Leon Bailey marked his return to Bayer Leverkusen's starting XI with the opening goal in their 2-1 win over a Hamburg side who are now six points adrift of the relegation play-off with winless streak extended to ten.
Hamburg 1-2 Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Bailey (40'), 0-2 Havertz (50'), 1-2 Hahn (71')
Leverkusen suffered an early setback when Wendell was forced to leave the field due to injury, with Benjamin Henrichs taking his place. It did not alter the balance of Heiko Herrlich's team, who set the tone at the Volksparkstadion and almost led when Charles Aranguiz headed Kai Havertz's cross just wide. They got their reward five minutes before half-time when the returning Leon Bailey showed his predatory instinct by stealing the ball off Douglas Santos and turning it in as he fell to the ground.
Five minutes into the second half, Leverkusen doubled their lead through Havertz. Bailey this time started the attack with a pass for Henrichs, whose low cross was met by the 18-year-old to strike his second of the season. Hamburg threw caution to the wind and substitute Bobby Wood had their biggest chance of the game so far midway through the second half, but Bernd Leno denied him with a fine save. Five minutes later, fellow substitute Andre Hahn reduced the arrears, firing past Leno into the top corner. The hosts peppered the Leverkusen goal in search of an equaliser, but their guests held firm to condemn Bernd Hollerbach's men to a defeat which leaves them six points adrift of the relegation play-off berth.
- Hamburg are the only team in the league not to have won in their last ten matches. They have only picked up two points in the second half of the season.Hamburg have now lost 200 Bundesliga matches at home in their history.The visitors are the only team in the league who are unbeaten in their last nine away matches.Bailey put Leverkusen 1-0 ahead for the third time in 2018.Havertz's last five Bundesliga goals have all come away from home – he has scored only once at the BayArena.Jann-Fiete Arp started his first game of 2018.Tin Jedvaj made his first appearance of the season – he last pulled on a Leverkusen shirt in the 6-2 win over Hertha Berlin on 20 May.
Watch: Bailey "grateful" for the win over Hamburg
Hamburg: Mathenia – Mavraj (46' Hahn), Papadopoulos, van Drongelen - Sakai (c), Douglas – Jung, Walace – Salihovic (79' Hunt) – Kostic, Arp (54' Wood)
Unused Subs: Pollersbeck, Diekmeier, Ambrosius, Janjicic.
Absentees: Müller (knee)
Coach: Bernd Hollerbach
Leverkusen: Leno – Retsos, Jedvaj, S. Bender, Wendell (16' Henrichs) – Kohr, Aranguiz – Brandt (73' Alario), Havertz (88' Baumgartlinger), Bailey - Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Bellarabi, Frey, Pohjanpalo
Absentees: L. Bender (hamstring)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Watch: Leon Bailey the new Arjen Robben?