Samstag, 29. April 2023

Goodbye Champions League, but still not disappointed

Bayer played 0-0 at Union Berlin today. For those for whom this is not enough, it should be said that Union has not lost in the league for 20 home games. Sure, based on the rest of the results, the Champions League is probably out of reach via the league. Let's be honest: had we still expected in the fall after the change of coach that we are at least well in the race for the Europa League lie at the beginning of May. We have to look on the bright side: The Werkself has not lost again and has not conceded a goal in the last three games away at Wolfsburg, at home against Leipzig and now at Union. And at the beginning of the season, the defense was considered a problem child. Let's take the tailwind with us into the final games and take Cologne very seriously on Friday before concentrating on the first leg of the semifinals in Rome.

Montag, 24. April 2023

The race to catch up continues

The 2-0 win over RB Leipzig also marked the Werkself's first ever home win against the Saxons in the Bundesliga. When things go, they go. 

In my opinion, the visitors from Leipzig got off to the better start in the top match, dominating the game but proving to be inconsequential in front of goal. After the win on Thursday, you had the feeling that the unbeaten streak would snap today. In the stands, you also had the feeling that even with a 0:0 everyone would be satisfied. However, Leipzig continued to remain unthreatening and the Werkself once again showed their counter-attacking strength to take a 1-0 lead at halftime. A strong performance by our often-maligned defense was the cornerstone of the win. Leipzig went on the run, but the second goal of the day also belonged to the home side: after a foul in the box on Jeremie Frimpong, Amiri converted the consequent penalty four minutes before the end.

All in all, it was a unified team performance. Next Saturday we go to Union, but we must continue to score points in order to get to Europe after all. With the performance of recent weeks, however, everything is possible at the Alte Försterei.

Freitag, 21. April 2023

Fantastic evening in Belgium

It was a magical evening with a fantastic tour with the Werkself to Belgium. After the 1:1 in the first leg, I never got tired of emphasizing that the Bayer is stronger away than at home and can rock the thing at Union Saint-Gilloise. And so it came to pass.

We were still quite annoyed in the run-up, a good four hours drive to the stadium in Anderlecht for a measly 200 km, but in Brussels is always traffic chaos, I know from many business trips. In addition, the discussion in advance about the allocation of away tickets, everything strictly limited. Then the short-term reallocation one day before the game and 400 men shipped into the box to look behind the glass from the business armchair. But all the restrictions on the visiting fans did not help the Belgians, a 4:1 victory of the Werkself is the clear answer to all this.

As Xabi Alonso says, we have to look from game to game, and therefore we can not sit back. Sunday comes Leipzig and then we go to Union. The Werkself is still well on its way to Europe, but the road is still very, very long. 

Nevertheless, today is the day: after more than 20 years, Bayer 04 is back in a semifinal in the European Cup. On the way to Budapest, the Werkself's opponent is now AS Rome in mid-May and it's away.

Montag, 17. April 2023

Draw at Wolfsburg is not a disappointment

In contrast to some media, I am of the opinion that the draw at the Wolves is not a disappointment. "Bayer lets series snap" is the rather negative headline at ntv. The kicker comments rather soberly: "Leverkusen keeps Wolfsburg at a distance". Sure, it was a rather tough game late on Sunday evening. And the old soccer rule is: If you play to zero at the back, then you can't lose.

With the quarterfinal second leg at Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League coming up on Thursday, Xabi Alonso spared some regulars. Jonathan Tah was not in the starting eleven, nor were Florian Wirtz, Amine Adli or the recently injured Exequiel Palacios. Instead, Nadiem Amiri, Kerem Demirbay, Sardar Azmoun and Adam Hlozek started from the beginning. A correct decision, in my opinion.

We took home a point, everything is still possible in the Bundesliga, especially since the other teams aren't exactly pulling up trees either, and now the focus is on Thursday. And then we'll see what we can expect against Leipzig at home and at Union.

Freitag, 14. April 2023

All in despite draw

Last night, the Werkself "only" drew 1:1 at home against Union Saint-Gilloise from Belgium in the quarterfinal first leg. Nevertheless, I am not disappointed, because everything is possible next week in the second leg in Brussels. I even dare the steep thesis that the Bayer plays better away than at home. In any case, the Belgians can't be so defensive next week, because they have to win to advance. Okay, they did that well yesterday and took the air out of our fast dribblers from the start. It probably would have worked with a push forward, and we would have been on the winning track. Be that as it may. There's still everything in it, and before that we have to show the Wolves away on Sunday that our run in the league will continue.

Sonntag, 9. April 2023

And it goes on again

Games at Leverkusen remain a dubious pleasure for Eintracht Frankfurt. The Werkself's 3:1 win is the ninth home victory in a row against the Hessians - with a goal difference of 32:5. More important than the numbers, however, are the effects on the standings: Bayer continues its race to catch up and moves up to sixth place in the table. A few weeks ago, that was still a utopian scenario.

The match was characterized by intensity and physicality in the early stages. The direct duels were not overly unfair, but at times unnecessarily heated and boisterous. But it was precisely in those first ten minutes that the Werkself picked up the necessary aggressiveness to successfully hold their own in the game. And it was once again our fast top players who set the decisive accents after the one or other pass from Flo Wirtz, thus tempting the opposing defense into making mistakes. That's good.

Sonntag, 2. April 2023

The winning streak continues

Bayer yesterday with an absolutely deserved 3-0 away win in Schalke continued its winning streak. The statistics say that the Bayer thus further since 2012 has not won against the Werkself. And: Schalke was still without defeat this year, but that is now wastepaper.

Florian Wirtz's magnificent goal to make it 2-0 provided plenty to talk about. The international was not only voted player of the match by a clear margin by the Bayer 04 fans. With this, he also gave a quick answer to his early substitution during the week in the international match against Belgium with a lightning-clean performance. But Wirtz wasn't the only one to shine; the Black-and-Red team was convincing as a whole, and in Edmond Tapsoba, together with Jonathan Tah, the team had a prudent defensive clearer who also impressively demonstrated his strengths in the build-up and passing game.

Next Saturday, the team will face Frankfurt. The winning streak must continue so that the gap to the European places can be closed.

Double Delight: Bayer 04 at the Pinnacle of Happiness!

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