Head coach Gerardo Seoane made three changes to his side that started in the 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin: Daley Sinkgraven, Florian Wirtz and Nadiem Amiri came in for Piero Hincapie, Exequiel Palacios and Paulinho (all on the bench).
The Werkself made a fantastic start and had the ball in the back of the net after three minutes: Moussa Diaby put the ball through to Jeremie Frimpong on the right wing and he crossed from the byline to the far post to Amine Adli. The header from the Frenchman was cleared by Manuel Riemann but the ball was over the line – an early 1-0 lead for the Black and Reds.
Bochum soon responded with a free kick from Eduard Löwen from 25 yards out but that was comfortably saved by the Bayer 04 keeper Lukas Hradecky (8'). At the other end, Riemann would have been helpless to keep out a Wirtz header few minutes later. However, the youngster headed a brilliant cross from Robert Andrich just wide of the target (16').
Both teams played on the front foot – even though VfL Bochum were more defensively organised and increasingly relied on counter-attacks. Both sides were keen to attack. The next notable move came from the visitors: After an unsuccessful corner from the Werkself, Bochum stepped up a gear and quickly moved up to the Leverkusen penalty area. In the end, Takuma Asano had a great chance to level but Jonathan Tah was in the right spot to clear the ball off the line – good luck for the Seoane team (26').
Bayer 04 had two great chances to increase their lead six minutes before half-time. Wirtz lacked accuracy (39') and then Riemann pulled off a great save to deny Sinkgraven (42'). The Black and Reds took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The visitors came out fighting in the second half and pressed for the equaliser. Edmond Tapsoba and Co. were on their toes and defended well in front of their own goal – VfL were unable to create any positive chances to upset the Leverkusen defence. At the other end, Wirtz had chances to double the lead: The 18-year-old was on his own after a Bochum corner but his finish was too hectic and his shot from 16 yards out was wide of Riemann's goal.
The Werkself were increasingly passive in the second half and the visitors had more of the game. But VfL striker Sebastian Polter and his fellow attackers did not really pose a threat. Asano had the best chance but Hradecky saved the long-range effort (67'). Substitute Paulinho had an opportunity chance to seal the game with 15 minutes to play: The Brazilian was through on Riemann but was unable to beat him – the VfL keeper produced a brilliant reflex save (77'). That was the final dangerous situation for both sides as the match ended in a 1-0 home win for the Black and Reds.
After four league games without a win, Bayer 04 picked up three important points. As VfL Wolfsburg were only able to draw 2-2 against Arminia Bielefeld, the Seoane team have moved up to fourth in the table. Kerem Demirbay and Co. are back in action on Thursday, 25 November (kick-off: 18.45 CET). Celtic visit the BayArena in the Europa League
Bayer 04: Hradecky – Frimpong, Tapsoba, Tah, Sinkgraven (Hincapie 76') – Andrich, Demirbay (Palacios 65') – Diaby, Wirtz (Kossounou 90’), Amiri (Paulinho 76’) – Adli
Bochum: Riemann – Stafylidis, Lampropoulos, Masovic, Soares – Löwen (Novothny 82’), Losilla, Rexhbecaj (Pantovic 69’) – Asano, Polter (Ganvoula 82’), Antwi-Adjei (Bockhorn 69’)
Goals: 1-0 Adli (3’)
Booked: Frimpong, Diaby, Adli – Masovic, Soares
Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)
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