After the embarrassing cup out, Bayer Leverkusen got back on track in the Bundesliga. In Mainz, the Rhinelander caught a cream day – and in the meantime showed real magic football.
With an offensive festival, Bayer Leverkusen has stormed into a European Cup spot in the Bundesliga for the time being. The factory team prevailed on Friday evening at the start of the 21st matchday, thanks largely to a strong first half, with 5: 1 (4: 1) at Mainz 05, making amends for the embarrassing knockout round in the DFB Cup on Tuesday at the second division 1. FC Heidenheim.
Brandt calls for the trophy out
Wendell (5th), Kai Havertz (20th), Julian Brandt (30th) and Karim Bellarabi (43rd) scored with their goals for the mood killer at the Mainz Fastnacht home game before the break. The outstanding Brandt (64.) marked the final score with 21,055 spectators with his second goal. “Apart from the DFB Cup, we are on a good course in the Bundesliga. I hope that – as painful as it was – the cup was a slip,” said the man of the game, who was next to his first double pack in the Bundesliga also prepared two goals. He warned at Eurosport: “But to break out into complete euphoria again would be wrong.”
The mood among the Mainzer was however at a low point, even if they were celebrated by their fans. For the overwhelmed hosts, who competed in foolishly colored carnival jerseys, Robin Quaison (9th) had scored 1-1. But that had only raised the mood of the Mainz for a short time. “It didn’t feel too bad, but the Leverkusen team were brutally effective and did a good job,” said defensive player Daniel Brosinski, warning his team of the remaining season: “If we continue to play like this, it will be close.”
Bayer 04 is now fifth
After the third success of the Bundesliga in succession under their new coach Peter Bosz – Bayer last achieved such a series three years ago – the Leverkusen team climbed to fifth place with 33 points. The convincing Mainz players had to accept the second setback five days after the 0: 3 in Augsburg and remained in eleventh place with 27 points.
Bayer coach Bosz reacted to the trophy in Heidenheim and changed his team to five positions in Mainz. The Dutchman trusted the starting line-up, which had beaten Bayern Munich 3-1 last week. And he was successful.
Brandt, Bellarabi and Volland are whirling on the Leverkusen offensive
The first minutes still belonged to the Mainzer. In the second minute, Jean-Philippe Mateta almost used a Bayer faux pas, but failed due to Leverkusen’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. The attack festival then began three minutes later – also benefiting from hair-raising Mainz mistakes: Wendell took advantage of the guests’ first chance to score after a combination of Kevin Volland and Bellarabi. The Swede Quaison (9th) was able to equalize after a corner kick. But Bayer was no longer impressed by it.
National player Brandt in particular, but also Bellarabi and Volland mixed up the FSV defense. Havertz (20th) brought his team back in front, Brandt (30th) raised after a one-two with Volland. Seconds earlier, Bellarabi had only hit the crossbar. Shortly before the change, he met better and left his shot from the right corner of the penalty area FSV goalkeeper Florian Müller. A minute earlier, Müller’s teammate Aaron had bad luck when he only hit the crossbar. But there was nothing more to be seen from the Mainzer.
In the second section, the game calmed down. The strong Leverkusen continued to be in control. In the 50th minute Leon Bailey narrowly missed the 5: 1. Brandt made up for this after just over an hour. Mainz surrendered to its fate. Bayer was allowed to combine freely and rewind the game.