Defeat in Leverkusen

Florian Niederlechner competes for the ball with Leverkusen's Kossounou.

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Sandro Schwarz made a single change from the line-up from the 2-0 home win against Augsburg, with Dodi Lukébakio starting in the place of Jessic Ngankam, who dropped to the bench. The team continued in a 3-5-2 formation, with Marc Kempf starting in the back-three with Agustín Rogel and Filip Uremović despite being subbed off against FCA. Former Hertha player Robert Andrich started in midfield for the hosts.

Bayer play at tempo – Richter’s curls narrowly wide

Leverkusen tried to make use of their speed right from the get-go at the BayArena. After some well defended set pieces, Jeremie Frimpong broke free on the right-hand side of the Blue-Whites defence before pulling back to Sardar Azmoun who turned the ball home (12’). Marco Richter’s attempt to clear off the line came just too late. Hertha’s number 23, playing his 50th Bundesliga game in Hertha colours, then almost found the perfect response at the other end. His curling effort from the right-hand side sailed just wide of Lukáš Hrádecký’s goal (14’). Oliver Christensen was called into action three minutes later, and had to be alert to turn Azmoun’s shot over the bar. In the 21st minute, B04 once again used their speed on the counter to good effect. This time it was Frimpong who scored following a cut-back from Moussa Diaby. Richter found himself on the line, but was unable to block the shot. Hertha looked for a response, while the hosts remained dangerous on the counter, even after Frimpong had to go off injured. However, Leverkusen failed to have any other shots on the Hertha goal.

Lukébakio pulls one back – Adli puts the game to bed

Both teams started the second half unchanged. The first chance went Hertha’s way, withLukébakio forcing Hrádecký into a first save with a shot from distance (50’). At the other end, Diaby shot from a similar position, and Christensen was equal to his effort (54’). The head coach reacted, bringing on fresh legs in attack with Stevan Jovetić and Jean-Paul Boëtius joining the fray in the place of Florian Niederlechner and Suat Serdar (58’). Leverkusen remained dangerous. Christensen made a good save from Hincapié (59’) and Diaby’s shot from distance cracked the bar (60’). Diaby made it 3-0 with his third attempt of the game, after a well-worked one-two with Florian Wirtz. A penalty brought Hertha back within striking distance, with Lukébakio converting confidently following a foul on Marvin Plattenhardt (67’). Schwarz brought on more firepower in the shape of Ngankam, but it was Bayer that scored next, as Amine Adli found a gap in the Hertha defence and hit the back of the net with a deflected shot (73’). Hertha continued to work hard, but were second to the ball all too often and didn’t pose the hosts any further threat.

Bayer Leverkusen: Hrádecký (C) – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba – Frimpong (29′ Fosu-Mensah), Palacios, Andrich, Hincapié (82′ Sinkgraven)  – Diaby (69′ Adli), Azmoun (69′ Schick), Wirtz (82′ Amiri)

Hertha BSC: Christensen – Rogel, Uremović, Kempf – Richter (84′ Kenny), Ciğerci (73′ Ngankam), Tousart, Serdar (58′ Boëtius), Plattenhardt (C) – Lukébakio (84′ Šunjić), Niederlechner (58′ Jovetić)

Goals: 1-0 Azmoun (12′), 2-0 Frimpong (21′), 3-0 Diaby (61′), 3-1 Lukébakio (67′), 4-1 Adli (73′)

Referee: Patrick Ittrich

Yellow cards: Tah – Ngankam, Kenny

Attendance: 30,210

Defeat in Leverkusen

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