Bayer Leverkusen has regained a place in the Champions League in the Bundesliga. The Werkself won 2-1 (0-0) at Borussia Mönchengladbach and moved up to third place.
Robert Andrich (51st) and Patrik Schick (74th) ensured Leverkusen’s first league victory after four previous encounters without a sense of achievement. Shortly before the opening goal, Schick failed with a penalty kick from Yann Sommer (50th). The Gladbach keeper also saved Kerem Demirbay’s penalty kick (87th).
Nico Elvedi shortened for Gladbach (81st). It was the third home defeat in a row for the foals. The five-time German champions have to look down again in the table.
Newcomer Marvin Friedrich was immediately in the starting XI for the hosts. The defender signed by Union Berlin replaced national player Matthias Ginter, who will not extend his contract, which expires in the summer, and was initially on the bench.
Ginter at Gladbach only on the bench
Coach Adi Hütter justified the decision on “Sky” before kick-off by saying that Friedrich would “continue to play” for Gladbach in the future. Ginter could leave the club during the winter break.
In contrast to the victory at Bayern Munich (2-1), Hütter made another change: Laszlo Benes replaced Christoph Kramer, who was ill. For the guests, Karim Bellarabi joined the team for Paulinho, who tested positive for the corona virus.
An intense encounter developed in front of the 750 spectators allowed in Borussia Park, which, however, mostly took place between the penalty areas in the first half. Scoring chances were scarce at first. Before the break, Florian Neuhaus missed the only chance worth mentioning when he was denied by Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky (16′).
With its fast wingers, Leverkusen looked more dangerous in transition situations, but the last pass often didn’t go through. So the guests didn’t manage to put their top scorer Schick in the limelight in the first round.
At the beginning of the second half, however, he had a great opportunity to take the lead. After Friedrich fouled Bellarabi, the Czech failed to take the penalty from Sommer. Borussia’s joy was short-lived, however, as free-standing Andrich scored after Florian Wirtz’s corner.
Hütter reacted to his team’s poor offensive performance after an hour with a double substitution. But Leverkusen initially remained more dangerous. But Schick failed again to Sommer (63rd), before he still scored his 18th goal of the season.