Bayer Leverkusen extended their best ever start to a Bundesliga season with a 2-0 win over Hannover at the BayArena.
Simon Rolfes and Sidney Sam scored the only goals of the game as Leverkusen warmed up for their Champions League tie with Real Sociedad in midweek with their sixth win in seven Bundesliga matches this season.
The win also gives Sami Hyypia’s men a six-point cushion over Hannover, who remain in fourth place, despite losing their third way game of the season.
Hannover’s 12 points this season had all been picked up at home with two defeats on their travels, yet they did not show any signs of travel sickness when Bernd Leno pushed Leonardo Bittencourt’s cross behind before punching a Szabolcs Huszti free-kick away.
It was a misleading beginning, though, as the hosts soon gained control with Stefan Kiessling going close before Rolfes headed them in front in the 23rd minute, meeting Sam’s free-kick from 12 yards out.
Sam made it two in the 37th minute when he reached Heung-Min Son’s cross and beat Ron-Robert Zieler with the outside of his left boot.
It was a composed finish which gave Leverkusen a cushion which they did not seem too desperate to add to.
Substitute Robbie Kruse brought a bit more life to their attack when he came on, clearly wanting to stake his claim for a place in Hyypia’s starting XI in midweek, while the same could be said for fellow substitute Emre Can.
But the general feeling was Leverkusen were just going through the motions, merely holding onto their two-goal lead as Hannover showed no sign of eating into their lead.