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Berisha fires Augsburg to home win over Bayer Leverkusen

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Berlin, Feb 3, 2023 (AFP) - Augsburg striker Mergim Berisha scored a crucial second-half goal to secure a 1-0 home Bundesliga win over Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

Berisha headed in from a corner after 55 minutes to help an injury-hit Augsburg to just their sixth win of the season.

Chances were few in a first half played in teeming Bavarian rain.

Leverkusen's French forward Moussa Diaby had Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz beaten in the 30th minute, but his a floating strike hit the upright.

Augsburg took the lead ten minutes into the second half, teenage midfielder Arne Engels curled in a corner, finding Berisha unmarked in the box.

Berisha headed the ball past Leverkusen 'keeper Lukas Hradecky The goal was Berisha's sixth for Augsburg since the German striker joined the Bavarian side on a season-long loan from Turkish club Fenerbahce in August.

Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso brought on creative midfielder Florian Wirtz to try and spark his struggling attack and the German teenager looked sharp, creating a number of chances behind the Augsburg defence.

With a little over ten minutes to go, Alonso brought on English forward Callum Hudson-Odoi but the Chelsea loanee was unable to find a breakthrough as Leverkusen fell to a second successive league loss for the first time under Alonso.

With the remaining games of the round still to play, Leverkusen sit in ninth, but could end the weekend as low as 12th depending on other results.

For Augsburg, the win was just their second since early October but took the team five points clear of the relegation playoff spot.

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