Bayer Leverkusen returned to the top of the Bundesliga after a comfortable 3-0 win away at Werder Bremen on Saturday. 

Goals from fullbacks Jeremie Frimpong and Alejandro Grimaldo secured the victory after an Olivier Derman own goal opened the scoring. 

The result takes Die Werkself back above Bayern Munich, who went top on Friday following their 1-0 win at FC Köln

As for Werder Bremen, they remain in 12th position and four points clear of the drop.

The 3-0 result was harsh on the hosts as they had several opportunities to score. But could not take them. 

But Leverkusen's quality and clinical finishing made all the difference and earned them a deserved win.

Werder Bremen: Need a Bit of Luck

BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Marvin Ducksch of Bremen gti during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 25, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)
BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Marvin Ducksch of Bremen gti during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 25, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

Despite what the scoreline suggests, Werder Bremen had several chances to change the game.

Two goals narrow offsides, a penalty decision denied, and the crossbar prevented Die Werderaner from mounting any fightback before Leverkusen delivered the sucker punch. 

Defensive luck was also lacking for Bremen. They had looked the more likely to score in the opening stages before Derman skewed an attempted clearance into the back of his own net, halting any momentum they had over the league leaders. 

Without that luck on their side, punishment from the visitors was inevitable, and they took their chances. 

On another day, Bremen could have claimed something from their performance. But if you don't take your chances or play within the margins against the top sides, the results do not come. 

Bayer Leverkusen: Fullback Firepower

Bayer Leverkusen's Spanish defender #20 Alejandro Grimaldo (2ndL) celebrates with Bayer Leverkusen's Dutch defender #30 <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/2023/03/11/germany-bundesliga/1140292-werder-bremen-vs-bayer-leverkusen-bundesliga-preview-gameweek-24-2023.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/2023/03/11/germany-bundesliga/1140292-werder-bremen-vs-bayer-leverkusen-bundesliga-preview-gameweek-24-2023.html'>Jeremie Frimpong</a></strong> (front) and Bayer Leverkusen's French forward #21 Amine Adli (2ndR) after he scored his team's third goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Bremen, Germany on November 25, 2023. (Photo by Focke Strangmann / AFP)
Bayer Leverkusen's Spanish defender #20 Alejandro Grimaldo (2ndL) celebrates with Bayer Leverkusen's Dutch defender #30 Jeremie Frimpong (front) and Bayer Leverkusen's French forward #21 Amine Adli (2ndR) after he scored his team's third goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Bremen, Germany on November 25, 2023. (Photo by Focke Strangmann / AFP)

Much has been said about the wise business Grimaldo's summer move to Leverkusen has proved to be, and today only enhanced that opinion.

The left-back scored his ninth goal of the season against Bremen, which, for a defender, is an unbelievable statistic. 

Not to be outdone, Jeremie Frimpong reminded Die Werkself of the attacking talent he possesses.

The Dutchman unleashed a lethal strike into the top corner to put his side 2-0 up before halftime.

The goal brings his tally to six for this season. 

This unlikely and fruitful source of goals is a testament to Xabi Alonso's tactics, utilising the abilities of his wide defenders. 

If the two continue to put the ball in the back of the net, combined with the danger posed by their attacking teammates, a title push will remain possible.  

Werder Bremen: Direct Threat

BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Robert Andrich (L) of Leverkusen is tackled by Rafael Borre (R) of Bremen during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 25, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)
BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Robert Andrich (L) of Leverkusen is tackled by Rafael Borre (R) of Bremen during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 25, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

While they could not find the net today, Werder Bremen's attack has superb quality and is most dangerous when played through vertically. 

The hosts created their best chances when they played the ball over Leverkusen's defence for Marvin Ducksch and Rafael Santos Borré to collect.

This tactic led to Bremen finding the back of the net in the second half before VAR chalked it off for offside. 

Ducksch played the ball into the path of Santos Borré, who finished well but had gone beyond the defence a fraction too early. 

Minutes later, a similar move found Ducksh in the penalty box.

Surrounded by Leverkusen players, the striker looked to have created space for the shot before hitting the deck, but the referee ignored his cries for a penalty. 

With better finishing and quicker decision-making, the goals will flow again for Werder Bremen.

Bayer Leverkusen: Granit Xhaka. Conductor.

BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Granit Xhaka of Leverkusen gives his teammates instructions during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 25, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bayer 04 Leverkusen via Getty Images)
BREMEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Granit Xhaka of Leverkusen gives his teammates instructions during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on November 25, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bayer 04 Leverkusen via Getty Images)

The former Arsenal midfielder has been the hub for Leverkusen's success this season.

His all-round game is essential to the connection between attack and defence, getting the ball out of tight spaces and then breaching the defensive lines. 

This was evident again in Bremen, with the Swiss international dictating the tempo of Leverkusen's quick passing play and quickly recovering the ball for his side. 

The temper that routinely hindered him in North London now seems under control, allowing Xhaka to emphasise his qualities. 

Maintaining his form will be crucial for Leverkusen to stay at the top of the Bundesliga

Looking Ahead

Werder Bremen return to Bundesliga action next Saturday when they travel to high-flying VfB Stuttgart.

While Bayer Leverkusen turn their attention to Thursday's Europa  League fixture against Swedish outfit BK Häcken, where a victory will secure the top spot in Group H. 

They then welcome Borussia Dortmund on Sunday in the Bundesliga

 

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