Bayer Leverkusen pulled further clear of the relegation play-off place and pushed Darmstadt closer to the drop by picking up their first win in six league matches.
Darmstadt 0-2 Leverkusen
Goals:0-1 Brandt (15’), 0-2 Volland (56')
The visitors took the lead on 15 minutes with the first shot of the game as a sweeping counter attack was smartly turned home by Julian Brandt. The 20-year-old had started the move in his own half and was on the end of Kevin Volland’s cut back for his third league goal of the season and first since November. Leverkusen almost undid their good work late in the half though by carelessly giving away three free-kicks in dangerous positions – Mario Vrancic clipped the bar with the last of them.
Man of the match
With Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez missing out through injury again, Leverkusen needed a cutting edge and Volland provided it. He teed up Brandt early on, could have had a penalty and then scored for the second match running to make the points safe.
Where now for Darmstadt? With a fragile Leverkusen side arriving in town, Torsten Frings must have felt this was a chance for his side to build some much-needed momentum. But the visitors left the Lilies stuck on 15 points and 14 points from safety with only seven games left. The first of those is at second-bottom Ingolstadt on Sunday. Hope is fading fast.
- Korkut won a Bundesliga game with Levekrusen at the fourth attempt. Brandt now has seven assists for the season. Darmstadt have lost six of their last seven matches.
Darmstadt: Esser - Fedetskyy, Sulu (c), Gondorf, Holland - Banggaard, Vrancic (Rosenthal 55')- Altintop, Heller, Sam (Guwara 27') - Boyd (Platte 65')
Coach: Torsten Frings
Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Jedvaj, Toprak (c), Wendell - Baumgartlinger, Kampl - Brandt (Mehmedi 89'), Bellarabi (Kießling 75'), Havertz - Volland (Pohjanpalo 90')
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Watch: Volland gives his thoughts on the victory: