With courage and joy back into the Champions League

Second half of the season in pic­tures


The Werkself played 20 games in the first half of 2019 in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and the Europa League. The record across all competitions: 11 wins, three draws and six defeats. Bayer 04 supporters were able to celebrate 45 black and red goals in the second half of the 2018/19 campaign (with 26 goals conceded). There were emphatic wins but also disappointing defeats before the team under Peter Bosz finally secured qualification for next season's Champions League at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on the last matchday. Reason enough to look back at the second half of the campaign with 20 pictures…

Matchday 18 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Bayer 04 v Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-1 (0-1)


Peter Bosz took over the helm from Heiko Herrlich at the start of the year and he inspired new euphoria under the Bayer Cross. However, the opening game of the second half of the season against Borussia Mönchengladbach ended in defeat. With the new system and in spite of clear superiority plus a host of cast-iron goalscoring opportunities, the Werkself suffered a narrow and extremely unlucky defeat on the debut for the new coach. Bayer 04 slipped down to tenth in the table – the gap to the Champions League spots was now seven points and the Europa League positions were four points away.



Matchday 19 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 26 January 2019
VfL Wolfsburg v Bayer 04 0-3 (0-1)


The Werkself made a clear statement of intent a week later at Wolfsburg. Thanks to an impressive performance and goals from Kai Havertz (45' pen.), Kevin Volland (62') and Julian Brandt (88') the match ended in a richly deserved 3-0 victory at the Volkswagen Arena. The three points saw Bayer 04 reduce the gap to sixth place and European qualification – for the first time in the season – to just one point.


Matchday 20 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 2 February 2019
Bayer 04 v Bayern Munich 3-1 (0-1)


The next major success. In front of a sell-out crowd at the BayArena, the Werkself hit back with an impressive second-half performance against the future champions of Germany Bayern Munich to turn a 1-0 deficit at half-time into a 3-1 victory – Leon Bailey levelled the scores on 53 minutes with a brilliant free-kick from 27 yards out before Kevin Volland put the Black and Reds on course for victory with his eighth goal of the season (63') and Lucas Alario wrapped it up with the third strike just before the end of the game (87'). Bayer 04 climb up to seventh place one point behind Wolfsburg in sixth spot.


Quarter-final (DFB Cup)
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
FC Heidenheim v Bayer 04 2-1 (0-1)


The victory over Bayern was followed three days later by a setback. The Werkself were knocked out of the domestic cup competition in the fog at Heidenheim. In spite of Julian Brandt opening the scoring in the first half (44'), the Bosz Boys were unable to build on a solid performance in the first 45 minutes against a battling second division side – instead the hosts quickly levelled with a goal from Nikola Dovedan (47'). Both teams were then engaged in a real cup battle but Aleksander Dragovic and Co. were unable to recover from the second Heidenheim goal scored by Maurice Multhaup on 72 minutes.


Matchday 21 (Bundesliga)
Friday, 8 February 2019
FSV Mainz 05 v Bayer 04 1-5 (1-4)


Three days later, the Werkself hit back in style at Mainz. Peter Bosz's team impressed in the opening game on matchday 21: After Wendell scored the first goal on five minutes and the hosts quickly levelled on nine, the Werkself upped their game with strikes from Kai Havertz (20'), Julian Brandt (30') and Karim Bellarabi (43') securing a three-goal lead at the break. The impressive Julian Brandt doubled his tally (63') to earn a deserved 5-1 win in the second half with the whole team shining. The Werkself climb up to sixth in the table leaving them five points away from a Champions League qualification spot in fourth.


Round of 32 (Europa League), First Leg
Thursday, 14 February 2019
FK Krasnodar v Bayer 04 0-0


After finishing first in the group stage, the Werkself were drawn against the Russian team FK Krasnodar in the Round of 32. At the ultramodern Krasnodar Arena, the goal threat from the hosts at home was evident. In an evenly matched encounter the game ended goalless. In spite of having the upper hand at times in the second half, the Werkself missed out on the chance to put themselves in a good position – and were also unlucky: A headed goal from substitute Lucas Alario shortly before the final whistle was ruled out for an apparent handball in the build-up.


Matchday 22 (Bundesliga)
Sunday, 17 February 2019
Bayer 04 v Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-0 (1-0)


...in contrast, the Werkself carried on winning in the Bundesliga with an absolutely convincing 2-0 victory over local rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf – to put together a run of four league wins on the bounce for the first time since the 2015 – 16 season. The Bosz team dominated proceedings on the pitch. That was demonstrated by 84 per cent possession and 1,053 passes (compared with 188 for Fortuna) with an impressive 93 per cent finding their man. The two goals were scored by Kai Havertz (18') and Leon Bailey (65'). The Werkself were now fifth in the table for the first time in the season and the gap to fourth spot was reduced to four points.


Round of 32 (Europa League), Second Leg
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Bayer 04 v FK Krasnodar 1-1 (0-0)


The success in the Bundesliga was not repeated in the Europa League. The Werkself struggled in a high-tempo second leg against a tough Russian side – also because Lucas Alario could only hit the bar with a fine right-foot shot 20 minutes before the end of the game. Bayer 04 were under real pressure when the visitors took the lead on 84 minutes through Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov. The final attacks from the Black and Reds were only rewarded with an equaliser from Charles Aránguiz (87'). The 1-1 draw meant Bayer 04 failed to go through to the Round of 16 due to the away goals rule.



Matchday 23 (Bundesliga)
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Borussia Dortmund v Bayer 04 3-2 (2-1)


The unfortunate exit from the Europa League was followed by the top game on Saturday night against Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park. The Werkself produced an impressive and, at times, very convincing performance against the then league leaders but unfortunately went home empty-handed. An intense end-to-end encounter saw the Werkself level through Kevin Volland (37') and Jonathan Tah score to make it 3-2 (75') but that proved too little in the end. The Werkself failed to make make up ground and they slipped back to seventh place due to rivals winning.


Matchday 24 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 2 March 2019
Bayer 04 v SC Freiburg 2-0 (1-0)


It's carnival time in the Rhineland at the start of March. And the Werkself certainly contributed to the black and red party mood at the BayArena on Carnival Saturday. Bayer 04 produced a dominating performance to secure a deserved 2-0 victory over thirteenth-placed SC Freiburg: Charles Aránguiz gave the Werkself the lead early on with his first league goal of the season (4') and Leon Bailey doubled the lead on 73 minutes to settle the result. It’s the fifth win in seven games under coach Bosz and Bayer 04 move up to sixth place.


Matchday 25 (Bundesliga)
Sunday, 10 March 2019
Hannover 96 v Bayer 04 2-3 (0-2)


A week later, the Werkself come out on top in the snow away to Hannover 96. In treacherous conditions on the pitch due to heavy snowfall, that required a lot of hard work and, above all, the desire to win. Following a brace from Kevin Volland to make it 2-0 (13'/28'), Hannover hit back to level at 2-2 before Kai Havertz rounded off an excellent move three minutes before the end of the game with a headed winner (87'). The Werkself remain sixth but defeat for Leipzig means third place is now in sight – with a gap of four points.


 Matchday 26 (Bundesliga)
Sunday, 17 March 2019
Bayer 04 v Werder Bremen 1-3 (0-2)


After six wins in eight games, the Werkself suffered a third defeat in the second half of the season in the home game against a very efficient Werder Bremen team. The Bosz Boys were 2-0 down at the break. The battling Werkself were rewarded for their efforts with 15 minutes to go when Leon Bailey curled a freekick into the top left corner of the net (74'). Julian Baumgartlinger and Co. were unable to penetrate the Werder defence again– and instead Max Kruse scored his second goal in added time to secure the away win for Bremen. The Champions League spots are five points away once more.


Matchday 27 (Bundesliga)
Friday, 29 March 2019
1899 Hoffenheim v Bayer 04 4-1 (1-1)


The Werkself had to accept defeat against a direct rival for a European finish in the Friday night game at Hoffenheim with a second setback in succession. Kevin Volland did convert from an excellent cross by Julian Brandt to equalise an early goal from the hosts on 17 minutes but, in a high tempo game, the Hoffenheim goal was nailed shut for the Black and Reds. It was a different story at the other end. Lukas Hradecky had to pick the ball out of his net three times in the second half. In addition to the lost points, the Werkself also witnessed Lars Bender and Karim Bellarabi go off injured in the first half. It was to be the last game of the season for Bellarabi .


Matchday 28 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 6 April 2019
Bayer 04 v RB Leipzig 2-4 (2-1)


All was not well! After the losses against Bremen and Hoffenheim, the Werkself suffered another tough defeat in the home game against the third-placed side from Leipzig – in spite of twice taking the lead. After an impressive first 45 minutes with two goals from Kai Havertz, a penalty on 11 minutes and an impressive volley on the turn on 23 minutes, the Bosz Boys went into half-time on top. Nothing went right for the Werkself in the second half: A Bailey goal was ruled out through VAR, the equaliser, going behind to a highly disputed penalty for a handball against Mitchell Weiser and the deciding 4-2 strike in a brilliant individual move in the hard-fought final stages. The Werkself slip down to ninth place with a three-point gap to the Europa League spots and the Champions League looks almost unattainable with a ten-point deficit.


Matchday 29 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 13 April 2019
VfB Stuttgart v Bayer 04 0-1 (0-0)


In the clash with relegation-threatened VfB Stuttgart, the Werkself end the downward spiral and return to winning ways after three defeats in succession with a deserved and highly important three points. In a close-fought encounter, Kai Havertz scores the only goal of the game from the penalty spot on 64 minutes. The Werkself move up to eighth place with the gap to the Europa League spots now just two points.


Matchday 30 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 20 April 2019
Bayer 04 v  FC Nürnberg 2-0 (0-0)


Back in the game! Bayer 04 secure another richly deserved victory at the BayArena against relegation-threatened Nürnberg. The goals for the clearly dominant Leverkusen side were scored by Lucas Alario (61') and Kevin Volland (86'). The Werkself have to pay a high price for the win: Leon Bailey suffers a thigh injury on the half-hour mark – and, like Karim Bellarabi, that is the end of the season for the winger. Nevertheless: Bayer 04 move up to seventh in the table and are back in striking distance of the competition thanks to other results.


Matchday 31 (Bundesliga)
Friday, 26 April 2019
FC Augsburg v Bayer 04 1-4 (1-1)


The Werkself are still in the race to qualify for Europe. The Bosz Boys produce another excellent performance away to FC Augsburg that ends in a deserved 4-1 win. Once again, Kevin Volland quickly levels the scores (15'). Kai Havertz (48'), Jonathan Tah (59') and Julian Brandt (88') force the opposition into submission in the second half. The third win in succession puts the Werkself back in sixth spot – level on points with Gladbach in fifth and three points behind fourth-placed Frankfurt. It's all still to play for.


Matchday 32 (Bundesliga)
Sunday, 5 May 2019
Bayer 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1 (6-1)


In the final game on matchday 32, the 30,210 crowd at the sell-out BayArena witness a record start for the Black and Reds – and that against a direct rival and Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt. The Werkself are 6-1 up after 36 minutes and that was also the final scoreline. What an incredible football fest. The goals were scored by Kai Havertz (2'), Julian Brandt (13'), Frankfurt's Filip Kostic (14'), Lucas Alario (23'), Charles Aránguiz (28'), a second for Lucas Alario (34') plus an own goal from Martin Hinteregger (36'). With the fourth win on the bounce, Bayer 04 climb up to fifth place and are now level on points with the team from Hessen in fourth spot.


Matchday 33 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 11 May 2019
Bayer 04 v FC Schalke 04 1-1 (1-0)


There's a party atmosphere at the BayArena for the last home game of the season. For the home match against Schalke, Bayer 04 celebrate 40 years in the Bundesliga with plenty of legends and an historic special shirt. There are celebrations in and around the BayArena but the Werkself have to settle for a draw against a battling Schalke side when the visitor's striker Guido Burgstaller levels after the restart to cancel out the opener from Kai Havertz on 31 minutes. However, the Werkself secure Europa League qualification at least. The last game of the season away to Hertha Berlin will decide which European competition the Werkself will be in next season.


Matchday 34 (Bundesliga)
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Hertha BSC v Bayer 04 1-5 (1-2)


… Bayer 04 benefit on the final matchday from the exciting title race between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund who both play direct rivals of the Black and Reds in Eintracht Frankfurt and Gladbach. Nevertheless, the Werkself have to make sure they get the right result against Hertha at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. They do that in style with a 5-1 victory with goals from Kai Havertz (28'), Lucas Alario (38', 71', 87') and Julian Brandt (55'). Everything goes to plan: Bayer 04 Jump up to fourth place for the first time in the season thanks to a defeat for Gladbach to crown an impressive second half of the season with qualification for the Champions League. No wonder the Werkself lap up the appreciation from over 3,000 travelling fans.