Germany: Bundesliga
FT
4 - 1
(2 - 0)
Leverkusen
Hertha BSC
S. Azmoun (12), J. Frimpong (21), M. Diaby (60), A. Adli (73)
D. Lukebakio (67)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Goals galore as Leverkusen trounce Hertha

It has been a bit of a mixed bag for Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen in 2023. A share of three wins and three defeats in their last six league games. Matchday 23 tabled a meeting with Hertha Berlin which would take place in the BayArena today.

Hertha meanwhile has a relegation battle of their own to look after. Although form in the German capital has witnessed improvement, ‘Die Alte Dame’ came into this match having lost every away game since the Bundesliga restart. This away form would not change for the visitors, as ‘Die Werkself’ ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.
Leverkusen had Hertha Berlin in a stranglehold from minute one. The combination of Diaby and Frimpong exploiting the defensive frailties of Hertha’s left flank. Marvin Plattenhardt reduced to chasing shadows. The breakthrough would eventually come from a similar attack – Frimpong picked out Azmoun in a central position to make it 1-0.

On 21 minutes, a one goal lead swiftly became two. This time Diaby hared down the right to find Frimpong who finished despite the best attempts of Richter on the line. Frimpong would have to depart soon after through injury. The absence of the Dutch wing-back seemed to take the sting out of the match as the interval arrived.

Sandro Schwarz’s men made a brighter start to the second-half. Dodi Lukebakio kept Lukas Hradecky, the man making his 250th Bundesliga appearance today, on his toes. While Oliver Christensen proved to be a brick wall on several occasions, the young Dane would concede a third just after the hour mark. Florian Wirtz with an incredible defence-splitting pass which Diaby controlled and slotted beneath Christensen for 3-0.

Hertha managed to secure lifeline on 67 minutes – Fosu-Mensah the guilty party who felled Plattenhardt. Dodi Lukebakio sent Hradecky the wrong way from the spot. The Hertha comeback would not be long lived in the end. Substitute Patrik Schick’s beautifully deft flick into the path of Amine Adli who whipped the ball into the net from 18 yards. A resounding 4-1 victory for Alonso and Bayer as their bid to rise up the Bundesliga table continues.

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