1.09.2021Bayer 04

Matches of the month: Two convincing home wins against Freiburg

A goal fest from 1996, which proceeded a number of parties for the Werkself players, and an emphatic victory in front of a full house in 2001.

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1996/97 – The 4-2 victory in the opener against champions of Germany Borussia Dortmund and the following 3-1 win at MSV Duisburg, with a hat-trick from Ulf Kirsten, precede two sobering performances: A 1-0 home defeat against Fortuna Düsseldorf and four days later a heavy 4-2 loss at FC Bayern. An internal team evening in the hotel room of team captain Jens Nowotny a few hours after the disaster in Munich produces a clear outcome after an intensive discussion: It can't carry on like this!

The team use the next ten days before the home game against 1860 Munich for two things: Focused preparations for the match and the planning for an internal team evening in the party cellar of 'Zecke' Neuendorf's landlord. As both the match, with a 3-0 win, and the party are a complete success and footballers are sometimes a little bit superstitious, this one-off event became more permanent.

After every home game in that season, the players along with their wives and partners really party for a couple of hours at 'Zecke's'. This time together leads to the already solid group becoming a band of brothers who excited the Bayer 04 fans in that season. They experienced a great football match on 22 September 1996 in the clash against SC Freiburg: The Werkself win 5-3. The TV highlights can be seen above.

kept in touch

2001/02 – Four days after the 2-1 win in the Champions League group match against Barcelona, coach Klaus Toppmöller makes just one change to his starting line-up: Yildiray Bastürk, a substitute in the Barcelona game and the goalscorer at 1-1, replaces Zoltan Sebescen in the starting eleven. The BayArena is sold out on that late Sunday afternoon with a crowd of 22,500. In SC Freiburg, the Werkself entertain a team who have always proved to be tricky opponents in recent years.




From the first minute, Bayer 04 follow on from the performance levels of recent weeks and overcome the team from the Breisgau. The 4-1 win keeps the group led by captain Jens Nowotny in touch with league leaders FC Kaiserslautern.

The line-up:
Jörg Butt – Bernd Schneider, Lucio, Jens Nowotny, Diego Placente, Carsten Ramelow, Michael Ballack, Yildiray Bastürk, Zé Roberto, Oliver Neuville, Ulf Kirsten

Here are the TV highlights.


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