Jeremie Frimpong scored twice to help Bayer Leverkusen to a conclusive 4-0 win over Schalke in Xabi Alonso‘s first game in charge on Saturday afternoon. The win was just Leverkusen’s second of the season, pulling them up from second last just days after sacking manager Gerardo Seoane in favour of the World Cup-winning Alonso. From the opening whistle, Leverkusen showed the energy and chemistry that took them to Champions League qualification last season, rather than the uninspired and disjointed performances of this campaign.
Leverkusen had a goal struck off in the 10th minute but took the lead after 38 minutes through a long-range shot from French forward Moussa Diaby.
Dutch winger Frimpong doubled the lead just two minutes later, converting from close range after superb lead-up work from English forward Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Frimpong added another after the restart. Paulinho scored in the 90th minute to start the Alonso era in the best possible fashion for Leverkusen.
Elsewhere, Bochum won their first game of the season, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 at home.
Frankfurt showed little of the vigour and venom which carried them to a deserved Champions League draw against Tottenham midweek, conceding three second-half goals against the Bundesliga’s rock-bottom side.
In manager Thomas Letsch’s second match in charge, Bochum suggested that relegation may not be a forgone conclusion.
Like Frankfurt, RB Leipzig seemed off the pace after an impressive midweek Champions League performance and needed a late Christopher Nkunku equaliser to snare a point away at Mainz.
Mainz’s Marcus Ingvartsen struck in the 45th minute and the goal looked to be enough for the home side’s first win in a month, only for the 1.75-metre tall Nkunku to head in from a cross after 80 minutes.
In Saturday afternoon’s other game, Augsburg missed a chance to set a club record four wins in a row, drawing 1-1 against Niko Kovac’s Wolfsburg.
In Saturday’s late game, Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich at Signal Iduna Park.
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