After a goalless first half, a quickfire double from Leon Bailey (70’) and Lucas Alario (80’) ultimately decided it, with André Silva’s stoppage-time goal being immediately cancelled out by Kerem Demirbay.
Four changes from Augsburg
Coach Adi Hütter freshened things up following the midweek win over Augsburg, with Makoto Hasebe, Erik Durm, Stefan Ilsanker and Aymen Barkok coming back into the starting line-up. Tuta, Timothy Chandler and Luka Jovic took their places on the bench, while Sebastian Rode served a one-match suspension.
Trapp kept busy
There was a frenetic, end-to-end start to proceedings at the BayArena. Kevin Trapp was called into action in only the fourth minute, making a brilliant double save from Patrick Schick and then Bailey. Eintracht responded with their first chance two minutes later when Durm cut the ball back for Silva, but he didn’t strike it cleanly and it bounced just wide. Leverkusen had the slight upper hand, though, and had another good opportunity when Schick found Karim Bellarabi in space at the far post, but Trapp was alert again and blocked well with his feet.
The game settled done somewhat after that frantic start, as the Eagles enjoyed more possession. The next notable effort on goal arrived in the 33rd minute when Daichi Kamda played a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Durm, but his shot from a tight angle was saved at the near post by Lukas Hradecky. The hosts then had another double chance at the end of the first half, with Demirbay’s long-range effort being pushed away by Trapp and then Daley Sinkgraven curling just wide in the aftermath.
Eintracht initially came out with more vigour after the break and Kamada was a hair’s breadth from turning in Silva’s square pass (47’). Leverkusen remained a threat, though, and Bellarabi was presented with a good opportunity from Bailey’s cut-back but scuffed it wide.
After a lull in the action, the deadlock was eventually broken with 70 minutes on the clock, when Bailey got on the end of Moussa Diaby’s deep cross and cushioned the ball past Trapp. Hütter responded with a triple substitution a few minutes later but it was a Bayer substitute who netted the second goal. The lively Bailey was the provider this time for Alario, who chipped the ball over Trapp with a deft finish. There was brief hope of a last-gasp comeback for the Eagles when Silva headed in substitute Steven Zuber’s cross, but Demirbay immediately restored the hosts’ two-goal advantage and it finished 3-1.
Summary: Frustrating defeat
Leverkusen should probably have taken the lead earlier in the game – and would’ve done had it not been for Trapp – but once the deadlock had been broken, the second goal shortly after killed off the contest. The Eagles nevertheless remain in fourth place and have their destiny in their own hands with three matchdays left.
Trapp – Ilsanker (Tuta 83’), Hinteregger, Ndicka – Durm (Chandler 76’), Hasebe (Jovic 76’), Sow, Kostic – Kamada (Zuber 83’), Barkok (Younes 76’) – Silva
1-0 Bailey (70’)
2-0 Alario (80’)
2-1 Silva (90’+1)
3-1 Demirbay (90’+1)