AP NEWS

Brilliant Brandt fires Leverkusen to 5-1 rout of Mainz

February 8, 2019
Bayer Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi celebrates scoring a goal against Mainz 05 during a German Budesliga soccer match, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Mainz, Germany (Torsten Silz/dpa via AP)
Bayer Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi celebrates scoring a goal against Mainz 05 during a German Budesliga soccer match, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Mainz, Germany (Torsten Silz/dpa via AP)

MAINZ, Germany (AP) — Midfielder Julian Brandt scored twice and laid on two goals as Bayer Leverkusen shrugged off its German Cup exit by winning 5-1 at Mainz in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Leverkusen, knocked out 2-1 by second division Heidenheim on Tuesday, racked up a third successive league victory and is firmly in the hunt for European qualification.

The team is in fifth spot, four points behind fourth-place Leipzig, which hosts Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Fifth and sixth in the Bundesliga qualifies for the Europa League while the top four advance to the Champions League.

It was Leverkusen’s third league win from four since Dutch coach Peter Bosz took over from the fired Heiko Herrlich.

___

More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports