Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen beat Werder Bremen to reclaim top spot
Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen side gave their coach the perfect present for his 42nd birthday on Saturday with a 3-0 victory at Werder Bremen to return to the Bundesliga summit, Azernews reports via Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich had gone one point ahead following their victory over Cologne on Friday evening, so Leverkusen went into the game determined to reclaim pole position.
Victor Boniface had the ball in the net as early as the sixth minute after rounding the goalkeeper from Jonas Hofmann's pass, but it was ruled out for offside.
The visitors did take the lead just moments later though, when Hofmann's cross from the left caught Bremen defender Olivier Deman off guard, the ball bouncing off his standing leg and rolling into his own net.
It was largely an evenly contested game after that, with neither side coming close to adding to the scoreline until just before half-time, when Hofmann released Piero Hincapie into the box, and his cut-back from the left was lashed into the net by Jeremie Frimpong.
The second half was a cat-and-mouse affair initially, with Bremen aware they needed to get forward, but wary of Leverkusen's pace and prowess on the counter-attack.
The hosts did manage to produce a sustained period of pressure though, and they thought they had pulled a goal back when Marvin Ducksch stroked in from Romano Schmid's pass, but it was chalked off for offside in the build-up.
Any hopes of a comeback were quashed in the closing stages though, when Alejandro Grimaldo collected Amine Adli's pass before surging into the box and unleashing an unstoppable shot high into the net. Adli also had a goal ruled out for offside, while Bremen substitute Justin Njinmah rattled the crossbar late on, but the result was already beyond all doubt by that point as Leverkusen won their 11th Bundesliga game of the campaign.
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