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27.02.2022Bundesliga

#B04DSC review: Another clean sheet

The fifth win in the seventh Bundesliga match in 2022 and it was a special one for the Werkself: Bayer 04 succeeded in keeping a clean sheet for the first time since the 1-0 win against VfL Bochum on 20 November last year. Yesterday’s 3-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday 26 February was a commanding and resolute performance by the team under head coach Gerardo Seoane.
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SUMMARY: Points never in doubt

The match began with a minute’s silence due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two teams also wore black armbands and Bayer 04 amended their matchday events. That included no carnival music being played. With five changes to the starting line-up compared with the 3-2 defeat at FSV Mainz 05, the Werkself took charge of proceedings straight away. One or two chances went begging before Lucas Alario - up front in place of the injured Patrik Schick - broke the deadlock (30’). The visitors upped their game but the Black and Reds deservedly took a 1-0 lead into half-time. The second half brought a double chance for the Werkself: A Bielefeld player first blocked a volley from Jonathan Tah from ten yards out (56’); but the ball was in the back of the net 60 seconds later. Moussa Diaby moved upfield with the ball, played a one-two with Florian Wirtz and then converted to make it 2-0 (57’). And it was the France international who sealed the win at 3-0 with his second strike of the game late on (81’). HERE is the match report.

 

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REACTION: "Focused defending"

“Finally another clean sheet,” said goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky happy about the first win without reply in 98 days. The Werkself skipper added: “We wanted to put the defeat against Mainz behind us – and we did that. I’m very happy with our performance today.” Head coach Gerardo Seoane praised his team for their overall display: “Congratulations to my team for a good performance. We succeeded in achieving a good mix of possession and dangerous moves from the start. And we were very focused in defending against Bielefeld transition play.”

PERSONNEL: Diaby outstanding in 2022

Moussa Diaby has been riding high for weeks: It was goal numbers six and seven in the last five games for the 22-year-old. No other Werkself player has scored as often as the France international since matchday 20. He has now netted twelve times in the current campaign. Head coach Gerardo Seoane on his winger: “Moussa is much more focused on his work at the moment, is not picking up yellow cards compared with the first half of the season and he is more disciplined in his defensive game.”

STATS: All favour the Black and Reds

The numbers back up the result. The Werkself had 72 per cent possession plus 59 per cent of challenges won and a pass completion rate of over 90 per cent (Bielefeld: 77). The Black and Reds were also on top in shots on goal with 21 to 9. This year it is running like clockwork at home: The 1-1 draw with Union Berlin was followed by three wins for Jonathan Tah and Co. - with a total of twelve goals scored.


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WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: "Individual class"

The Welt am Sonntag headline reads “Ready for Europa” and the report continues: “Bayer win convincingly, consolidate third spot and Champions League qualification is in their sights.” And the Rheinische Post reports a deserved win for Bayer: “Leverkusen primarily impressed against Bielefeld with individual class. At the end of the day, a deserved 3-0 home win and the first clean sheet for the Werkself since November.”

OUTLOOK: Bayern bound

The Werkself are away to the league leaders on matchday 25. Bayern Munich entertain head coach Gerardo Seoane’s team on Saturday 5 March. The clash between first and third kicks off at 15.30 CET.

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