Bayer Leverkusen hit Werder Bremen for six in counter-attacking masterclass
Kai Havertz scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen ended Werder Bremen’s 16-match unbeaten home run under coach Florian Kohfeldt in an eight-goal gala at the Weser Stadium on Sunday.
Werder Bremen 2-6 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Volland (8’), 0-2 Brandt (38’), 0-3 Bellarabi (45’), 1-3 Pizarro (60’), 2-3 Osako (62’), 2-4 Havertz (67’), 2-5 Langkamp (72’ og), 2-6 Havertz (77’)
After Bremen’s Ludwig Augustinsson slammed over with the game’s first opening, Leverkusen went straight up the other end to break the deadlock. Julian Brandt released Karim Bellarabi, who set the tone for things to come with an inch-perfect cross for Kevin Volland to tuck away at the back post. Jiri Pavlenka thwarted Bellarabi at one end, and Lukas Hradecky denied Max Kruse at the other, before Leverkusen doubled up. Bellarabi was involved again, with Pavlenka only half-clearing the former Germany international’s cross, and Brandt driving in the follow-up. Another brilliant counter culminated in Bellarabi dinking in a third on the stroke of half-time.
Bremen had a mountain to climb, but they gave themselves a lifeline on the hour-mark when substitute Claudio Pizarro finished smartly from Davy Klaassen’s pass. Match referee Marco Fritz ruled out a close-range effort from Yuya Osako for offside two minutes later, only to overturn the decision after the VAR deemed the last touch had come off Bayer’s Sven Bender. Leverkusen were on the ropes, but a swift counter-punch and fine finish from Havertz put the visitors back in the driving seat. Sebastian Langkamp put through his own net and Havertz added another, killing off the Bremen resistance with the seventh and eighth goals of an extraordinary game.
- Bremen’s last Bundesliga defeat at the Weser Stadium - a 3-0 loss to Augsburg - came exactly a year ago. It was Alexander Nouri’s final game as coach.Aged 40 years and three weeks, Pizarro is the second-oldest goalscorer in Bundesliga history, after Mirko Votava (40 years, three months).Bremen have scored a Bundesliga-high 58 own goals.Bellarabi has registered four goals and one assist in his last three matches in all competitions.Seven of Havertz’s last eight Bundesliga goals, and all three of Volland’s Bundesliga goals this season have been scored away from home.Brandt scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season.
Bremen: Pavlenka – Veljkovic, Langkamp, Friedl (Pizarro 46’) – Gebre Selassie, Sahin (Rashica 70’), Augustinsson – Klaassen, M. Eggestein – Osako (Möhwald 79’), Kruse (c)
Unused subs: Plogmann, J. Eggestein, Harnik, Kainz
Absentees: Bargfrede (thigh), Bartels (ankle), Johannsson (fitness), Kapino (thigh), Käuper (ankle), Letterer (Pseudarthrosis)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – Dragovic, L. Bender (c) (Kohr 59’) – Brandt, Havertz (Alario 81’), Bellarabi (Bailey 52’) – Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Jedvaj, Paulinho, Kiese Thelin
Absentees: Aranguiz (knee), Baumgartlinger (ankle), Pohjanpalo (ankle)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Watch: Davy Klaassen: "Win together; lose together"