FRANKFURT: Bayer Leverkusen cruised to a 3-0 victory at Werder Bremen to take over the lead in the Bundesliga with a club record-equalling eighth consecutive victory.

The visitors needed a Werder own goal to go in front, with Olivier Deman turning in a Jonas Hofmann cross and wrongfooting his own keeper.

There was nothing lucky about their second goal, however, with Jeremie Frimpong unleashing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box in the 42nd.

Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen remained in the driving seat in the second half and in-form Alejandro Grimaldo made sure of the three points, slotting in from a tight angle in the 76th after Werder lost possession in their own half.

Grimaldo has now scored in each of Leverkusen’s last five away games in the league, a club record.

“We want to keep improving and even today we did not play a perfect game,” said Alonso, who was celebrating his 42nd birthday on Saturday. “That’s not possible in football but our goal is to keep improving.

“We did it really well. In the first half we had a lot of control and in the second half Werder put some more pressure on us but overall it was a deserved win.”

“Obviously a win is the best way to celebrate a birthday,” he said.

Unbeaten Leverkusen, who are also the first club in Bundesliga history to score at least twice in each of their first 12 matches in a season, are on 34 points, having won 11 of their 12 league games.

Champions Bayern Munich, who had provisionally gone top on Friday with their 1-0 win over Cologne, are second two points behind.

VfB Stuttgart are third on 27 points following their 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, three points ahead of fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund, who were 4-2 winners over Borussia Moenchengladbach.