Bayer Leverkusen are getting better and better in the Bundesliga and are well prepared for the Champions League highlight against Juventus on Wednesday Competitive games undefeated Rhineland won a week after the 2-1 victory at Bayern also the Westschlager against FC Schalke 04 2-1 (1-0), suppressed the record champions, who lost in the afternoon with 1: 2 at Borussia Mönchengladbach, in sixth place, and again in the middle of the fight for the international places.
The Schalke, however, fell back to fourth after having played six matches without defeat. In front of 30,210 spectators in the sold-out BayArena, Lucas Alario (15 and 81) scored both goals for the hosts, Benito Raman (82) scored for the visitors. "He is very, very good in the header", sporting director Rudi Völler praised the double scorer Alario at the TV channel "Sky". "The Bundesliga has become a bit more exciting, we have a lot of good teams in front, including Schalke, even if it was a deserved victory." Julian Baumgartlinger commented: "It was unnecessarily difficult in the end, but the first half was very intense and every victory is extremely important." In the 71st Bundesliga duo of the two NRW teams, Bayer coach Peter Bosz surprised with a staffing on offense, where Alario was preferred to Kevin Volland. Leverkusen's top scorer was thus not in the starting lineup for the first time. National player Kai Havertz made his comeback after almost four weeks of injury. Karim Bellarabi, who gave away the first chance for the hosts in the 3rd minute, played again from the start. Alario puts Bayer ahead earlyAlario's effort paid off quickly. After a corner by Leon Bailey, the Argentinian scored with a header the 1-0 lead for the hosts. Bellarabi had the next chance just three minutes later against Schalke's center-back, newly formed with Ozan Kabak and Omar Mascarell, but goalkeeper Alexander Nübel parried the shot from an acute angle. Nübel was also on the spot when Alario failed before the break completely free-standing. The Schalke were under pressure and could rarely free themselves with counterattack. One of them could not use Raman, who was alone on Bayer Keeper Lukas Hradecky (26.). The former Dusseldorf player was again assisted by Guido Burgstaller, who had joined the team for the ailing Matija Nastasic, but did not have good scenes. Even the last strong Amine Harit came later to good scenes.Ramans hit comes too lateThe hosts had the by no means high-class game while under control and in Havertz again a major hub in their ranks. But the guests remained dangerous with their early pressing and had some dangerous actions with the fast Raman. Substitute Moussa Diaby got another boost in the Leverkusen side. But neither the French nor Bellarabi wanted to score a goal for the hosts. The managed then again Alario, before it made Raman shortly afterwards exciting again.