1.08.2021Bayer 04

Matches of the month: Two impressive performances

In our Bundesliga history there are two seasons that deserve special attention – 1996/97 and 2001/02, the one was 25 years ago, the other 20. The first matchday of the 2001/02 season against VfL Wolfsburg was covered under this heading in July. Both seasons are worth looking at with a match each month.

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The 1996/97 season starts with a new coach: Christoph Daum. It also sees the arrival of a lot of new players: Jens Nowotny from Karlsruher SC, Jan Heintze and Erik Meijer from relegated KFC Uerdingen, Niko Kovac from almost relegated from the second division Hertha Berlin and his brother Robert from FC Nürnberg who had just been relegated from the second division. Rene Rydlewicz returns from 1860 Munich. Other signings include Zé Elias from Brazil and Manuel Cardoni from Luxembourg.

A new formation, two tough training camps and a tight-knit group turn almost relegated Bayer 04 into title contenders with a barn-storming performance on matchday one bringing a 4-2 home win against the reigning champions of Germany Borussia Dortmund.

Last Minute leveller in Gelsenkirchen

The home win for Bayer 04 in the opening match in 2001/02 against VfL Wolfsburg is followed by a convincing 3-0 away win in Rostock and a 1-1 draw at home to Bayern Munich. Then it's off to AufSchalke, the name of the new arena in Gelsenkirchen. The Werkself help inaugurate this great stadium in front of a full house of over 60,000. The match thrills everybody with Bernd Schneider putting Bayer 04 level at 3-3 in the final minute. HERE are highlights of the match in Gelsenkirchen

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