was no nervy finale as they saw the result over the line.
With two well-taken goals – the second of which came at a crucial time in the match – Chicharito was the decisive figure here. The Mexican looks to have well and truly rediscovered the goalscoring form that eluded him earlier in the season.
- Bellarabi's historic strike was his first in the Bundesliga this season.Chicharito's first goal of the game was Leverkusen's 900th away from home in the Bundesliga.The Mexican has now scored five goals in his last three outings to take his league tally to ten in 2016/17.
Augsburg: Hitz – Verhaegh (c), Janker, Hinteregger, Max – Kohr (Leitner 88'), Baier – Usami, Koo, Teigl (71') - Bobadilla
Coach: Manuel Baum
Leverkusen: Leno – Henrichs, Jedvaj, Dragovic, Wendell – Bellarabi, Bender (c) (Aranguiz 44'), Kampl, Brandt (Volland 60') – Havertz, Chicharito (Baumgartlinger 67')
Coach: Roger Schmidt
Watch: Bellarabi reflects on scoring the #Bundesliga50k: