Bundesliga News

Germany: Bundesliga
FT
4 - 0
(1 - 0)
Leverkusen
Union Berlin
Á. Grimaldo (23), K. Odilon (57), J. Tah (73), N. Tella (83)

Leverkusen reclaim top spot, send Union to bottom of Bundesliga table

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Sunday's early match-day 11 kickoff ended up ensuring that the Bundesliga table has both a new leader and new last-placed team.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen reclaimed top spot with a 4-0 win over 1. FC Union Berlin, who know fall down to the bottom on goal-differential. 
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Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Xabi Alonso's Bayer 04 Leverkusen are back atop the Bundesliga table following an effective dismantling of 1. FC Union Berlin at the BayArena on Sunday afternoon. A dominant 4-0 win also has the effect of sending Union to the bottom of the Bundesliga table. Goal differential sends the capital city's Köpenick side beneath the previous holders of last-place 1. FC Köln.


Xabi - as has been the case over the course of the hectic schedule during the past month - rotated heavily from his midweek starting XI. Lukas Hradecky, Jeremie Frimpong, Exeqiel Palacios, and Jonas Hofmann replaced Matej Kovar, Josip Stanisic, Robert Andrich, Nathan Tella, and Amin Adli as part of five changes from the starting lineup that helped die Werkself punch through to the Europa League knockout phases. Union trainer Urs Fischer, meanwhile, sought to keep it consistent. The XI that helped die Eisernen snap a 12-game losing-streak in the Wednesday Champions League fixture remained in place.

The Westphalian hosts enjoyed well over 70 percent possession in the opening 20 minutes, yet were unable to find the gaps against Fischer's deep-seated defense. While Xabi's team weren't anywhere near as sloppy in attack as they were on Thursday, no real chances materialized until Alexandro Grimaldo netted the 1-0 on the first real opportunity of the game. The newly called-up Spanish international scored an absolute dream goal with a powerful driven effort from about 17 meters out on the half left.

Bayer remained the clearly better side for the duration of the half. Germany's red company team easily could have led by many more goals. Unfortunately, some of Victor Boniface's finishing issues from close-range persisted. Matters weren't all that different after the restart. Union failed to threaten in search of an equalizer. Kossounou finally doubled Leverkusen's advantage with a headed finish off a Jonas Hofmann corner in the 56th.

The third goal should have come two minutes later, but FCU keeper Frederick Rønnow and defender Jerome Roussillon made a fantastic double-save on Frimpong in the 58th. Leverkusen pressure continued and Jonathan Tah finally added the decisive 3-0 off a Grimalo corner in the 73rd. With the result effectively decided, substitutes Adli and Tella combined to add an exclamation point in the 84th. Tella finished off a counter he himself initiated.


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Bundesliga - Leverkusen - Mainz 05