Leverkusen offer hope to English clubs chasing Leon Bailey

Leverkusen are looking to become only the third club after Hoffenheim and Borussia Moenchengladbach to beat Bayern in the league this season.

"I've been friends with Usain for four years now, we play football and hang out sometimes", 20-year-old Bailey told Bundesliga.com after posting a picture of himself alongside Bolt last month.

"If there is a need for discussion, we all sit down and decide what is best, while also keeping other alternatives open", he further said. But Leverkusen managed to respond through Kevin Volland's deflected strike in the 70th minute.

The Bundesliga season resumes following the winter break, with Bayer Leverkusen hosting Bayern Munich at the BayArena on Friday, Jan. 12. "We don't have enough natural goalscorers so we have to try and work on that without losing our defensive qualities".

Winter signing Sandro Wagner, who began his playing career at the club, is expected to start in Lewandowski's stead, but right-back Joshua Kimmich "may not be fit to start" after a recent illness. Key to that midweek Cup match was the return of Moussa Dembele, who played a full 90 minutes for the first time since December 16th.

Lucas Alario was inches away soon after when the Argentina striker saw his shot go narrowly wide of the top corner from outside the area, but the Bavarians had the last laugh when Rodríguez sent a stunning curling effort into the top corner from a free-kick, after he'd been fouled by Lars Bender outside the area.

Pacey Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey (centre) plans to put on a show against Bayern Munich. The 20-year-old has scored six goals and assisted on four others.

Moments later the home team were made to pay the price for the near miss as Ribéry was picked out on the wing by James.

Bailey joined Leverkusen in January 2017 from Genk for a reported €13.5million and initially struggled to make a consistent impact, making just eight substitute appearances in the Bundesliga.

However, Rodriguez's free kick dashed home hopes as Bayern won at Leverkusen for the first time since their 2013 treble-winning season. While the Premier League title is likely wrapped up barring a historic collapse, the Champions League places are very much up for grabs.

  • Ricardo Clara