Bayer Leverkusen maintain perfect start

28

Bayer Leverkusen twice came from behind to beat Hertha Berlin 4-2 at the BayArena and maintain their perfect start to the new Bundesliga season. Tin Jedvaj gave Berlin the lead with an own goal, but he made amends to level for Leverkusen five minutes into the second half. Julian Schieber's third goal of the season restored Berlin's advantage, but the hosts then burst into action with Emir Spahic, Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi all on target to seal a second win in as many games for coach Roger Schmidt. Leverkusen came into the game as Germany's form team, underlined by their midweek 4-0 win over FC Copenhagen in the Champions League. They had developed a reputation of scoring early too, with a goal in the first 10 minutes of each of their previous four games this season, including Bellarabi's strike after only nine seconds last weekend. This time, though, they found themselves trailing Hertha in the 24th minute. Schieber's cross from the right was turned into his own goal by Jedvaj, the on-loan Roma player getting to the ball just before his own goalkeeper. Leverkusen then rediscovered their scoring habit with Jedvaj levelling five minutes into the second half, making amends for his own goal by picking up Gonzalo Castro's ball, rounding Rune Jarstein and scoring. They were only on terms for five minutes before a Nico Schulz cross from the left was reached by Bernd Leno, but he only managed to touch the ball on to a plate for Schieber to convert from close range. Leverkusen's answer was immediate. Hakan Calhanoglu lifted in a free-kick which the unmarked Spahic headed in from close range. Berlin nearly regained the lead again, but Schieber this time was unable to get a shot in before Leverkusen took charge of proceedings and half-time substitute Brandt scored his third Bundesliga goal. Bellarabi twisted and turned to make room for a shot which cannoned back off the right-hand post to the Germany Under-19 forward, who converted from close to the penalty spot. After Jedvaj, he was the second 18-year-old on target for Leverkusen. Bellarabi then sealed the win four minutes from time with a fine volley from Hakan Calhanoglu's cross.