Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg played out a thrilling 3-3 draw to close out the action on Matchday 26, but Mario Gomez's seven-minute hat-trick failed to inspire the Wolves to victory.
Bayer Leverkusen 3-3 Wolfsburg
The return of Stefan Kießling added a new dimension to Leverkusen’s approach play, but it was Wolfsburg who put themselves on the front foot early with Riechedly Bazoer and Gomez both forcing Bernd Leno into action. However, while Die Werkself looked unconvincing in possession, the visitors were unable to capitalise on the hosts’ generosity. The Wolves were duly punished before the break when an unmarked Karim Bellarabi produced a first-time volley from Charles Aranguiz’s cross to hand Leverkusen a narrow lead at half-time.
Much like in the first half, Wolfsburg were quick to pose a threat after the break. Gomez headed wide before seeing his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Aranguiz. However, despite the Wolves posing the greater threat, it was Leverkusen who doubled their advantage when Kevin Volland tapped home following Kai Havertz’s cheeky flick on from Roberto Hilbert’s free-kick. The hosts looked to be on course for victory, but Gomez had other ideas as he scored a hat-trick inside seven minutes with two headed efforts and a penalty. However, there was one final twist in the tale when Havertz capped off a thrilling end to the game with a late equaliser which forced both sides to settle for a point.
Man of the match
GOALMANIA turned into GOMEZMANIA on Sunday evening as Wolfsburg's star striker almost single-handedly won his side all three points with a stunning hat-trick - the 12th of his Bundesliga career. He will take home the matchball, but there's no doubt he'd have preferred three points.
The final ten minutes of action at the BayArena is what GOALMANIA is all about! However, with Leverkusen and Wolfsburg attempting to avoid getting sucked into the bottom three, both will walk away analysing the ifs and buts of letting leads slip through their fingers.
- Bellarabi's volley was Leverkusen's first touch of the ball in Wolfsburg's box.Gomez has scored 15 goals in nine games under Andries Jonker.Havertz equaliser saw him become the youngest player to score in the Bundesliga for Leverkusen.
Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Dragovic, Toprak (c), Wendell (Henrichs 46') - Bellarabi, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger, Mehmedi (Havertz 60') - Kießling, Volland
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Blaszczykowski, Knoche, Gustavo (c), Horn - Bazoer (Möbius 73'), Guilavogui - Vieirinha (Seguin 90+3'), Arnold, Malli (Träsch 46') - Gomez
Coach: Andries Jonker
Watch: Hat-trick hero Gomez on the reward for the team's hard work: