Bayer Leverkusen delivers a lesson in efficiency with 3-0 win over Mainz in Bundesliga


Alejandro Grimaldo of Leverkusen celebrates after scoring his teams second goal during the Bundesliga match between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at MEWA Arena on September 30, 2023 in Mainz, Germany.

Bayer Leverkusen delivered a lesson in efficiency by making the most of its chances in a 3-0 win at Mainz that provisionally lifted Xabi Alonso’s team back to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday.

An own-goal from Sepp van den Berg gave Leverkusen an 18th-minute lead. The Mainz defender was trying to cut out Jeremie Frimpong’s cross but only deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Alejandro Grimaldo made it 2-0 with a free kick in the 59th, six minutes before Jonas Hofmann sealed the win with what was just the visitors’ second effort on target. There had been another attempt off target before that.

Leverkusen is one of three remaining unbeaten teams along with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern was playing at Leipzig later Saturday.

Also Saturday, Jan-Niklas Beste scored with a brilliant free kick just before the hour-mark for promoted Heidenheim to beat Union Berlin 1-0 and stretch the visitors’ losing streak to five games across all competitions.

It was Heidenheim’s second-ever Bundesliga win.

Deniz Undav scored twice for Stuttgart to win in Cologne 2-0, and Jonas Wind did likewise for Wolfsburg to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 at home. Frankfurt’s Mario Götze was sent off with yellow cards either side of the break.

Borussia Mönchengladbach defeated Bochum 3-1 away. The game started late because emergency exits in the visitors’ end were covered by banners and flags before kickoff.

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