Bayer Leverkusen forced their way back into the UEFA Champions League places with Sunday's 2-1 win at home to Hertha Berlin in their first German Bundesliga match since sacking Sami Hyypia. The former Liverpool captain, who took charge as head coach in August, was sacked after his side's defeat at Hamburg saw them slip out of the top four - the Champions League places - and was replaced by his former assistant, Sascha Lewandowski.
"We're delighted, our last home win was a while ago," said Lewandowski whose side last enjoyed a home win in February. I know the team and the situation, so I am up to speed pretty fast. We still have some rebuilding to do, no question about that, there is still a lot of insecurity there. When you concede a goal, a thousand thoughts race through your mind."
Leverkusen went ahead after just 40 seconds when striker Stefan Kiessling headed home and doubled their lead on 24 minutes as 17-year-old Julian Brandt deftly chipped home his second goal in as many matches.
Sandro Wagner headed Berlin back into contention just before the break, but Leverkusen held on for the points which sees them regain fourth place from Wolfsburg, who had romped to a 4-1 win over Nuremberg 24 hours earlier.
In Sunday's other match, Augsburg's hopes of claiming a UEFA Europa League place suffered a set-back when they went down 2-0 at Hoffenheim which left them seven points from the top six.