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1.03.2022Bayer 04

Matches of the month: Two battles for the Schale

The German league title, both in March 1997 as well as five years later, is the subject of discussion in Leverkusen…

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Werkself close in on FC Bayern 

In March 1997, there was a four-way race for the title. Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich were top on 46 points, our team and VfB Stuttgart in third and fourth on 44. Matchday 25 brings fifth-placed Schalke 04 to the Ulrich Haberland Stadium.

A hard-fought encounter ends with the Werkself winning 2-0 with goals from Ulf Kirsten and Erich Meijer and they move up into second place two points behind league leaders Bayern Munich. The second goal from Erich Meijer was voted Goal of the Month for March 1997 by viewers of the ARD Sportschau. Here is the line-up:

Bayer 04: Dirk Heinen – Christian Wörns, Jens Nowotny, Robert Kovac, Hans-Peter Lehnhoff (Claudio Reyna 89’), Carsten Ramelow, Ze Elias (Rene Rydlewicz 46’), Paulo Sergio, Markus Happe, Ulf Kirsten (Andreas Neuendorf 85’), Erik Meijer

important win at the Betzenberg

In March 2002, the leaders Bayer 04 travel to Kaiserslautern to play the Red Devils at their Betzenberg ground. Ulf Kirsten opened the scoring after 11 seconds and that remains the fastest goal in the history the Bundesliga. When Olli Neuville doubled the lead 15 minutes later, it looks like the Werkself have comfortably mastered a tough away game in the Pfalz.

However, the hosts equalise on 55 minutes and the victory looks to be in danger. But Michael Ballack (from the penalty spot) and substitute Dimitar Berbatov get the Werkself back on track. With five games to play, the Bayer team are in top spot four points ahead of Borussia Dortmund following the 4-2 win. Here is the line-up from that game:

Bayer 04: Jörg Butt – Zoltan Sebescen, Lucio, Jens Nowotny, Diego Placente, Carsten Ramelow, Bernd Schneider, Michael Ballack, Oliver Neuville (Dimitar Berbatov 81’), Ulf Kirsten (Boris Zivkovic 54’), Thomas Brdaric (Thomas Kleine 89’)

Here are the TV highlights.

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