Soccer-Bailey double keeps alive slim Leverkusen hopes of top four finish

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayer Leverkusen v FC Cologne - BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany - April 17, 2021 Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates Pool via REUTERS/Martin Meissner

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey scored twice and set up another goal as his team eased past Cologne 3-0 on Saturday to keep alive their slim hopes of a top-four finish with five matches remaining in the Bundesliga.

Jamaica international Bailey put the hosts in front with a fifth-minute header and then set up Moussa Diaby to fire into an empty goal and make it 2-0 six minutes after the restart.

He earned his man-of-the-match award when he charged into the box, shook off two markers and coolly slotted in for their third goal in the 76th.

Leverkusen move up to fifth place on 47 points, six behind fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt. Borussia Dortmund, on 46, take on Werder Bremen on Sunday.

The top four finishers automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage.

Cologne failed to get any points on new coach Friedhelm Funkel's debut and are in 17th place on 23 points, three behind Hertha Berlin, who are in the relegation playoff spot in 16th.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Clare Fallon)

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