Leverkusen drop Nuremberg to go top
Bayer Leverkusen maintained their unbeaten record and moved to the top of the table for at least 24 hours after a comfortable victory over Nuremberg.
The game was effectively over by the interval thanks to an early Toni Kroos effort, a Simon Rolfes penalty and an Eren Derdiyok strike. Stefan Kiessling then rounded off the success with 22 minutes left in the contest.
Juup Heynckes's team leapfrog Hamburg at the top of the table with 20 points, although their rivals can regain the lead with a win at Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Nuremberg coach Michael Oenning will be starting to feel the pressure as the promoted club are second from bottom with just five points from eight games, and a league low four goals scored.
Leverkusen dominated the early stages and went ahead after just two minutes when Kroos curled a free-kick over the wall into the top left corner from 18 yards out.
Nuremberg tried to get into the game, but Leverkusen doubled their lead after 28 minutes. Jawhar Mnari brought down Kroos in the area and Rolfes stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, with the captain firing home into the lower left corner.
And it was 3-0 just six minutes later. An attack down the left side went almost unnoticed by the disorganised Nuremberg defence and Kiessling passed to Derdiyok, who slotted home with plenty of space from eight yards.
Kiessling then added his name to the scoresheet in the 68th minute, when he was left unmarked to head home Manuel Friedrich's headed assist for his eighth goal of the season.
"Toni Kroos's early goal helped us take control and we played some outstanding football," said Bayer Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes. "The most important thing for me was that we didn't take our foot off the gas after going 3-0 up.
"It is very pleasing that the team came out in a solid and stable performance in defence. That gives us confidence for the future."