The starting eleven fielded by Herrlich demonstrated his serious approach to the friendly against Fortuna. Nine international players and the injured Tin Jedvaj and Charles Aránguiz were missing but the Bayer 04 team was up to Bundesliga strength. Playing in swirling winds, the Werkself immediately moved the ball forward in a flowing move down the left flank and the unmarked Karim Bellarabi unleashed a shot from close range but the Fortuna keeper Tim Boss was able to turn his effort away for a corner on two minutes.
It wasn't long before the ball was in the back of the Köln net: Marlon Frey, playing at right back, hit the ball with the outside of his right foot from a diagonal position high into the far corner on nine minutes. Excellent technique and great to watch – just like the goal scored by Frey in the friendly against Bochum at the end of August. Shortly after that, the captain kept his cool in front of goal: Lars Bender doubled the lead on 15 minutes with a low shot into the net after the ball was won in a high press.
The team from Cologne looked overawed and overextended by the tough approach and fast tempo of the hosts. The 450 fans at the Haberland Stadium enjoyed a flowing performance from Bayer 04 – including a back-heel by Lucas Alario from a Leon Bailey corner. The Argentinian, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Sunday, put the ball just wide of the target on 20 minutes. The third goal came from Fortuna: Mimbala was only able to turn a whipped-in cross from Bellarabi into his own net just before the half-hour mark. André Ramalho headed the ball off the line three minutes before the break.
The hosts continued to dominate after the restart, now with Niklas Lomb in nets, and remained sharp in front of goal: Kevin Volland turned in a Wendell cross to make it 4-0 on 52 minutes. A deflected shot from Bellarabi touched the bar on 68 minutes and the Fortuna keeper kept out Bailey two minutes later. Lomb then made a great save to prevent Köln pulling a goal back on 74 minutes. Alario (81') and Vladlen Yurchenko (83') both went close to making it five following passes from substitute Stefan Kießling.
After the international break, the Werkself are back in action in the Bundesliga on Sunday 15 October at home to VfL Wolfsburg. The match at the BayArena kicks off at 15.30 CET.
Bayer 04 line-up:
Bayer 04: Özcan (Lomb 46') – Frey, S. Bender, Ramalho, Wendell – L. Bender (Yurchenko 72'), Kohr – Bellarabi, Volland (Kießling 72'), Bailey – Alario
1-0 Frey (9'), 2-0 L. Bender (15'), 3-0 Mimbala o.g. (28'), 4-0 Volland (52')
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