Bayer 04 Leverkusen kept their Champions League prospects alive with a 3-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg at the BayArena on Friday night.
Julian Brandt gave the hosts the lead just before the half-hour mark and two goals late in the second half from Javier Hernandez and Vladlen Yurchenko sealed a third successive win in the Bundesliga for Roger Schmidt’s side.
Leverkusen moved up to fourth in the standings, one point ahead of fifth-placed FC Schalke 04 ahead of the weekend fixtures, while Die Wolfe remain eighth, the defeat all but ending their hopes of Champions League football.
Bayer made the better start, with Karim Bellarabi looking a real threat on the left and it was the teenage midfielder who created the opener for Brandt on 27 minutes, playing a one-two with Hakan Calhanoglu before teeing up the midfielder for a simple finish from 12 yards out.
Brandt looked to extend their lead 10 minutes later with a shot from the edge on the area on the right that required a diving save from Diego Benaglio, who ensured his team went into the break just one goal down.
Calhanoglu almost made it two with a strike from 20 yards out that curling agonisingly wide of the far post four minutes into the second half.
Josuha Guilavogui went for the spectacular just four minutes later as he spotted Bernd Leno off his line after winning possession, but his effort from 35 yards out failed to catch out the keeper, who got back in time to catch the ball.
Benaglio then had to be alert at the other end as a mistake from Robin Knoche sent Hernandez through on goal, but the keeper managed to turn his shot aside with a foot.
But the Mexican was not to be denied as he beat Benaglio on 73 minutes with a fine curling shot from the edge of the area on the left, before turning provider at the death to set up Yurchenko to fire home from just outside the area.