Bundesliga: Lucas Alario’s brace helps Bayer Leverkusen beat Freiburg; Hertha Berlin salvage point on Matteo Guendouzi debut

Guendouzi replaced fellow Frenchman Lucas Tousart just before the hour mark and was booked for dissent in stoppage time in his first competitive appearance since June.

Berlin: Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi made his Bundesliga debut on Sunday as Hertha Berlin were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wolfsburg, while Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to beat Freiburg.

Guendouzi replaced fellow Frenchman Lucas Tousart just before the hour mark and was booked for dissent in stoppage time in his first competitive appearance since June.

The curly-haired midfielder joined Hertha on loan in October having fallen out of favour at Arsenal, but was forced to delay his return to action after testing positive for coronavirus.

He finally made his debut in Berlin’s empty Olympic stadium on Sunday, helping Hertha to end a four-game losing streak and pick up their first point since the opening weekend.

“It’s not an easy situation, but we have to stay positive. We have a lot of new players in the side, and we need to get to know each other on the pitch,” Hertha midfielder Vladimir Darida told Sky.

Matheus Cunha gave Hertha the lead after less than six minutes, squeezing a low shot inside the post from the edge of the area despite slipping on the turf as he struck the ball.

Ridle Baku levelled the scores with a sweetly struck shot on 20 minutes, smashing the ball into the roof of the net from 18 yards out to score his first goal for Wolfsburg since joining the club in October.

Earlier on Sunday, Argentina striker Lucas Alario continued his fine run of form with two crucial first-half goals as Bayer Leverkusen saw off Freiburg 4-2.

After a disastrous first half-hour for Leverkusen, Alario struck twice before the break to turn the game on its head and fire his team back into the top four.

“It was a strange match in which we started badly. Normally you can’t turn games like that around, but Lucas’s goals really helped us,” said Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz.

The Argentine now has seven goals from eight games in all competitions, and has found the net in each of his last three league appearances.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, remain the only Bundesliga team yet to be beaten after the first six games of the season.

Freiburg took the lead on just three minutes, Lucas Hoeler latching onto a 50-yard through ball from Lukas Kuebler and flicking the ball past Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky.

Leverkusen were bracing themselves for a long afternoon when Sven Bender was shown a red card for a trip on Hoeler in front of goal, but the decision was reversed by VAR.

Having ridden their luck in the first half-hour, Leverkusen ruthlessly took their chances from then on, with Alario turning the game on its head with two quick goals before half-time.

The Argentine pounced on a misplaced pass from Nicolas Hoefler to slot home the equaliser, before turning in a low cross from Lars Bender to put Leverkusen ahead just minutes before the break.

Bosz’s side looked to be in the clear when Nadiem Amiri smashed in a third on 65 minutes, but a tap-in from substitute Nils Petersen quickly brought Freiburg back into the game.

Yet the home side’s revival was short-lived, as centre-back Jonathan Tah rose high at a corner to head in Leverkusen’s fourth and seal the three points.

While Leverkusen return to the top four, Freiburg now sit just three places adrift of the bottom three, having not won since the opening day of the season.

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