Bailey shines as Leverkusen climb to second

Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Berlin , Germany (AFP) — Winger Leon Bailey produced a superb back-heeled goal in a dazzling display as Bayer Leverkusen went second in the Bundesliga with a 4-1 win at Hoffenheim yesterday.

The 20-year-old Jamaican showed why Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly chasing him, with an audacious first-half shot which beat several defenders.

He then wrong-footed his marker and swung in a cross from the left wing to Lars Bender, who set up Austrian defensive midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger to double the lead in the 51st minute.

Bailey again caused more misery in Hoffenheim's ranks by providing the final pass for Argentina striker Lucas Alario for the first of his two second-half goals, before Adam Szalai grabbed a late consolation for Hoffenheim.

The win allowed Leverkusen to snatch second from RB Leipzig and get back to winning ways after last weekend's home defeat by leaders Bayern Munich, who are 13 points clear, and host strugglers Werder Bremen today.

Just one point separates the six clubs behind Bayern in the league table, with seventh-placed Eintracht Frankfurt one adrift of Leverkusen.

“We are delighted with the three points, which weren't expected — especially not so emphatically and after such an open first half,” said Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich.

RB Leipzig dropped to third after a shock 1-2 defeat at Freiburg, who are unbeaten in seven games and moved seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Borussia Moenchengladbach moved up to fourth after a Matthias Ginter header and tremendous Thorgan Hazard strike, following a superb run, sealed a 2-0 home win over Augsburg.

Borussia Dortmund drop to fifth after Friday's 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin.

Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler dented his hopes of a Germany recall for March's friendlies against Spain and Brazil with two howling errors in the 2-3 defeat at Mainz yesterday.

Frankfurt moved up to seventh after their 3-1 win at ten-man Wolfsburg, who had striker Landry Dimata sent off for two yellow cards.

Bottom-side Cologne earned a 2-0 win at Hamburg to claim their first away win this season and third- straight league victory, a run that comes after previously failing to win a single game.

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