Head coach Gerardo Seoane made just one change from the team that started the 2-1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach, with Amine Adli coming in for the suspended Kerem Demirbay. Edmond Tapsoba and Odilon Kossounou were still with their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Paulinho wasn’t fit yet. Daley Sinkgraven, Andrey Lunev, Julian Baumgartlinger and Exequiel Palacios were all injured.
The Werkself went into the game knowing that they had scored a league-high 11 goals in the opening quarter of an hour of Bundesliga games this season, and that stat was improved yet further in the ninth minute when Diaby slipped in Mitchel Bakker down the left. The Dutchman crossed low to the far post where Bellarabi just had to turn home for the opener. It was a deserved lead for Jonathan Tah & Co., who were the more determined team on the pitch.
Further chances for a second fell to Bellarabi, Adli and Jeremie Frimpong, while the visitors mustered their first attempt on goal in the 14th minute from Arne Maier – no trouble for captain Lukas Hradecky.
Bayer 04 remained the dominant side and pushed to make it 2-0. That effort was rewarded when Patrik Schick laid the ball off to Adli, who immediately played it into Diaby’s path. The Frenchman had a free run into the box up the inside left and capped off the good play with his sixth Bundesliga goal of the season in the 24th minute. Schick came within inches of a third before the break but his lob was thwarted by Rafal Gikiewicz.
Leverkusen remained the better side in the second half but initially failed to muster up more opportunities of note. Adli saw an effort from range go just wide after a corner. Gikiewicz then got caught out at the back before managing to recover and make amends. The Augsburg goalkeeper also came out on top when one-on-one with Bellarabi. The visitors had a way back into the game on the hour mark when Hradecky was only able to parry a Michael Gregoritsch free-kick back into the centre for Maier to turn home.
Very much unamused by conceding, the Werkself had the perfect response. An Adli header after a great ball from Florian Wirtz was denied by Gikiewicz, but Diaby was on hand to put away the rebound. The played continued to go towards the Augsburg goal as Frimpong set off down the right and played a perfect diagonal to Diaby, who bagged his hat-trick with a finish into the right corner.
A thoroughly convincing home win was then rounded off by substitute Alario after Robert Andrich scooped the ball into the box, where the Argentina international reacted quickest to knock past Gikiewicz with his back heel. A five-star display in a 5-1 win as Bayer 04 cemented their position in third.
After the international break, Seoane takes his side to Borussia Dortmund on Sunday, 6 February. Kick-off is at 15:30 CET.
Bayer 04: Hradecky – Frimpong, Tah (Retsos 82'), Hincapie, Bakker – Andrich – Bellarabi (Fosu-Mensah 78'), Adli (Aranguiz 70'), Wirtz (Sertdemir 82'), Diaby – Schick (Alario 70')
Augsburg: Gikiewicz – Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Oxford – Gumny (Framberger 74'), Maier, Dorsch, Pedersen (Günther 46') – Vargas (Zeqiri 46'), Gregoritsch (Hahn 74'), Pepi (Niederlechner 57')
Goals: 1-0 Bellarabi (9'), 2-0 Diaby (24'), 2-1 Maier (62'), 3-1 Diaby (65'), 4-1 Diaby (69'), 5-1 Alario (81')
Yellow cards: Bellarabi – Pedersen, Uduokhai
Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)
Attendance: 750 (sold out)
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