Bayer 04 Leverkusen held on for a 3-2 win over Fortuna Duesseldorf to extend their unbeaten Bundesliga run to seven games on Sunday, while Werder Bremen also won.
Winger Sidney Sam opened the scoring for Leverkusen with a deft chip in the 16th minute, only for Nando Rafael to equalize with a deflected header from a corner in the 40th.
Andre Schuerrle replied immediately for Leverkusen, blasting home from close range after the visiting defense failed to clear Sam’s cross.
The game seemed to swing in Fortuna’s favor in the 65th minute when Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes was sent off for a clumsy challenge on Adam Bodzek, two minutes after coming on as a substitute, but Leverkusen scored again the next minute, when Daniel Carvajal blocked a shot and chased the ball down the length of the pitch, before crossing for Gonzalo Castro to tap into the empty net.
“I’m really mad today, really mad, because I felt there was something in it for us here,” Duesseldorf coach Norbert Meier said.
Duesseldorf goalkeeper Fabian Giefer prevented his former side going further ahead with an outstanding save from Castro, before blocking Carvajal on the rebound.
Bodzek pulled one back from distance with four minutes remaining to set up a frenetic finale, with substitute Gerrit Wegkamp agonizingly close to securing the equalizer in stoppage-time.
“It’s a shame. We could have made it 3-3,” Giefer said.
Two goals from Werder Bremen captain Aaron Hunt secured a 2-1 win for his side over FSV Mainz 05 in an exciting error-strewn game later on Sunday.
“The result is a joke,” Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel said. “The performance was OK, but the result is a joke.”
Hunt scored from the home side’s first chance in the 11th minute when Nils Peterson laid the ball back for him to score Werder’s 2,800th Bundesliga goal.
Bremen had goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz to thank for denying Nicolai Mueller an immediate response and for repeated saves later, while Andreas Ivanschitz should have equalized following a mix-up in the Werder defense, but pulled his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Mainz deservedly pulled level in the 64th minute when Radoslav Zabavnik crossed for the unmarked Adam Szalai to head his eighth goal of the season.
“We’re disappointed with all the chances we allowed Mainz, that’s right,” Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said. “We have to work on our defense, but we can be happy we showed the sheer will to win this game.”
Hunt had the final say with five minutes remaining when he lifted a free-kick over the wall and inside the right post.