Leverkusen beat Heidenheim to go eight clear in Bundesliga

Granit Xhaka in action for Leverkusen. File photo

Goals from Jeremie Frimpong and Amine Adli earned Leverkusen a 2-1 win at Heidenheim on Saturday, sending Xabi Alonso’s Bundesliga leaders eight points clear of Bayern Munich in second.

Leverkusen’s win extended their unbeaten run to 32 games in all competitions this season, equalling the record set by Hansi Flick’s Bayern across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

Frustrated by the resolute hosts early, Leverkusen eventually broke through right before half-time when Frimpong’s deflected shot found the net.

Midfield maestro Florian Wirtz hit the crossbar late but helped seal the result shortly after, laying on a perfect pass for Adli to round the goalkeeper and score.

Heidenheim’s Tim Kleindienst headed in a goal with three minutes remaining, the first time Leverkusen had conceded in six hours in the league.

“Altogether we did it very smartly, other than the late goal we conceded,” Leverkusen’s Granit Xhaka told Sky.

“The team is ripe. We showed again how dominant we can be.”

Second-placed Bayern, thumped 3-0 by Leverkusen last week, can narrow the gap when they play on Sunday at Bochum.

Leipzig gain on Dortmund

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig’s won 2-0 at home against Borussia Moenchengladbach in a match overshadowed by the death of a spectator who fell ill in the stands.

Leipzig tweeted during the game that medical staff had “tried to resuscitate” the individual but were unsuccessful.

Leipzig midfielder Xavi Simons gave his team the lead with a brilliant goal, bouncing a Dani Olmo pass off his thigh before unleashing a rocket from the edge of the box.

Lois Openda doubled Leipzig’s lead after 57 minutes, chipping over the goalkeeper’s head and into the goal.

Openda, who arrived from Ligue 1 side Lens in the summer, has 16 league goals this season and has scored in each of his past five games.

Leipzig’s win took them one point behind fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund, who drew 1-1 at struggling Wolfsburg, with home midfielder Yannick Gerhardt’s second-half header cancelling out an early Niclas Fuellkrug goal.

Having absorbed some early pressure from the hosts, Dortmund scored after eight minutes, Fuellkrug kneeing in a rebound from a Marco Reus shot on the counter.

Gerhardt equalised after a long interruption due to fan protests against an investor deal for the Bundesliga, heading in from close range after a deflected clearance from the Dortmund defence.

“We didn’t have enough chances on the whole,” said Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel. “We are not satisfied with the point.”

Serhou Guirassy scored his first goal of the calendar year as 10-man Stuttgart won 2-1 at Darmstadt to go five clear of Dortmund in third.

Guirassy headed in from close range 15 minutes in for his 18th league goal of the season.

Both sides scored in second-half injury time as Stuttgart held on despite being reduced to 10 men late in the first half.

Union Berlin secured a crucial victory in their bid to avoid the drop, American midfielder Brenden Aaronson scoring late for a 1-0 win at Hoffenheim.

Both sides played the second half with 10 men after Hoffenheim’s Stanley Nsoki and Union’s Kevin Volland picked up second yellow cards just before half-time.

Union’s win took them eight points clear of the relegation spots in an increasingly crowded lower half of the table.

Mainz won just their second match of the season 1-0 at home over Augsburg, with Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg’s first-half strike enough despite Nadiem Amiri missing a penalty.

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