Leverkusen beat Heidenheim but Bayern lead Bundesliga


Bayer Leverkusen's Nigerian forward #22 Victor Boniface (C) kicks the ball to score the 1-0 goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Bayer Leverkusen and FC Heidenheim in Leverkusen, western Germany, on September 24, 2023.

Bayer Leverkusen have defeated promoted Heidenheim 4-1 but that was not enough to retake their Bundesliga lead from champions Bayern Munich.

Bayern had moved up to the top of the table after a 7-0 win against Bochum on Saturday, with their huge victory ensuring they are still ahead of Leverkusen at the top the standings on goal difference.

"We were ready for a tough game. We had enough chances in the first half to score the second goal. When they equalised, it was important that we didn't lose control," Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso said after Sunday's match.

Leverkusen top scorer Victor Boniface broke the deadlock in the ninth minute after receiving a pass from Exequiel Palacios and smashing the ball into the net.

Jeremie Frimpong and Florian Wirtz had good chances denied by goalkeeper Kevin Muller as Leverkusen almost conceded the equaliser before the break, but Tim Kleindienst's weak shot was an easy save for Lukas Hradecky.

The guests eventually equalised in the 58th thanks to Eren Dinkci, but Leverkusen hit back just five minutes later as Jonas Hofmann finished off a superb pass from Palacios.

Boniface sealed his brace from the spot in the 74th and Amine Adli completed the win in the 82nd.

Meanwhile, a day after scoring a hat-trick in Bayern's Bochum hammering, Harry Kane joined the team's traditional visit to the Oktoberfest.

Alongside his teammates, the club's coaching staff and management, Kane dressed suitably in Lederhosen - the traditional leather breeches worn by men during the event.

Oktoberfest expert Thomas Muller said: "Today we can sit at the table with a relaxed grin and just enjoy the moment. We were very happy with our win. And today we will toast to it accordingly."

He said the players would drink a few beers to celebrate, but with moderation "because we're playing again in two days (in the German Cup on Tuesday).

In the other Sunday game, Eintracht Frankfurt and Freiburg played out a goalless draw after both teams had midweek games in European competitions.

Junior Adamu thought he got a late winner for Freiburg in stoppage time, but that goal was ruled out for offside.

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