Kai Havertz made more Bundesliga history as Bayer Leverkusen got back in the win column with a 1-0 win at scrappy Freiburg on Friday.
Havertz became the first player in history to score 35 Bundesliga goals before the age of 21 with the match’s early second-half opener, assisted by Leon Bailey. He turns 21 on June 11.
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Havertz has 11 goals and five assists in Bundesliga play this season including five goals since the end of the coronavirus pause.
Bayer pulls in third place with 56 points, one ahead of RB Leipzig and one back of Borussia Dortmund. Gladbach lurks three points back.
Freiburg may have waved goodbye to its sixth-place hopes, now four points back of Wolfsburg.
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There were hints of danger for both teams in the opening throes.
Leon Bailey missed an early chance for the visitors, and Vincenzo Grifo saw a turnover at the other end denied by a sliding challenge.
Bailey was dangerous but not clinical as Bayer controlled the first half but, like many, couldn’t find away through Freiburg’s cagey, Burnley-like compactness.
Freiburg broke the other way and had a glorious chance to steal a lead when Roland Sallai sent Lucas Holer on goal, but Lukas Hradecky cut down the angle and Holer missed wide on a chance to score in consecutive matches.
Bailey played his part well in setting up Havertz’s post-halftime opener. The Jamaican dribbled into an out of traffic before cutting a path onto Havertz’s path.
Havertz rolled the ball between the legs of Freiburg star backstop Alexander Schwolow to make it 1-0 in the 55th.
Freiburg had one more big chance to get a point, as Christian Gunter crossed for Nils Petersen but the latter couldn’t get enough on the shot to beat Hradecky.
KAI. HAVERTZ. 🎯
He becomes the first player in @Bundesliga_EN history to score 35 goals before his 21st birthday. pic.twitter.com/IWE7usQ7nl
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 29, 2020