Hertha entered the contest aspiring to win their first away league game since September, but those dreams were in tatters within 21 minutes. Leverkusen took the lead through Sardar Azmoun, who met Jeremie Frimpong’s neat cut-back to squeeze the ball over the line. Marco Richter attempted to offer an immediate response, cutting into the Leverkusen box before bending the ball wide of the far post. However, Hertha’s task quickly began a much steeper one when Moussa Diaby broke into the penalty area before laying the ball back for Frimpong to sweep home his sixth goal of the season.
It proved to be Frimpong’s last meaningful involvement, as the full-back was forced off with an injury issue just before the half-hour mark, representing the only negative moment for the hosts in a dominant first-half performance. The visitors looked to gain a foothold within five minutes of the restart, as Dodi Lukebakio’s fizzing effort from the edge of the box forced Lukas Hradecky into a smart stop.
As Hertha desperately searched for a foothold, a dangerous Leverkusen side continued to offer a constant threat. Oliver Christensen pulled off a couple of smart saves to deny Diaby and Exequiel Palacios, before the former crashed an effort off the crossbar. After being thwarted by the goalkeeper and the woodwork, Diaby’s persistence paid off just after the hour mark. The Frenchman latched onto Florian Wirtz’s well-weighted pass, before sliding the ball under Christensen.
With Leverkusen in complete control, the visitors were given a lifeline when Timothy-Fosu Mensah fouled Marvin Plattenhardt in the box, allowing Lukebakio to pull a goal back from the penalty spot. Any hopes of a Hertha comeback were short-lived, though, as substitute Amine Adli made sure of three points with a driven strike from just outside the penalty area.
The hosts move up to ninth place and will now prepare for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash with Ferencváros. Hertha, meanwhile, remain just one point above the Bundesliga bottom three.
Flashscore Man of the Match: Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen)