Bayer Leverkusen impressed at home with a 4-0 win over disappointing Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The game got off to an exciting start with Leverkusen taking the lead after just three minutes, through a bizarre Sommer own goal. Newly signed left-back Mitchel Bakker struck the ball fiercely from distance, which Sommer seemingly thought was going wide. Unfortunately, for the Gladbach goalkeeper, the ball bounced off the post and hit his ankle, and before Sommer could react, the ball was trickling over the line.
The evening went from bad to worse for Gladbach when they conceded their second goal in the eighth minute. Diaby, who was buoyant after an impressive performance last weekend, drove towards the opposition box, before passing to Schick. The Czech Republic international unleashed a ferocious shot from the edge of the box, giving Sommer no chance. The strike ended a run of eight Bundesliga matches without a goal for Leverkusen’s number 14.
Gladbach did offer some sort of response minutes later when Jonas Hofmann struck the outside of the post with a low driven shot from just outside the eighteen yard box.
In the 38th minute, Schick nearly extended the lead to three. A mix-up in the Gladbach defence, allowed Schick to latch onto a ball over the top. The striker raced towards the goal before attempting to thread the ball through Sommer’s legs. Luckily for the away side, Sommer managed to divert the ball wide.
Gladbach were provided with an opportunity to pull a goal back before the break when Stefan Lainer was brought down by Bakker in the penalty area. After consultation with VAR, a penalty was awarded. Lars Stindl took responsibility and stepped up to the spot, but Lukáš Hrádecký saved low down to his left and the score remained 2-0 to the home side.
The away side would have been glad to hear the half-time whistle after a disappointing first half that also saw Marcus Thuram and Lainer leave the pitch through injury, whereas Leverkusen would have been pleased with their first-half performance.
Gladbach started the second half in a more promising fashion. The first real chance of the second half fell to the visitors. Florian Neuhaus found himself on the end of a teasing cross, but the 24-year-old could only head over the bar.
‘The Foals’ positive start to the second half was halted in the 55th minute when Diaby’s deflected effort nestled in the Gladbach net. Bakker picked out Diaby with a precise cross. The Frenchman calmly controlled the ball before unleashing a powerful strike, which Gladbach defender Ramy Bensebaini could only deflect past his own keeper. The goal means Diaby has impressively started the campaign with two goals in two games.
The BayArena was bouncing, and with the home fans in full voice, Leverkusen went looking for more goals. A wonderful pass across the box found Schick who looked destined to score his second of the game, but he could only blast the ball against the post.
Hofmann had an effort saved late on, which prevented Gladbach from getting a consolation goal.
Leverkusen's Amiri put the cherry on top of the cake in the 87th minute. Florian Wirtz laid the ball off excellently for Amiri to score, though Sommer will be upset that he could not prevent the ball from squirming over the line.
The win means Leverkusen have won the last four games between the two sides. Leverkusen will be pleased with four points from their opening two games, while Gladbach will want to quickly forget the game.
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