BERLIN (AP) — Xabi Alonso endured another frustrating game as Bayer Leverkusen coach in the Bundesliga while they lost at Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 on Saturday.
Coming after Porto’s 3-0 win in the Champions League on Wednesday, Leverkusen’s second loss from Alonso’s three games in charge ended the former Spain star’s honeymoon period as coach and left his team mired in a relegation battle.
Leverkusen occupied the relegation playoff place after slumping to its sixth defeat in 10 rounds.
“The situation is bad,” Alonso said. “We can’t think about the end of the season. We have to keep believing. We have an intense week ahead of us and we have to keep working. That’s football: You have a new chance every week.”
Alonso led Leverkusen to a 4-0 rout of promoted Schalke in his debut last week but a team that is playing its first season back in the Bundesliga after demotion the season before found Frankfurt a different proposition.
Piero Hincapié emerged as the tragic figure for Leverkusen, scoring before he was sent off.
“There are no excuses,” Alonso said. “We still take a lot with us from today.”
Daichi Kamada’s penalty just before the interval was enough for Frankfurt’s 1-0 halftime lead. The visitors felt hard done by as Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukáš Hrádecký was penalized for coming off his line when he saved Randal Kolo Muani’s initial penalty, giving Frankfurt another chance from the spot which Kamada converted.
Hincapié equalized with a flying header in the 56th but the Ecuador defender was involved in all three of the next goals.
Hincapié couldn’t stop Kolo Muani from restoring Frankfurt’s lead two minutes later, then could only watch as Jesper Lindström made it 3-1 with a brilliant chip over Hrádecký in the 65th.
Hincapié conceded a penalty and was sent off for his second yellow card in the 72nd, and Kamada got his second goal from the spot.
Lucas Alario wrapped up the scoring.
STUTTGART FINALLY WINS
Stuttgart, the last team to win this season, finally enjoyed a victory in its first game since firing coach Pellegrino Matarazzo. Silas Katompa Mvumpa scored twice in a 4-1 win over last-placed Bochum.
Bochum conceded a seventh penalty in 10 Bundesliga games and Silas converted it in the third minute.
Stuttgart interim coach Michael Wimmer didn’t celebrate but gesticulated wildly at his players to remain concentrated and Silas set up Naouirou Ahamada for 2-0 in the 22nd.
Simon Zoller pulled one back seven minutes later, and just when Bochum’s equalizer seemed imminent, Silas sealed the win in the 64th, and Wataru Endo piled on in the 71st.
LEIPZIG HANGS ON
Leipzig withstood a second-half fightback from Hertha Berlin to win 3-2 and end the visitor’s five-game unbeaten streak.
Clinical Leipzig surged into a 3-0 halftime lead but Hertha came back through a penalty from Dodi Lukebakio in the 62nd then a fine strike from Stevan Jovetic two minutes later.
Hertha’s Wilfried Kanga struck the post in injury time when a centimeter to the left would have preserved his side’s unbeaten run.
Wolfsburg drew with Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 and Mainz won at promoted Werder Bremen 2-0.
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