Papiss Cisse missed a string of chances as the visitors secure all three points thanks to a strike after just two minutes
An early goal from Michael Ballack was enough for Bayer Leverkusen to secure a 1-0 Bundesliga victory over struggling Freiburg, who will lament its poor finishing, having missed a string of chances to equalize.
Robin Dutt’s men didn’t have to wait long to take the lead. Omer Toprak got his head to Michal Kadlec’s corner and Manuel Friedrich flicked the ball to Michael Ballack, who tapped the ball past Oliver Baumann to give the visitors the lead.
Papiss Cisse struck the woodwork as the first half wore on, coming to the near post to meet Anton Putsila’s cross, and he would also send a header narrowly wide on the stroke of half time.
Leverkusen, meanwhile, was largely unable to capitalize on its early dominance, with a Sidney Sam shot that went narrowly wide the closest the visitors came to doubling its advantage.
Leno, who looked shaky all night, spilled a fierce shot from Stefan Reisinger, but was able to get back to the ball before any Freiburg striker.
In an attempt to quell the hosts’ dominance, Dutt withdrew Andre Schurrle and replaced him with Stefan Reinartz, a center back, but the additional defender was unable top shore up the defense.
Leno was forced into making two late saves, first to deny Reisinger, who blasted a shot goalward after a turn in the box, and then stopping a tame header from Oliver Barth from the resulting corner.
In the end, Freiburg’s poor finishing betrayed them and Bayer left with all three points. This result leaves the hosts rooted to the bottom of the table, while the visitors leapfrog Hoffenheim and move into eighth place.