Leverkusen cruise to big win at Bremen


Bayer Leverkusen ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at relegation threatened Werder Bremen, to move within a point of the Champions League places and condemn their hosts to a seventh consecutive home defeat in the Bundesliga.

The visitors, who made Florian Wirtz their youngest ever league debutant (aged 17 years and 15 days), enjoyed plenty of slick early possession.

Neither side managed a shot until 27th minute though, when Bayer’s Nadiem Amiri saw his effort easily parried by Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.

That suddenly sprung the game into life. A minute later Leverkusen took the lead when Moussa Diaby hit the byline and picked out an unmarked Kai Havertz for a simple far post header.

But Bremen hit back quickly, with right back Theodor Gebre Selassie darting across the near post on a corner to flick in an equalise just two minutes after his side had fallen behind.

It was the hosts’ first league goal at the Weserstadion in around 500 minutes of action, since November 2019.

By the 33rd minute Leverkusen had re-established their lead. Kerem Demirbay took an in-swinging free-kick from wide on the right, which found Havertz – again inexplicably unmarked – to head home his second goal of the night.

Fist bumps and elbows replace handshakes as Leverkusen celebrate another goal (credit: @bayer04_en / Twitter)

Leonardo Bittencourt then missed an excellent chance for Bremen to make it 2-2 five minutes before half time. He blazed high over the bar when one-on-one with Lukas Hradecky, after beating the offside trap.

After a quiet start to the second half, Leverkusen pounced on the break to make it 3-1 with another header; Havertz slipped a pass into Diaby down the left side of the penalty area and the French winger notched another assist from the byline, by chipping to Mitchell Weiser in the six-yard box.

Almost straight from kick off, Maximilian Eggestein could’ve pulled a goal back for Bremen but he placed a side-footed shot wide from 18 yards, after receiving a square pass from Davie Selke.

A fifth goal continued to look more likely at the other end though, with Leverkusen clearly gaining confidence and continuing to increase the tempo and frequency of their attacks.

The best chances fell to Jamaican international Leon Bailey, who hit the side netting, and Havertz – he saw two efforts deflected wide, the first just inches beyond the post.

Demirbay finally made it 4-1 in the 78th minute with a cheeky dink over a seated Pavlenka, after Karim Bellarabi’s no-look pass sprung him into the box and caught Bremen’s defence on their heels yet again.

Pavlenka made a flying one-handed save to prevent an own goal making it 5-1 just before full-time.

The result means that Bremen remain second bottom and five points behind Fortuna Düsseldorf. Leverkusen, meanwhile, stay fifth but are now just a point behind RB Leipzig.


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