Grimaldo returns Leverkusen to top with win at Wolfsburg

Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy is just the second player this century in Europe’s top-five leagues to score 14 goals in his opening eight matches, after Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid in 2014-15 (John MACDOUGALL)

A second-half goal from Alex Grimaldo sent Bayer Leverkusen back to the top of the Bundesliga table with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund had snatched the lead from Leverkusen with a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen on Friday but Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten side return to the top and have now won seven of their eight league fixtures.

The visitors hit the lead early, Victor Boniface holding off four defenders while chipping across the face of goal to Jeremie Frimpong, who leapt high to karate-kick the ball goalwards.

Wolfsburg ‘keeper Pavao Pervan caught it and played on as Frimpong celebrated, but goal-line technology confirmed the goal.

Wolfsburg were less elegant in reply, Maxence Lacroix tapping in a loose ball from close range to equalise just before half-time.

Alonso brought creative midfielder Florian Wirtz off the bench in search of a winner with 30 minutes remaining and the 20-year-old obliged, winning possession to help set up Grimaldo’s equaliser.

“After we hit the lead, we got worse and there were too many mistakes” Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka told Sky Germany.

“In the second half we showed a reaction and we won deservedly.”

Surprise package Stuttgart sit one point behind Leverkusen in second after a 3-0 win at struggling Union Berlin, with red-hot striker Serhou Guirassy scoring again.

Guirassy headed Stuttgart in front, his 14th goal of the campaign in just eight games, before being substituted off after half an hour with a leg injury.

Union fought hard but have not scored at home since the opening match of the season, with the Silas and Deniz Undav both scoring for Stuttgart in the final 10 minutes.

Union, who host Serie A winners Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday, have now lost eight matches in a row in all competitions.

RB Leipzig won 3-1 at promoted Darmstadt, a double from Lois Openda and a goal from Emil Forsberg cancelling out Tobias Kempe’s first-half penalty.

Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt overturned an early deficit to win away at Hoffenheim 3-1.

Hoffenheim’s Maximilian Beier scored after just three minutes but goals from Omar Marmoush, Ansgar Knauff and Ellyes Skhiri helped the visitors storm back before half-time.

Freiburg also came from behind on Saturday, a goal from Ritsu Doan and Vincenzo Grifo’s penalty cancelling out Goncalo Paciencia’s opener for a 2-1 home victory over Bochum.

In Saturday’s late game, Bayern Munich travel to Mainz, where they have lost their past three league matches.



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