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23.01.2022Bundesliga

#B04FCA review: Matchwinner praises fellow countryman

Bayer 04 consolidate third place in the Bundesliga with a 5-1 victory over FC Augsburg. The man of the match, with a hat-trick, was Moussa Diaby who gave special praise to his teammate and fellow countryman Amine Adli. The Werkself review of #B04FCA.
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Summary: Diaby shines with hat-trick

The Werkself had the upper hand in the opening stages and were rewarded early on with the opening goal. A whipped-in cross from Mitchel Bakker was converted by Karim Bellarabi to put the Black and Reds 1-0 up (9') and the lead was doubled a quarter of an hour later: Patrik Schick allowed the ball to rebound to Amine Adli who in turn passed the ball into the path of Moussa Diaby. The Frenchman had an unhindered shot in the penalty area and his powerful left-foot effort found the bottom right corner (24'). Augsburg pulled a goal back after the restart with a strike out of the blue from Arne Meier (62') but the Seoane team brushed that half and provided the right response. Centre stage: Moussa Diaby. The 22-year-old first tucked away a goal to make it 3-1 (65) and and then sealed the result following a great pass from Jeremie Frimpong (69'). Substitute Lucas Alario rounded off proceedings: The Argentinian striker beat FCA keeper Rafal Gikiewicz with a back-heel to make it 5-1 from a through ball.

Reaction: "It was great fun!“

"We had a good game today because we prepared very well during the week," said matchwinner Diaby after the game before adding: "The team has been very concentrated and focused in training." Karim Bellarabi highlighted that "we work very well as a team and were rewarded with the victory after an impressive performance." In addition, joy of playing was the key to success as Jeremie Frimpong underlined: "It was great fun because we scored five goals," said the Dutchman. "We were clinical. The team played really well. It was a brilliant performance."

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Coach Gerardo Seoane summed up the 5-1 win as follows: "We were very focused from the start, we began well and caused Augsburg to make mistakes. The team quickly sorted themselves out after a difficult phase at the start of the second half. It's a deserved win in my opinion." Moreover, according to the Swiss coach, the team took a big step forward against Augsburg as "we quickly found our shape again" after conceding.

Personnel: French power and Aránguiz comeback

No question: Moussa Diaby was undoubtedly the Man of the Match with his first hat-trick for Bayer 04. It was striking how well the partnership with Amine Adli worked with Adli providing the assist for Diaby's first goal. "We all know Amine is a very good player," said the 22-year-old in praise of his teammate before adding: "We've known each other for a long time from the France youth teams. We speak the same language and both come from France. That obviously makes communication easy. We are both left footers and we are very good together. I'm really happy Amine is in our team. I thank him for the outstanding pass he played to me."

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The 5-1 victory not only brought three points but also saw the comeback of Charles Aránguiz. The Chilean midfielder missed the last two Bundesliga matches due to a muscle injury. The stalwart made his first appearance of the calendar year against Augsburg – he came on for Adli on 70 minutes. Welcome back, Charly.

Stats: Run against favourite opponents continues

Aside from the fact that the Black and Reds were able to consolidate third place in the table with the victory, Jonathan Tah and Co. also extended an impressive run on Saturday. The Werkself remained unbeaten in Bundesliga fixture number 22 against FC Augsburg (15 wins, 7 draws) – no other fixture in the history of the Bundesliga has been played as often without one of the two teams being able to win a single match. In addition, the Black and Reds again proved they are on their toes from the kick-off. The opening goal from Karim Bellarabi (9') was the twelfth goal of the season for the Seoane team in the opening quarter of an hour – the best return in Germany's top flight.

What the papers say: "Diaby tears Augsburg apart"

‘Diaby tears Augsburg apart’ is the headline in the EXPRESS as they ascribe the Werkself with an "impressive performance despite coach Gerardo Seoane having to improvise with eight changes from the important win at Mönchengladbach." Kicker saw a "free-flowing Leverkusen side" who against a "susceptible FC Augsburg, deservedly won 5-1 to underline their Champions League ambitions." The Rheinische Post analysis was that Bayer 04 controlled the game and "were able to pass at will." The player with the top mark for RP was Moussa Diaby. "His goal to make it 4-1 finally secured him the title of Player of the Match. Rating: particularly valuable,” the report reads. Robert Andrich impressed as a "sole enforcer", Jeremie Frimpong "showed great vision."

Outlook: Off to BVB with "great confidence"

The Bundesliga now takes the first break of the New Year. The Werkself remain third in the table with 35 points and are eight behind second-placed Borussia Dortmund – Leverkusen's next opponents. Head coach Gerardo Seoane's team are away to BVB on Sunday, 6 February (kick-off: 15.30 CET). Bayer 04 were on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline in the meeting earlier in the season. The Black and Reds are now aiming for a third victory on the bounce following the two wins. Captain  Lukas Hradecky is aware of that: "Now," said the Finnish keeper, "we can head to the game against Dortmund with great confidence."

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