Bayer Leverkusen head coach Sami Hyypia was proud of his players after they began their Bundesliga campaign with a 3-1 win over Freiburg.
Goals from Stefan Kiessling, Son Heung-Min and Sidney Sam fired the home side to victory at the BayArena on Saturday.
Freiburg finished fifth in the Bundesliga last term and Hyypia said the commanding performance would give his side plenty of confidence for the long campaign ahead.
“Before the game we knew that Freiburg were going to give 100 per cent and make it very difficult for us to get a positive result,” the Finn said.
“They put in a good performance through the 90 minutes and put in a professional performance.
“We expected that from Freiburg and I am proud of my team because they showed a good mentality in the match today. That was vital for us.
“I am happy we won our first match. It was a home match and from this result we will gain some confidence for the future.”
Leverkusen, who will play Champions League football this season after taking third place in the Bundesliga in 2012/13, needed a strong second-half performance to take the three points.
A clever Kiessling header put the hosts ahead after 22 minutes but Freiburg were back on level terms five minutes before the break courtesy of a Mike Hanke strike.
But Leverkusen came out firing after the interval and goals from Son and Sam in the opening seven minutes of the second half gave them control of the contest.
“We played a very good first half especially the opening 30 minutes of the game,” Hyypia said.
“After that we lacked a bit in pace and concentration, that’s why we conceded a goal. It was important to find our rhythm and focus back on the pitch.
“We scored two quick goals later on and that was a positive for us. Both goals were great moves as well.”
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