Leon Bailey and Moussa Diaby were the top performers as Bayer Leverkusen secured a narrow 4-3 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bayer Leverkusen extended their winning run to three games in all competitions with a memorable 4-3 victory over their Rhineland rivals Borussia Monchengladbach.

It was a classic, high-scoring and fierce derby with both sides looking to get the better of each other using their attacking prowess. As such, they drew 2-2 at half-time thanks to braces from Lars Bender and Lucas Alario respectively.

The game opened up even more after the restart, with Gladbach notably making some attacking changes. They even came close to scoring midway through the second half when Stindl’s effort was saved by Lukas Hradecky, moments before Leon Bailey found the back of the net through a swift counterattack.

It was a turning point of the game with Leverkusen scoring the fourth goal in the 82nd minute, effectively sealing all three points for the home side, although a late wonder strike from Valentino Lazaro did cause a scare or two.

Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at both the sides in this fascinating Rhineland derby in the Bundesliga this weekend.

Bayer Leverkusen

Lukas Hradecky 6.5/10

Lukas Hradecky may have had a rusty first-half, but his save to deny Stindl in the second half was the turning point of the game, as moments later, Leverkusen scored the third through Bailey. Looked solid form there om.

Lars Bender 7.5/10

A key cog in Leverkusen’s counter-attacking game, Lars Bender once again used his aggression and tenacity to recover balls and initiate counter-attacks, though he was replaced late in the game.

Sven Bender 6.5/10

Sven Bender’s aerial and physical prowess was key in dealing with the Gladbach forwards, especially in the second half, though the German was not able to stop Foals from creating clear cut chances.

Edmond Tapsoba 7/10

Edmond Tapsoba made a host of solid tackles throughout the course of the game and emerged as the defensive lynchpin for Leverkusen this evening. Considering the context of the game, it was a fairly decent performance by the defender.

Wendell 6.5/10

Wendell had a decent game at left-back. He looked committed and wasn’t afraid to commit himself in tackles.

Florian Wirtz 8/10

Florian Wirtz was the creator-in-chief for Bayer Leverkusen this evening. His eye for a defence-threading forward pass was simply remarkable, with the youngster playing a key role in the build-up to a few of Leverkusen’s goals this evening. One of the best performers in this fixture.

Julian Baumgartlinger 7.5/10

Julian Baumgartlinger was vital to Leverkusen’s second line of press, especially with Nadiem Amiri and Wirtz being given the license to move forward and attack the opposition. He did his job fairly well and was rewarded with a late goal.

Nadiem Amiri 8/10

While Wirtz provided the defence-threading passes, it was Amiri who was a threat from long-range, with the midfielder notably attempting two shots on goal, one of which was disallowed by VAR while the other was diverted by Nico Elvedi. Nevertheless, Amiri still provided the assist for the Baumgartlinger goal.

Leon Bailey 9/10

Leon Bailey arguably produced the best performance of the campaign, thanks to a tireless display that saw him cover a lot of ground. The winger caused some real problems for Ramy Bensebaini and beat him for pace on multiple occasions. Also scored the all-important third goal by nutmegging the ‘keeper.

Lucas Alario 8.5/10

Lucas Alario led the line remarkably well for Bayer Leverkusen, using his positional sense and goalscoring instincts to good effect, with his two first-half goals playing a key role Die Werkself‘s victory.

Moussa Diaby 9/10

Moussa Diaby was another Leverkusen attacker who impressed this evening with his speed and willingness to attack the opposition. Most impressively, he racked up two assists.

Substitutes

Karim Bellarabi N/A

Came on for Bailey during the final phase of the game. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Aleksandr Dragovic N/A

A late replacement for Lars Bender. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Borussia Monchengladbach

Yann Sommer 2/10

Yann Sommer had a game to forget in between the sticks this evening. His error led to one of Alario’s goal in the first-half while the Swiss international was also culpable for getting megged by Bailey in the second half.

Stefan Lainer 5/10

Stefan Lainer was completely overrun by Moussa Diaby on the right flank, especially in the second half as the game became even more open. Replaced during the final phase of the game.

Matthias Ginter 5/10

A relatively disappointing showing from Matthias Ginter, who failed to match the accuracy of his counterpart Tapsoba in terms of tackles and overall solidity at the back, especially in the second half.

Nico Elvedi 6.5/10

Elvedi did some key defensive work, notably getting rid of Bailey for an excellent second-half chance while he also deflected Amiri’s goalbound effort. Unfortunately, he was overwhelmed by the quality of the opposition attack.

Ramy Bensebaini 4/10

A bad game for Ramy Bensebaini who had difficulties dealing with Bailey on the flank while also making some defensive errors. But at the same time, he also played a huge role in some of Gladbach’s chances going forward, notably providing the cross that led to Stindl’s opportunity in the second half.

Christoph Kramer 6.5/10

Christoph Kramer did well in the middle of the park, neutralising a lot of the passing lanes in midfield. But he had to be taken off during the final phase of the game in order to emphasise on the attacking game.

Florian Neuhaus 6/10

Played a key role in Gladbach’s second line of press but with Kramer already doing a great job, Florian Neuhaus was sacrificed in favour of a more attacking presence of Hannes Wolf at the start of the second half.

Jonas Hofmann 6.5/10

Jonas Hofmann showed his versatility and aggression by winning possession in various parts of the pitch. His leadership was also noticeable but it failed to tip the game into Gladbach’s favour.

Lars Stindl 7.5/10

Lars Stindl had an amazing first-half, using his intelligence to score a brace. Unfortunately, the German was sloppy after the restart and was denied his hat-trick by Hradecky.

Marcus Thuram 7/10

Marcus Thuram, who has been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, was a constant threat for the Leverkusen defenders with his dynamic presence on the flanks. The opposition did well to isolate him, at times, but the attacker still managed to create some great chances.

Breel Embolo 6.5/10

Breel Embolo was a constant outlet for Gladbach going forward. He used his physicality well and kept the defenders at their toes before making way for Valentino Lazaro around the hour mark.

Substitutes

Hannes Wolf 5/10

Missed the best opportunity of the game, effectively costing his side all three points.

Valentino Lazaro 10/10

Scored one of the best goals in the history of the Bundesliga to pull one back for his team late in the game. Gets a perfect rating for his golazo.

Laszlo Benes 6/10

Took care of the set-pieces but nothing extraordinary.

Alassane Plea 5/10

Looked slow and failed to integrate himself into the pace of the game.

Patrick Herrmann N/A

A late replacement for Thuram. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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