A Leon Bailey-inspired Bayer Leverkusen coasted to a stunning 4-1 away win at Hoffenheim that took the Rhineland club up to second in the table.
Hoffenheim 1-4 Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Bailey (43'), 0-2 Baumgartlinger (51'), 0-3 Alario (70'), 1-3 Szalai (86'), 1-4 Alario (90')
These sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw back on Matchday 2, and in wet conditions at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena, the pace of the game was relentless. After Sven Bender deflected a cross onto his own bar, Leverkusen’s growing pressure told just before the break when the in-form Bailey sensationally back-heeled the opener from Julian Brandt’s cross.
Hoffenheim’s Lukas Rupp struck the woodwork in the opening seconds of the second period, but they were undone on 51 minutes when Julian Baumgartlinger swept home Brandt’s pass. Brandt spurned a chance to make it 3-0 when clean through on goal, but Lucas Alario effectively sealed the points with a clinical finish after yet another powerful Bailey run. Bayer were in total control and passed up further opportunities to add to the lead, until Alario tapped in his second late on after Adam Szalai's consolation effort.
Man of the match
This was a brilliant away display by Leverkusen and every outfield player excelled, but there was simply no stopping Bailey. The Jamaica international tormented the home side time after time with his dribbling, powerful running and clever use of the ball. A goal and an assist was the very least he deserved.
- Five of Bailey's seven league goals have come away from home, which is the joint-most in the league. Baumgartlinger scored his first Leverkusen goal on his 32nd appearance for the club. It was also his third Bundesliga goal overall and first since scoring for Mainz at Bremen in March 2016.After 132 games and 33 goals in Hoffenheim colours, Volland joined Leverkusen in summer 2016.Hoffenheim's first-ever Bundesliga defeat came at the hands of Leverkusen in August 2008.Leverkusen have now equalled a club record by scoring in 24 Bundesliga games in a row.Bayer are unbeaten in their last seven on the road, their longest such run for seven years.
Watch: Bailey: "One of my most special goals"
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Bicakcic (Uth 58'), Vogt (c), Hübner, - Kaderabek, Geiger, Grillitsch (Amiri 62'), Rupp (Kramaric 56'), Zuber - Gnabry, Szalai
Unused substitutes: Stolz, Polanski, Zulj, Posch
Absentees: Demirbay (thigh)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Leverkusen: Leno - Tah, S. Bender, Wendell (Henrichs 85') - Brandt (Mehmedi 78'), Aranguiz, L. Bender (c) (Retsos 68'), Baumgartlinger, Bailey - Alario, Volland
Unused substitutes: Özcan, Kohr, Havertz, Bellarabi
Absentees: Yurchenko (foot)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich