Bayer 04 Leverkusen regained 4th spot from Schalke, after recording their fifth straight win in all competitions on Sunday night with a 3-0 triumph at out of form SC Paderborn 07. The victory means that Bayer have won their last three Bundesliga matches, putting an end to the growing worries over their stuttering start to 2015.
On the flip side SC Paderborn 07 went into Sunday’s clash having lost their last four at the Benteler Arena, conceding nine goals in the last two. However, Leverkusen’s victory was not so easy to come by as it would appear on the surface.
The basement battlers more than held their own and their leaky defence did not give Bayer an inch in the first half. Paderborn’s best opportunity of the opening 45 was an effort from outside the area by Alban Meha which Bernd Leno tipped behind.
A Leverkusen side that contained Karim Bellarabi, were unable to disturb a Paderborn defence that shipped six goals on Match Day 22 at home to Bayern.
As the second half progressed Leverkusen began to grow into the game, and they finally started to create the chances that their first half so transparently lacked.
After the restart Bellarabi almost squeezed in from a difficult angle, forcing Lukas Kruse into a save.
An unlikely source came to Leverkusen’s rescue on minute 73. Defender Kyriakos Papadopolous, on loan from Schalke, notched his first of the season, heading Gonzalo Castro’s cross into the top left hand corner, after the Greek stayed forward after the initial corner.
A dozen minutes later Leverkusen doubled their advantage. Castro was again the architect as his knockdown was bundled into the net by Heung-Min Son, piling more misery on Paderborn.
The pick of the bunch came in stoppage time, the South Korean international netting once more. Son struck from just outside the area into the bottom right hand corner, leaving Kruse unable to prevent his side once again from falling to a home thrashing.
Although Paderborn were not outclassed, their lack of confidence was frightfully obvious once they had conceded, and Coach André Breitenreiter must stop this trend if they are stay in the top flight come the end of the season.
Roger Schmidt’s Leverkusen side at the moment are the polar opposite of Sunday’s opponent. They haven’t played particularly well of late but are more importantly picking up three points , which will stand them in good stead for the tight top four Bundesliga race that lies ahead.
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