Despite a couple of nervy moments that make the match look a lot closer than it actually was, Bayer Leverkusen ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Freiburg on Saturday. The visitors found a goal just before the halftime break and went on to win a penalty in the second half, but couldn't convert from the spot or do anything to slow down Bayer's counter attack.
A spell of early dominance finally turned into a goal for Bayer in the 22nd minute, thanks to Stefan Kießling. The German international striker picked up right where he left off last season, hitting an impressive looping header over Oliver Baumann to put his team ahead.
Freiburg did very little in response, but managed to score with their first real chance of the game in the 40th minute. Mike Hanke finished off the chance, scoring on his league debut for Freiburg by poking in a through ball by Jonathan Schmid to level the match. Freiburg went into the half level, but they didn't stay there very long.
It took less than two minutes after the whistle blew to start the second half for Bayer to take apart the Freiburg defense. The entire Freiburg back line was caught out on a counter, leaving Sidney Sam to find Son during a two-on-none break, and the Korean finished into an empty net. Six minutes later, Sam scored a goal of his own on a similar attack, with Kießling providing the assist.
Freiburg had a chance to get back into the match in the 66th minute when Lars Bender took down Oliver Sorg in the penalty area, but Bernd Leno came up with an excellent save on Schmid's spot kick take. The visitors looked a bit disheartened after that and never got back into the match.
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno, Spahic, Boenisch, Toprak, Donati, Reinartz, Bender, Castro (Öztunali 87'), Son (Rolfes 70'), Sam (Hegeler 80'), Kießling
Goals: Kießling (22'), Sam (46'), Son (52')
Freiburg: Baumann, Diagne, Schmid, Sorg, Ginter, Fernandes, Zuch (Günter 68'), Coquelin (Kerk 45'), Schuster, Hanke, Mehmedi (Freis 76')
Goals: Hanke (40'), Schmid (Penalty miss 67')