Leverkusen gets 1st Bundesliga win after losing opening 3
BERLIN (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen ended its three-game losing start to the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win over Mainz on Sunday.
The unmarked Kai Havertz scored the home side’s winner with a header off Julian Brandt’s cross with a half-hour remaining.
Defense-minded Mainz did little for the first 45 minutes but then almost grabbed the lead when Levin Oztunali drew a good save from Lukas Hradecky, who had to react again to deny Jonathan Burkardt from the rebound.
Mainz thought it had scored after the break but Robin Quaison used his arm and the goal was ruled out after referee Marco Fritz consulted video replays.
The result will ease pressure on coach Heiko Herrlich after Leverkusen also beat Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad 3-2 away in the Europa League on Thursday.
“It was a huge relief,” Herrlich said of the two wins. “Not everything was bad, and the mechanisms are still there when the results don’t go your way. We have big demands and want of course to deliver.”
Eintracht Frankfurt and Leipzig drew 1-1 in Sunday’s late game, a result that satisfied neither side.
Gelson Fernandes fired the home side ahead in the first half, but Emil Forsberg’s penalty for Leipzig punished Frankfurt for a lackluster start to the second.
After four rounds Leipzig has five points, one more than Frankfurt.