Matches of the month (06.02.2018): Bellarabi Winner in extra time

15 years later, on 6 February 2018, a quarter-final against Werder Bremen at the BayArena. The Werkself play the North German team for the seventh time in this competition – and the team from Bremen have always come out on top, most recently two years before with a convincing 3-1 win in Leverkusen. It looked like the same old story after ten minutes: the team from the Hanseatic city lead 2-0 with goals from Kruse and Johannsson and the Bayer 04 fans are already forgetting the dream of a title.

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But the Werkself fight back and pull a goal back on 31 minutes through Julian Brandt. When the same player equalises on 55 minutes, the BayArena goes wild. The tie now develops into an exciting cup quarter-final with chances at both ends but at 90 minutes the score is still 2-2. In the second half of extra time, coach Heiko Herrlich brings on Karim Bellarabi in place of Dominik Kohr. The roof comes off the BayArena three minutes later when Bellarabi scores from an almost impossible angle to make it 3-2 on 111 minutes.




In that minute there is one of my favourite photos from the history of Bayer 04 – the already substituted but now completely euphoric Julian Brandt expressing his joy with a jump of the century. When Kai Havertz seals the win five minutes later, the hope of going to Berlin is palpable throughout the whole stadium. However, the dream unfortunately does not come true due to a heavy 6-2 home defeat against Bayern Munich.


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