25.08.2019Bayer 04

What the papers say after Düsseldorf game

Third game of the season – third win: The Werkself are up and running in the 2019/20 campaign. After the 3-1 away win at Fortuna Düsseldorf, the media credit the Bosz team with a clearly improved performance from the Paderborn game and praise the matchwinner Kevin Volland. The Süddeutsche Zeitung raves about the Bayer 04 performance in the state capital.

The online edition of the Rheinische Post draws the following conclusion: “Bayer Leverkusen won the Rhine duel with the club from the state capital 3-1 thanks to a strong first-half display and start the league season with two wins for the first time in four years. As expected, Bayer were on top for much of the game, had more possession and moved the ball at will. Initially, there was little to see from the hosts with the exception of a free kick from 18 yards out that was blocked by the wall. Bayer’s keeper Lukas Hradecky was first called into action with a semi-successful long-range effort from Rouwen Hennings (28’). The away fans could happily chant ‘We are number one on the Rhine’.”

The report continues: “The second 45 started with a great chance for Bellarabi that Zackary saved. Otherwise it was just like the first half. Leverkusen remained dominant in spite of the reduced tempo, confident on the ball and dangerous while Düsseldorf had significant problems in overcoming the possession and counter-pressing football of Peter Bosz. Even when the ball came close to Hradecky’s goal it was their own mistakes as well as the solid Werkself defence that stood in the way of the hosts. The other Rhinelanders only gave away a couple chances for the rest of the game. The mood was exuberant in the packed away end that did witness a final effort from but the deserved consolation goal from Alfredo Morales (81’) did not seriously disturb the optimism in the stands of taking the points.”

Two-level difference evident

The analysis of is clear. Under the headline, “Impressive Werkself give Fortuna no chance” is: “Bayer 04 were able to reduce their error rate compared with 3-2 win against. Peter Bosz’s switch to a 4-1-4-1 system with Aránguiz as the pivot in holding midfield bearing fruit. Bayer 04 showed the limits of Fortuna Düsseldorf and at times there was a two-level difference. The Werkself did not repeat the mistakes in transitional play made against Paderborn, Düsseldorf did not show their strength in pressing and counter-attacking as they did against Werder Bremen. The result could have been more emphatic and perhaps should have been. Leverkusen were extremely comfortable overall and saved energy in the second half.”

Dominant football from Peter Bosz

Under the headline “The second fun day”, the reporter in the online edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung was raving: “In the 3-1 win there was a clear difference in class, particularly before the break. ‘It was a game between a Champions League club and a team that will be fighting relegation,’ said Funkel later, ‘we didn’t stand a chance.’ To avoid being negative, he praised his team: ‘We didn’t lose to a good Leverkusen team, but to a very good one.’ Focused, precise and fast, the visitors cut down through the flanks of the Düsseldorf defence from the start where, above all, Andre Hoffmann was overextended by Kevin Volland. With the early opener for Leverkusen on six minutes the striker was in a good position in the penalty area after good work by Bellarabi and Havertz; a dummy and burst in pace was enough to break to the goal line. The cross was turned into his own goal by Lewis Baker, Fortuna’s loanee from Chelsea, with the former Düsseldorf player Kerem Demirbay ready to pounce. Düsseldorf were affected by the strike and justifiably so. Because the opponents had fun playing the dominant football favoured by coach Peter Bosz, the game switched in an almost grotesque manner towards Leverkusen. In spite of striking superiority on the pitch, the visitors needed a set-piece and VAR to double the lead. Midfielder Charles Aránguiz exploited a massive gap in the opposition defence from a Demirbay free kick to score on 33 minutes.”

And the report continues: “The whole superiority and uncomplicated simplicity of the Werkself was evident four minutes later with the goal to make it 3-0. After a throw-in from Lars Bender, Kevin Volland moved past Hoffmann, danced past another defender who had to look on as Volland’s square ball that was converted by Bellarabi. … After the break, Leverkusen sent a couple of calming signals to the league. The team was unable to constantly maintain concentration. … Nevertheless, the Dutchman increased his points return to 22 from the last eight league games. No wonder that Bayer may be set to extend the contract with Bosz in the coming week.”

Top marks for Kevin Volland

Not only the BILD were certain after the final whistle: The man of the match was Kevin Volland and the red top awarded him top marks. “In 2019, his two assists from yesterday has taken him to an incredible nine goals and 13 assists. And Volland declared: Last season we managed to finish fourth and now we want to finish higher. If we get going then it’s difficult to defend against us.”

Amazed spectators at the Bayer show

The journalists on the Kölner Express were sure after the final whistle: “There was no doubt! Bayer Leverkusen played around with Fortuna Düsseldorf for half the game and ending up with a convincing 3-1 victory to start the Bundesliga season with two wins for the first time in four years. … Wow, that was hard to take! Fortuna were helpless this time after the surprise 3-1 win in Bremen, losing the first home game 3-1 against Leverkusen and were unwilling spectators at the Bayer show for much of the game.”

Signal to the competition

The writers for the Berliner Morgenpost were taken with one image after the final whistle: “The magicians with the ball earned deserved applause from their fans. Kai Havertz, Kevin Volland, Karim Bellarabi and the other Bayer Leverkusen stars outplayed Fortuna Düsseldorf at times. With the perfect start to the season, Bayer have established a position at the top of the league. The convincing 3-1 win in the 59th Rhine derby in Düsseldorf sent out a signal to the competition, especially with the outstanding first half: A Champions League participant underlined their season targets here.”

Group stage of the Champions League

And Die Welt is already looking forward to next highlight of the week: “Bayer start the week in relaxed mood after two wins as the Werkself prepare to look to Monaco on Thursday. The group stage of the Champions League will be drawn and Bayer are in it having qualified in fourth position last season.”

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