Bayer Leverkusen sent Fortuna Duesseldorf to the bottom of the Bundesliga with a 3-0 home win on Sunday although their poor finishing made it more difficult than it should have been.
Leverkusen, who climbed above Schalke 04 into fifth place and are two points off the top four, dominated the match but needed two late goals to make sure of the points.
Kai Havertz headed the hosts in front from a Karim Bellarabi cross in the 40th minute but they missed a flurry of chances after the break and nearly paid the price when Rouwen Hennings twice came close to equalising for the visitors.
Lars Bender finally gave Leverkusen some breathing space when he slid the ball home at the far post from a corner in the 79th and substitute Lucas Alario added the third from a penalty after 89 minutes following a foul on Nadiem Amiri.
Leverkusen have 34 points from 19 games, two behind Borussia Dortmund and six adrift of leaders RB Leipzig.
Fortuna, with 15 points, dropped below Paderborn, who won 2-0 at Freiburg on Saturday, on goal difference and now prop up the table
Earlier on Sunday, Werder Bremen’s unhappy season continued when they lost 3-0 at home to Hoffenheim to leave them in 16th, the relegation playoff spot, two points above the bottom two.
Bremen’s Davy Klaassen turned the ball into his own net after a corner in the 65th minute and late goals from Christoph Baumgartner, with a clever back-heel, and Sargis Adamyan secured the three points for Hoffenheim who climbed to seventh.