Kai Havertz scored in a 1-0 victory at Freiburg on Friday to move Bayer Leverkusen up to third in the Bundesliga at least until Sunday, but the Germany star also suffered a late injury.
Leverkusen was the superior side in a generally low-key contest, playing some eye-catching football on occasions as it bounced back from a shock 4-1 defeat to Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
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The visiting side was fortunate to be on level terms at half-time, as Roland Sallai fed Lucas Holer in behind Sven Bender, but the forward failed to hit the target when one-on-one with Lukas Hradecky.
Leverkusen capitalised early in the second half. Leon Bailey, who had been a source of frustration, twisted and turned his way into the Freiburg penalty area and played a reverse pass to Havertz, who somehow poked his effort through the legs of Alexander Schwolow from an acute angle.
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Havertz trudged off just past the hour after picking up what appeared to be a minor knock, but Leverkusen held on for a slender win – Hradecky making sure of the victory late on when turning a Nils Petersen effort around the post.
Leverkusen moved a point clear of RB Leipzig, which, along with Borussia Monchengladbach, can usurp Peter Bosz's side again when they face Cologne and Union Berlin respectively.