Leverkusen end winless run with confidence-boosting victory over Union
By Rune Gjerulff @runegjerulff
BayArena (Leverkusen) – Robert Andrich scored against his former club and Moussa Diaby bagged a brace as Bayer Leverkusen put an end to their six-game winless streak with a much-needed 5-0 win over Union Berlin at BayArena.
|Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
Sitting 16th before today's game at BayArena, Bayer Leverkusen were looking to put an end to a six-game winless streak in all competitions, but they were faced with a hard task against high-flying Union Berlin, who knew they would reclaim first place from Bayern with a win.
'Die Werkself' were without Patrik Schick due to an adductor injury, while Charles Aranguiz and Paulinho missed out due to calf problems and illness, respectively. With Frederik Rønnow out injured, Leverkusen loanee Lennart Grill was in goal for Union, who were also without Andras Schäfer.
Bayer Leverkusen controlled the game from the start in terms of possession, but failed to turn their dominance into chances as Union stood back to defend compactly, patiently waiting for a chance to strike on the counter.
However, that chance never came in a first half with very few opportunities for either side. Nadiem Amiri came closest to changing the scoreline as he found space to release a curled shot in the 38th minute, but the ball sailed over the bar.
After 45 goalless minutes, Leverkusen only needed one minute of the second half to break the deadlock as Robert Andrich hooked in a shot from a Kerem Demirbay corner, making it 1-0 against his former club.
Spurred on by the opener, Leverkusen managed to score again 10 minutes later, this time following a blunder from goalkeeper Lennart Grill, who gifted his parent club a goal. The 23-year-old failed to control a backpass and had a pass blocked by Jeremie Frimpong. The ball then fell to Moussa Diaby, who went on to put it into the empty net.
Diaby proceeded to get his second of the game two minutes later, latching on to Mitchel Bakker's pass before slotting in number three for the home side.
But Leverkusen weren't finished yet and added a fourth in the 68th minute through Adam Hlozek, who pulled off an audacious backheel finish to score his fist Bundesliga goal after a bit of trickery from Nadiem Amiri.
With Union looking completely shellshocked, Leverkusen kept pushing forward, and they were rewarded with a fifth goal in the 76th minute as Mitchel Bakker made it 5-0 to round off a perfect second half for Xabi Alonso's troops.
The win sees Leverkusen climb from 16th to 14th in the Bundesliga table. Having failed to take back the top spot from Bayern, Union sit second, two points behind the reigning German champions.
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