Leverkusen see off Stuttgart challenge

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Bayer 04 Leverkusen made it two wins on the bounce in the Bundesliga as goals from Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi secured a 2-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday.

  • VfB Stuttgart 0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2
  • Brandt fires Leverkusen ahead on 11 mins
  • Bellarabi doubles Bayer’s lead after the break
  • Leverkusen remain in touch of Champions League places

Match summary

Leverkusen claimed the lead early in the first half thanks to Brandt, who side-footed into the bottom-right corner from the centre of the box.

And the visitors doubled their advantage four minutes into the second stanza as Brandt turned provider, teeing up Bellarabi, who slotted home from the right-hand side of the box following a fast break.

Related: Leverkusen’s season in stats

Full report

The first half was an action-packed affair, with both sides creating several good goal-scoring chances in an open 45 minutes.

The first chance of note arrived on nine minutes, Karim Bellarabi seeing his shot from outside the box saved in the bottom-right corner by Stuttgart keeper Przemyslaw Tyton.

However, Leverkusen weren’t to be denied two minutes later as Julian Brandt fired into the bottom-right corner after latching onto a through ball from Karim Bellarabi following a fast break.

Daniel Schwaab had a good chance to fire the hosts back on even terms in the 22nd minute but fired straight into the grateful arms of Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Leverkusen hit back with three chances in quick succession, Brandt going close in the 29th minute before Stefan Kiessling saw two quick-fire efforts denied by Tyton.

Stuttgart ended the first half on the front foot as they went in search of the equaliser, but couldn’t find a way past Leno as efforts from Timo Werner and Christian Gentner were saved by the German gloveman.

However, any hopes of a comeback were severely dented four minutes after the restart when Bellarabi added his name to the scoresheet with a angled shot into the bottom-left corner from the right-hand side of the box, Brandt providing the assist for the goal.

Brandt very nearly added a third in the 57th minute but saw his powerful effort from the centre of the box crash against the post before being cleared by the Stuttgart defence.

Javier Hernandez, who has been in fine goal-scoring form this season, also went close to adding to Leverkusen’s advantage on 65 minutes, but saw his goal-bound effort saved in the bottom-right corner by Tyton.

Stuttgart briefly threatened through Alexandru Maxim as the second half wore on, but the Romanian saw two efforts in quick succession kept out by Leno.

There was one last noteworthy chance in the match and fell to Brandt on 77 minutes. However, he was unable to add to his tally as Tyton saved his goal-bound shot in the centre of goal.

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