Bayer Leverkusen return to winning ways under caretaker Sascha Lewandowski as the ‘Werkself’ secured a 2-1 victory over Berlin Sunday to stretch the winless run of the visitors to eight consecutive games, reports Xinhua.
With the result, Leverkusen climbed back to fourth place, a Champions League playoff spot, while Berlin recorded their 13th loss of the season to stay at 10th.
Leverkusen wrapped up a perfect start at home when Giulio Donati crossed into the box to see Stefan Kiessling heading home his 15th goal of the season with just 40 seconds into the encounter.
Leverkusen failed to extend the lead as Gonzalo Castro and Sebastian Boenisch came close. The hosts finally overcame Berlin’s defence for a second time (24th minute) when youngster Julian Brandt volleyed a long ball over custodian Thomas Kraft.
The deficit was a wake-up call for Berlin as Sandro Wagner responded to reduce the arrears by a header following a free-kick cross seven minutes before the break.
After the restart, Berlin lacked in penetration whilst Leverkusen wound down the clock to reap their 16th victory of the campaign.
Elsewhere, Hoffenheim dampened Augsburg’s Europa League hopes as ‘1899’ extended their unbeaten streak to five matches with a triumph in their 200th top-flight appearance.
The hosts sealed the deal with two first-half goals. Augsburg were desperate with the faultless performance of Hoffenheim goalkeeper Jens Grahl.
Hoffenheim’s free kick specialist Sejad Salihovic smoothed the way for the win with his unstoppable dead ball goal (19th). The Bosnian capitalised on a free kick and curled the ball over the wall into the bottom right to make it 1-0.
After the setback, Augsburg tried to respond but Grahl gave the visitors a difficult time as he denied the efforts of Andre Hahn and Halil Altintop. Nevertheless, Hoffenheim staged a clinical chance conversion when Jannik Vestergaard doubled the lead against the run of the game with a rebound from close range just before the break.