Bayer Leverkusen has warmed up for the Europa League round of 16 and stopped Hertha BSC’s upward trend for the time being. The Werkself beat the Berliners 4-1 (2-0) on Sunday, celebrated their first win in the sold-out BayArena after three home defeats and climbed to ninth place in the Bundesliga. Hertha as table 14. has been waiting for an away win for half a year.
In front of 30,210 spectators, Sardar Azmoun (12′), Jeremie Frimpong (21′), Moussa Diaby (60′) and substitute Amine Adli (73′) scored for the fast-paced Werkself. Dodi Lukebakio (67′, penalty kick) scored for Berlin . Leverkusen are confident going into the round of 16 first leg of the Europa League on Thursday against Ferencvaros Budapest. The Hertha lost the seventh guest appearance in a row and are still just one point ahead of the relegation zone.
Bayer coach Xabi Alonso was able to draw on almost unlimited staff. “I’m happy to have this problem,” said the Spaniard, also with a view to the luxury problem in the center of the storm. There he relied again on the in-form Azmoun. Top talent Florian Wirtz returned to the starting line-up, as did Jonathan Tah and Piero Hincapie, who were suspended recently.
And it was Hincapie who provided the first goal approach with a sharp cross after just under a minute. In the early stages, Leverkusen tried to control the game, combined again and again via the flanks into the last third of the waiting Hertha team – and struck twice. After a nice interaction of whirlwind Diaby and winger Frimpong, Azmoun pushed the ball over the line, less than ten minutes later Frimpong raised it on a pass from Diaby. Both times the cross came from the right, both times Berlin’s Marco Richter came too late on the goal line.
When it started to rain, Bayer coach Alonso had to change for the first time shortly afterwards. The conspicuous Frimpong grabbed his right thigh, after almost half an hour the Dutchman was replaced by his compatriot Timothy Fosu-Mensah. That didn’t detract from the course of the game. The team of guest coach Sandro Schwarz tried to set needles, but the hosts remained more dangerous.
The second half started without a change, both teams stayed engaged. Berlin’s Lukebakio (50th) tried from a distance, but Leverkusen increased. First Diaby hit the ball on the crossbar, a few seconds later he hit it from five meters. Then Fosu-Mensah brought down Hertha captain Marvin Plattenhardt in the penalty area, Lukebakio gave Hertha hope for a moment – but Adli made the decision.
Bayer Leverkusen – Hertha BSC: The data for the game