The Werkself did not lose any time in their first home game of the 2021/22 season: It was 2-0 to the passionate hosts after an own goal from Yann Sommer and a strike from Patrik Schick. When it looked like it could become more interesting just before half-time, Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty from Lars Stindl. Moussa Diaby and Nadiem Amiri added the two other Leverkusen goals in the second half. HERE is the detailed match report.
Whether it's Mitchel Bakker ("We enjoyed it and so did our supporters") or Lukas Hradecky ("The performance was right, the whole of Leverkusen was behind us, it was simply brilliant") – all the Bayer 04 players expressed their joy at the outstanding victory but also made it clear how happy they are about the return of the fans. The support from the stands also played an important part in the assessment from coach Gerardo Seoane. "Our impressive start was also down to the crowd," said the Swiss boss before adding full praise for his team in addition to the compliment to the spectators: "We were very sharp, compact and showed solidarity with each other – I felt a great energy from the start. There was a great team spirit today."
There were lots of reasons for this victory: At the end of an impressive display as a group, the team was the star of the night – and the fans were also really big winners. There were some notable moments: Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty for the sixth time at Bayer 04, Moussa Diaby was the fastest player on the pitch with a top speed of 35.1 kmph and new signing Robert Andrich made his debut for the Werkself in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Bayer 04 produced a clinical and efficient display. While the 4-0 scoreline makes a clear statement there are also some stats from both teams at a similar level. The Werkself and Borussia were more or less equal in terms of shots on goal as well as possession and pass completion. The Black and Reds were clearly on top in challenges and tackles made (56 to 44 per cent).
The media also heaped praise on the Werkself. The assessment in the online edition of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger under the heading 'That was good': "Sometimes it's difficult to say much under this heading. In this case you could almost break the mould. (…) The Werkself have rarely looked so compact as in the outstanding first quarter of an hour. The team operated as a pack chasing every ball, blocking off every passing option and using each and every opportunity to attack." The conclusion: Bayer 04 have kicked off the season at home with fireworks and a talent show which almost left you speechless. It wasn't a win, it was a statement."
Bild online awarded top marks to five Bayer 04 players after the spectacular four-goal display. Those top marks were for Lukas Hradecky ("The penalty killer again") Mitchel Bakker ("Bayer finally have a left-back of high calibre") Exequiel Palacios ("His best match, impressive how he reads and resolves situations in the game"), Moussa Diaby ("An assist for Schick, scored the third goal himself. Unstoppable") and coach Gerardo Seoane ("He communicated one thing above all to his group – playing as a team!").
The Rheinische Post highlighted three players in their individual assessment: Lukas Hradecky ("outstanding in every tricky situation"), Exequiel Palacios ("a terrific performance") and Moussa Diaby ("His dribbles. Impressive. His pace? Irresistible. His quick thinking? Incredible.").
After four points from the first two games against Union Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Werkself are in action on Bundesliga matchday three away to FC Augsburg (Saturday, 28 August, 15.30 CEST). Augsburg picked up their first point on Saturday with a goalless draw at Eintracht Frankfurt after losing 4-0 in their opening match against TSG Hoffenheim. A positive omen for Bayer 04: In the previous ten Bundesliga matches at Augsburg there have been six wins and four draws and the two DFB Cup ties both ended in victory for the Werkself.
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