Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Hertha BSC: Die Werkself secure Champions League berth for third year running

Following their 2-1 victory over Hertha BSC, Leverkusen confirm their place in the Champions League for the 2016/17 season.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Hertha BSC: Die Werkself secure Champions League berth for third year running
Image credit: kicker - Getty Images
Bayer Leverkusen
2 1
Hertha BSC
Bayer Leverkusen: (4-2-3-1) LENO; BENDER, KRAMER, RAMALHO, HENRICHS; KAMPL, ARANGUIZ; BELLARABI, CALHANOGLU (KRUSE 90+1'), BRANDT (KIEßLING 75'); HERNANDEZ (TOPRAK 90').
Hertha BSC: (4-1-4-1) JARSTEIN; PEKARIK, LANGKAMP, STARK, PLATTENHARDT; LUSTENBERGER; WEISER, SKJELBRED (BAUMJOHANN 77'), CIGERCI, KALOU (HARAGUCHI 57'); IBISEVIC.
SCORE: 1-0,BRANDT (2'). 2-0, BENDER 16'. 2-1, IBISEVIC 21'.
REFEREE: TOBIAS STIELER. BOOKED: LANGKAMP (45+1'), IBISEVIC (53'), STARK (70'), PLATTENHARDT (78'), LUSTENBERGER (88'), BELLARABI (90+3'), WEISER (90+4').

Bayer Leverkusen were able to guarantee Champions League football will return to the Bay Arena for the third consecutive year, following today’s result.

Julian Brandt gave the Werkself an early lead, after netting just two minutes into the game. Lars Bender put them two goals ahead, with Vedad Ibisevic managing to get one back for Hertha.

Brandt continues to blossom

Leverkusen got of to a start that every team dreams of. The on-form winger, Julian Brandt, scored a wonderful volley just two minutes into the game. Following great link up play from Charles Aranguiz, the Chilean chipped the ball over to Brandt, who struck a lovely volley with his weaker left foot past the helpless Rune Jarstein.

14 minutes later Leverkusen doubled their lead. This time through club captain, Lars Bender. Hakan Calhanoglu whipped in a cross from a dead ball situation forcing a save from Jarstein, however, the 'keeper could only parry the ball to the most unlikely of scorers, Bender. The Werkself were in cruise control, and were looking to send a message out to whoever they may face in next year’s Champions League.

Leverkusen looked to continue the pressure they were so heavily applying on Hertha. However, against the total run of play Hertha managed to grab a goal back, through front-man Ibisevic. The Bosnian managed to get on the end of Peter Pekarik’s cross and head home a brilliant goal.

Julian Brandt makes it six goals in six consecutive matches for the Werkself | Image credit: Kicker/Getty
Julian Brandt makes it six goals in six consecutive matches for the Werkself | Image credit: Kicker/Getty

Stalemate in the second-half

Leverkusen dominated large parts of the second half, however, neither team were able to score with the majority of chances falling to the hosts.

Karim Bellarabi received the ball out wide in the 58th minute and ran at the Hertha defence. After dribbling from near the halfway line, the winger chose to not cut the ball back and go alone. His shot across the goal was not good enough, hitting the post and deflecting out for a goal kick.

Once again another chance fell to Bellarabi. This time he was played through one-on-one with Jarstein, however, once again the Norway stopper stood up the task at hand and pulled off an excellent save at his near post.

In the 89th minute Leverkusen veteran, Stefan Kießling had a huge chance to put the game to bed. Once again Calhanoglu was the provider from a dead-ball, his cross found Kießling in acres of space, however, the veteran was unable to header on target.