Bayer 04 Leverkusen moved up to third in the standings on the back of a slick 3-0 win over second-bottom Eintracht Frankfurt.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Leverkusen started the game with the confidence of a team that had won their last four matches, but found clear-cut chances at a premium for much of the first half. Frankfurt’s Lukas Hradecky made a routine save to keep out Karim Bellarabi from range in the 29th minute, before getting down well to smother a cute flick from in-form forward Julian Brandt. Javier Hernandez managed to shake off the Frankfurt shackles to meet a clipped ball from Hakan Calhanoglu late in the half, only to loop his header comfortably over the crossbar.
Frankfurt showed a marked improvement as an attacking force after the restart and should arguably have taken the lead in the 56th minute when Szabolcs Huszti found unmarked substitute Sonny Kittel, who lashed wide with the goal at his mercy. Stefan Aigner made Bernd Leno work from close range moments later, but Leverkusen wrestled back the initiative and how. Kevin Kampl rifled in from 18 yards with his first touch following the enforced withdrawal of Hernandez, with Brandt on target just six minutes later. Bellarabi punctuated a fine second-half display with his fifth of the season to leave Eintracht four points adrift of the relegation play-off spot.
Man of the match
Leverkusen's wide players all delivered, but it was roaming right-back Tin Jedvaj who really excelled. The Croatia international made fantastic use of the overlap and played some fantastic one-twos with Bellarabi.
Concern was etched across the face of every single Leverkusen fan when Hernandez hobbled off down the tunnel. It goes without saying they will be praying it is nothing serious with only four matches of the season remaining.
- Leverkusen are unbeaten in their last six since losing to SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 24.Leno is now a club record 574 minutes without conceding a goal.There has never been a goalless draw in the history of this fixture (62 matches).
Leverkusen: Leno - Jedvaj, Tah, Kramer - Henrichs - Aranguiz, Yurchenko (Frei 83') - Bellarabi, Calhanoglu (Kießling 59'), Brandt - Chicharito (Kampl 69')
Coach: Roger Schmidt
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Chandler, Abraham, Russ, Oczipka - Hasebe, Stendera (Kittel 46') - Huszti - Aigner (Waldschmidt 78'), Seferovic - Castaignos (Djakpa 61')
Coach: Niko Kovac