Trouble mars Leverkusen win
Bayer Leverkusen kept up their pursuit of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Last Updated: 19/01/13 5:37pm
Bayer Leverkusen kept up their pursuit of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich but their 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt was marred by crowd trouble.
Visiting fans lit flares and fireworks after 15 minutes to prompt an unscheduled break in the game, as the players were taken off the pitch.
Leverkusen returned to the field to provide pyrotechnics of their own with goals from Sebastian Boenisch and Stefan Kiessling.
Andre Schurrle made it 3-0 in the 58th minute before Alexander Meier grabbed a late consolation for Armin Veh's men, who remain fourth in the table.
Kiessling was the Bundesliga's top goalscorer in 2012 with 25 strikes during the year. And coming into the game, his 12 goals this season meant he was at the top of the current goalscoring charts.
After just 45 seconds, he had the chance to carry on his rich vein of goalscoring form, but Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp denied him.
The game was then disrupted when visiting fans lit flares and sent fireworks raining down onto the pitch, with the referee taking the teams off.
The break lasted nearly 10 minutes before the teams re-emerged, and the home team had a little more swagger about them.
Gonzalo Castro's long-distance effort on the half-hour mark was pushed away by Trapp for a corner, which led to the opening goal.
Kiessling's header was cleared by Marco Russ, but only as far as Boenisch, who shot instinctively and managed to get enough on the ball to beat Trapp, who got his fingertips to it but could not keep it out.
Leverkusen were two up just over a minute later when Castro and Kiessling both broke free, and the former waited before setting up his team-mate for his first goal of 2013.
Castro appeared desperate to get his own name on the scoresheet and he nearly did in the 51st minute with a direct free-kick which Trapp again pushed behind for a corner, this time without any further consequences.
Only seven minutes passed before Leverkusen scored a third with Kiessling this time the provider for Schurrle to slot the ball inside the near post.
Frankfurt pulled a goal back through their top goalscorer Meier in the 78th minute, who popped up as he so often does behind the strikers to pounce on a short clearance from Philipp Wollscheid.
It was nothing more than a consolation, though, as Leverkusen earned revenge for defeat to Frankfurt on the opening day of the season, and ensured the gap between themselves and league leaders Bayern Munich remained unchanged at nine points.