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‘Crazy’ Bailey strikes again as Leverkusen go second

Berlin (AFP) – Winger Leon Bailey showed why Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly tracking him with another stunning goal in Bayern Leverkusen’s 2-0 win over Mainz on Sunday in the Bundesliga.

Bailey, 20, gave Leverkusen the lead at the BayArena three minutes into the second half when he hit the back of the net from 20 metres with a left-footed strike.

There was nothing on when Bailey looked up outside the area, but his shot across goal gave Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner no chance.

After also scoring last weekend with an audacious backheel, it was his eighth league goal this season.

“It’s crazy how well the boy is playing from week to week,” said Leverkusen’s director of sport Rudi Voeller.

Leverkusen could ask Chelsea or Arsenal for double the 13.5 million euros ($17.8 million) they paid Belgian club Genk for Bailey in January 2017.

However, the player ruled out leaving in January’s transfer window and the Jamaican is under contract until June 2022.

“That was a nice goal,” Bailey said. “I can promise I’ll stay here for the rest of the season.

“I feel very comfortable in Leverkusen and the chemistry in the team is good. We have a great team that can do a lot this season.”

It was the latest eye-catching display from Bailey who scored and made a goal in last weekend’s 4-1 thrashing of Hoffenheim.

“He was the can opener for us today — the impetus came from Leon,” said Leverkusen’s Germany winger Julian Brandt.

Leverkusen made sure of the three points against strugglers Mainz when Brazilian left-back Wendell converted a 68th-minute penalty, after defender Giulio Donati brought down striker Lucas Alario.

The win sees Leverkusen climb to second, 16 points behind runaway league leaders Bayern Munich, who thrashed Hoffenheim 5-2 at home on Saturday.

The Bundesliga’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski scored for the 18th time in the league this season as Bayern fought back from two goals down.

VfB Stuttgart sacked coach Hannes Wolf on Sunday, after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by third-placed Schalke saw them slip to 15th in the table.

Leverkusen are above Schalke on goal difference, with Eintracht Frankfurt a point behind in fourth.

Borussia Dortmund are sixth after needing a 93rd-minute equaliser by left-back Jeremy Toljan to salvage a 2-2 draw with Freiburg.

Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang produced a poor display and was booed on his return after being dropped for the previous two games.

Dortmund were jeered by their own fans and coach Peter Stoeger admitted he was also unimpressed.

“I didn’t whistle, but I wasn’t happy,” he quipped.

Later on Sunday, Turkey midfielder Yunus Malli hit Wolfsburg’s second-half winner from 22 metres out to seal their 1-0 win at Hanover 96.

It was only Wolfsburg’s third win in their last nine league games to leave them 13th while Hanover 96 are 10th.

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