"The players are obviously very tired. It's clear there is a lack of freshness but that's only to be expected at this stage of the pre-season. Overall, they took up the challenge very well and did a good job of meeting our targets for today: We didn't want to commit any fouls, looked to play a possession game and create goalscoring opportunities. The result is ok but there is room for improvement. Above all in the second half, we could have scored one or two more goals," summed up Heiko Herrlich after the game.
The reason for the Bayer 04 visit was the fiftieth anniversary of the club that won the Rhineland Cup in 2012. The evening provided three firsts for the Werkself: For the first friendly of the pre-season the Black and Reds had first use of the new team bus and that was followed by the first outing in the new home kit seen in the photo shoot before yesterday's DFl Media Day. Heiko Herrlich had to manage without the injured Charles Aranguiz (knee), Lukas Hradecky (jaw op), Panos Retsos (hand) and Joel Pohjanpalo (ankle). Dominik Kohr also had to take it easy after twisting his knee in the morning training session.
Captained by Julian Baumgartlinger, the Werkself set the pace in summer temperatures at the 'In der Au' Stadium in Roßbach/Wied – the well-organised defence of the hosts around goalkeeper Peter Stegemann initially proved to be unbeatable. "The opposition did well and were very well organised in defence. In the opening stages of the game we found it very difficult to get through to the final third," said Herrlich in praising the hosts. It took half an hour for the Black and Reds to breach the Roßbach bulwark and put the ball in the back of the net: Baumgartlinger scored a deserved opener on 28 minutes after a fine solo run. That was followed by strikes from Kai Havertz (39') and Lucas Alario (41'). Bayer 04 went into the break with a 3-0 lead.
Heiko Herrlich made nine changes at half-time – only Baumgartlinger and Sam Schreck stayed on. Regardless of the many changes it remained a one-sided affair after the restart with the Roßbach team coached by Uwe van Eckeren unable to escape from the stranglehold of the Bundesliga side. Kevin Volland converted a penalty on 48 minutes, before Mitchell Weiser netted on his Werkself debut (65') and Lars Bender (79') with an impressive long-range effort extended the lead. The final goal in the 7-0 victory came from Sam Schreck with an outstanding curler (81').
Bayer 04: Özcan (Kirschbaum 46') – Henrichs (Weiser 46'), Sven Bender (Boller 46'), Dragovic (Tah 46'), Bednarczyk (Wendell 46') – Baumgartlinger (Makreckis 75'), Staniliewicz (Lars Bender 46') – Bailey (Bellarabi 46'), Havertz (Azhil 46'), Schreck – Alario (Volland 46')
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