Kai Havertz proved the difference once again for Bayer Leverkusen, who overcame SC Freiburg 1-0 on Friday night.
It was a hotly contested affair throughout the game, with the decisive moment reaching the 55th minute of the game, when Leon Bailey trained the young German by becoming the first 21-year-old player in Bundesliga history to reach 35 league goals.
Lack of quality
The first half at Schwarzwald-Stadion was a discreet affair, with both sides effectively canceling each other. Vincenzo Grifo and Havertz had their efforts diverted in the best opportunities of both teams in the first 20 minutes of the match.
Despite the lack of quality in the first period, the hosts should have taken the lead just before the break. Roland Sallai played an excellent cross ball for Lucas Holer, who had a free run in the Leverkusen goal, only with his foot inexplicably wide.
There was much more intention from the visitors after the break, as Julian Baumgartlinger nodded towards Charles Aranguiz, but the Chilean was unable to kick.
The impasse was broken soon after, when two of the Bundesliga's most exciting talents, Havertz and Bailey, came together. The Jamaican made a great run to run for Freiburg's defense before making a wonderful reverse pass to his teammate in the penalty area. With the goalkeeper advancing, Havertz somehow managed to push the ball under him for his 11th goal of the season.
He almost had another word, matching Florian Wirtz, with the latter making a big effort.
Hradecky saves Leverkusen
The visitors had most of the ball possession for the rest of the game, but despite that, Freiburg remained extremely dangerous. Christian Streich's men should have scored late when Christian Gunter hit the ball with Nils Pedersen, unmarked. The ball was just behind the striker, allowing Lukas Hradecky to deflect his low effort on the crossbar, while Leverkusen sealed the three points.
Considering the pattern of the game, something surprising or a mistake was always needed to separate the two sides. That's exactly what happened with Bailey's fantastic pass and pass, matched by Havertz's final. The match will be one of frustration for Freiburg, whose period of indifference continues. They remain in eighth position, while Leverkusen are third ahead of the rest of this weekend's games.
SC Freiburg: Schwolow (6); Kubler (6) (Guter (5), 66 ′), Lienhart (6), Heintz (6), Gunter (7); Sallai (6) (Schmid (6), 66 ′), Koch (7) (Frantz (N / A), 76 ′), Hofler (6), Griffin (6) (Kwon (N / A), 77 ′) ; Holer (6) (Waldschmidt (N / A), 76 & # 39;), Petersen (6).
Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky (7); Tah (8), S Bender (7), Dragovic (6); Amiri (6), Baumgartlinger (7), Aranguiz (6), Sinkgraven (6) (Alario (6), 62 ′); Wirtz (6) (Paulinho (N / A), 85 & # 39;), Havertz (7) (Diaby (), 66 & # 39;), Bailey (7) (Tapsoba (N / A), 85 & # 39 ;).
Goals: Havertz (55 ′)
Judge: Marco Fritz
Yellow cards: Alaria (81 ′), Amari (90 + 2 ′)
Red cards: N / D