Berlin: Bayer Leverkusen drew level with front-runners Bayern Munich on points after Victor Boniface’s two goals guided them to a 4-1 victory over newly-promoted Heidenheim in the Bundesliga.
From the outset, the Werkself pushed Heidenheim into defense. Newcomer Boniface was a constant threat and opened the scoring in the ninth minute, capitalising on Exequiel Palacios’ through ball to find the net from inside the box, reports Xinhua.
Leverkusen dominated but missed several clear opportunities as Jeremie Frimpong, Odilon Kossounou, and Jonas Hofmann couldn’t extend their lead before halftime.
Heidenheim capitalised on Leverkusen’s missed chances after the break. Eren Dinkci finished a counterattack set up by Jan-Niklas Beste in the 58th minute.
However, Leverkusen responded quickly. Palacios delivered a precise 40-meter pass to Jonas Hofmann, who evaded defender Tim Siersleben to beat Heidenheim’s goalkeeper Kevin Muller with a shot to the bottom left corner.
The hosts continued to apply pressure and widened their lead when Boniface netted his second goal from the penalty spot in the 74th minute.
Despite breaking Heidenheim’s resistance, Leverkusen sought more goals. Boniface hit the post two minutes later, and Amine Adli added another, chipping the ball from a tight angle into the far post corner in the 82nd minute.
With this victory, Leverkusen is now second in the standings, trailing Bayern only on goal difference.
“It was a good performance, we played well. It was important that we scored our second goal quickly. The result is good, the performance was good. We must keep going like this. Heidenheim defended well, it wasn’t easy today,” said Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso.
In other matches, Eintracht Frankfurt secured its fourth consecutive draw in a goalless match against Freiburg, remaining unbeaten in the new season.