Czech fullback netted from a late volley as host team took the spoils.Champions League hopeful Bayer Leverkusen claimed its first three points of the Bundesliga season with a 1-0 win against Werder Bremen. On his Bundesliga debut, Stuttgart loanee Bernd Leno kept a clean sheet for the host side, which will be encouraged by the result.
It took 85 minutes for the home team to break the deadlock in what was a rather pedestrian match, but Michal Kadlec finally struck to lift Robin Dutt's men to victory.
Leverkusen looked the better team in the first half, but easily the best chance belonged to Bremen's Lennart Thy. In the 36th minute, the 19-year old was set up with an open goal, but he looped his shot well over the bar.
Thy's effort came from one of very few opportunities the visitors earned. Leverkusen, though lacking a bit of pace and urgency, managed to carve out a number of chances. Renato Augusto's 18-yard drive forced a superb diving save from Tim Wiese on 13 minutes, and on the stroke of halftime, Stefan Kiessling was denied with only the goalkeeper to beat.
After the break, Andre Schurrle helped lift Leverkusen's play, but the breakthrough wouldn't come until late on. With four minutes remaining, the host team finally made the breakthrough.
Following a corner, Kadlec had his header blocked by a teammate before Simon Rolfes played the ball back into his path. The Czech made no mistake with his second chance, volleying home off the inside of the post.
Eren Derdiyok had a chance to put the game to rest in injury time, but struck the ball straight at Wiese, who saved. The home side nonetheless managed to hold on for three points.
The result sees Leverkusen join seven more teams - including Bremen - level on three points.