Bayer Leverkusen displayed their lethal form as they cruised to a resounding 3-0 triumph over struggling Mainz, solidifying their position at the summit of Bundesliga, even if just for a few hours. The victory extended Leverkusen’s unbeaten start to the campaign to an impressive nine matches, comprising of eight wins and a solitary draw.
Mainz, well aware of the enormity of the challenge that awaited them, were up against an in-form Leverkusen side who started the game with great determination to keep pace with perennial title winners Bayern Munich. The Xabi Alonso-led squad wasted no time in asserting their dominance, and their early efforts were rewarded in the 18th minute when Sepp van den Berg, unfortunately, deflected Jeremie Frimpong’s cross into his own net, giving Leverkusen the lead.
Undeterred by the early setback, Mainz gradually grew into the contest as the first half progressed. They tested Leverkusen’s resolve with Brajan Gruda’s powerful strike, but goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky stood his ground, denying the hosts any chance of an equalizer before halftime.
The hosts came out strong in the second half, determined to turn the tide in their favor. However, their inability to convert their chances came back to haunt them in the 60th minute when Alex Grimaldo curled a magnificent free-kick into the top corner, doubling Leverkusen’s advantage. The goal injected a surge of energy into the Leverkusen squad, and just six minutes later, Jonas Hofmann fired a clinical first-time strike into the bottom corner, extending the lead to an unassailable 3-0.
Mainz, with time running out, pressed for a consolation goal in the final 15 minutes. However, Leverkusen’s resolute defense held firm, denying the hosts any opportunity to salvage a late goal. The final whistle blew, and Leverkusen celebrated a well-deserved clean sheet and a comfortable three points.
This victory propelled Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the early-season standings, a position they will relish and strive to maintain in the coming weeks. On the other hand, Mainz will be eager to bounce back in their upcoming clash against Borussia Mönchengladbach after a disappointing start to the season, with just one point from their opening six league matches.