BERLIN, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Bayer Leverkusen eased past Mainz 5-1 after Julian Brandt provided a brace at the opener of the 21st round in Bundesliga on Friday.
The “Werkself” ensured a perfect start on the road as Wendell tapped home a flicked-on cross at the far post with just five minutes into the encounter.
Mainz remained unimpressed and responded well only four minutes later when Robin Quaison poked home a rebound from very close range to level the scores.
It remained a lively opening period as both sides continued to seek chances at both ends of the pitch.
The visitors grabbed the lead again in the 20th minute as Julian Brandt’s square pass allowed Kai Havertz to slot home into the top-left corner to make it 2-1 on the scoreboards.
Leverkusen remained offensive and pressed Mainz into the defense, allowing Karim Bellarabi to rattle the woodwork in the 29th minute.
The visitors' efforts paid off one minute later as Julian Brandt exchanged a one-two with Kevin Volland to mark the 3-1 lead.
Mainz showed a vital sign against the run of the play as the crossbar denied Aaron’s long-range effort from 25 meters in the 42nd minute.
However, the goals were scored at the other end of the pitch after Karim Bellarabi had all time and space to slot home from the edge of the box into the far post corner with two minutes remaining in the first half.
Even though the result was put beyond doubt, Peter Bosz’ men were not done with the scoring as Julian Brandt wrapped up his brace and the final score with a low shot in the 65th minute.
With the victory, Bayer Leverkusen returned to winning ways and climbed to fifth place in the standings for the moment. Meanwhile, Mainz suffered their second straight defeat to stay 11th.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: front-runners Borussia Dortmund host Hoffenheim; runners-up Borussia Monchengladbach see Hertha Berlin; third-placed Bayern Munich face Schalke; Leipzig encounter Eintracht Frankfurt; bottom side Hannover clash with struggling Nuremberg and Wolfsburg travel to Freiburg.