In principle, the match turned out as head coach Gerardo Seoane thought it might before the game. "Köln are aggressive with their pressing. That approach to the game could help us. We have to get out of those situations and then benefit from our pace, ” said the 42-year-old ahead of the match. And that's exactly what happened: Bayer 04 impressed in the first half with an extremely dynamic as well as accurate counter attacking game. Patrik Schick put the Werkself ahead on 15 minutes. That was the start of two crazy minutes as Karim Bellarabi smashed the ball into the back of the net almost immediately (17'). Jeremie Frimpong had a great chance to make it 3-0 before half-time but he hit the bar (25').
The Black and Reds again and again waited for the chance to play on the break in the second half. Those chances did come but too often there was a lack of accuracy that meant Schick and Co. failed to score again. At the other end, FC Köln were increasingly on the front foot as they pressed to get back in the game. That happened on 63 minutes: Anthony Modeste evaded his markers in the Leverkusen penalty area and left keeper Lukas Hradecky with no chance of making a save. And 20 minutes later, it was the Köln striker again who rounded off the scoring: Sebastian Andersson flicked on a throw-in at the near post to Modeste who headed home to make it 2-2. So there were no winners in the derby.
After the game, Lukas Hradecky talked about what many others were probably thinking: "Not winning this match feels like a defeat. It's not a point won but rather a point lost," declared a disappointed Bayer 04 captain. And Robert Andrich held a mirror up to himself and his teammates after the final whistle: "We should," said the 27-year-old, "have scored the third and fourth goal in the first half and won the match. We let Köln get back into the game. And anything is possible in a derby." The analysis of coach Gerardo Seoane was, "we should have been much more efficient in the first half with our determination and situations where we had players over. We were careless with chances and lost control of the game." After the restart, Köln "caused us problems with their change of approach and their long balls."
He keeps on scoring: Patrik Schick netted his eighth goal in the Bundesliga this season in the derby – only FC Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski (10) and Borussia Dortmund Erling Haaland (9) have scored more. The Czech has now equalled a Leverkusen club record: Eight goals after nine games in the Bundesliga for Bayer 04 has only previously been achieved by Patrik Helmes in 2008/09. Schick, who signed for the Werkself in September of last year, has now scored 21 goals in a total of 49 games for the Back and Reds – an impressive return.
Karim Bellarabi scored the second goal for Leverkusen in Cologne. And that strike was also special: The 31-year-old scored his last Bundesliga goal on 7 March 2020 against Eintracht Frankfurt (4-0). It was Bellarabi's second goal this term after he found the back of the net in the DFB Cup First Round tie against Lokomotive Leipzig (3-0). Both Schick and Bellarabi had to go off due to injury against FC Köln. We wish them both a speedy recovery.
Fast counter-attacks after winning possession – that was the aim for the derby against Köln. That is also reflected in the numbers of the game. Bayer 04 had less possession (38%) but, particularly in the first half, posed more threats on goal. The Werkself continued to look for chances the play on the break in the second half. Over the 90 minutes, there were nine shots on the goal of FC Köln keeper Timo Horn. The Goats were increasingly more attacking after the restart with 19 efforts on Lukas Hradecky's goal. The Black and Reds had the slight advantage in challenges (52% won).
The analysis in the kicker took up the criticism of the Bayer 04 players after the final whistle. "Bayer failed to make the most of the counter-attacks," wrote the football journal. The Rheinische Post said the Black and Reds made a good start of the game but equally praised the "passionate Köln players" who were able to recover from the Leverkusen double whammy over the course of the game. Karim Bellarabi had the top mark for a Werkself player in the kicker report. The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger praised the impressive performance of Robert Andrich (“best Leverkusen player”). The midfielder, who joined Bayer 04 at the start of the season, was involved in the creation of both goals and also impressed with passionate challenges as well as accurate and swift passing.
Bayer 04 are now fourth in the Bundesliga after nine games. Today (Monday) sees the Werkself go straight into the next double fixture week. There is not much time for the team under head coach Gerardo Seoane to recover. Jonathan Tah and Co. are next in action on Wednesday, 27 October, with a DFB Cup Second Round tie against second division Karlsruher SC. The kick-off at the BayArena is at 18.30 CEST. The next Bundesliga match for the Black and Reds is on Saturday, 30 October (kick-off: 15.30 CEST). VfL Wolfsburg, who have just parted company with head coach Mark van Bommel, are the visitors.
Bayer 04 welcomed 14 media representatives from Africa on Friday, 1 December. The trip for journalists from the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mozambique, Togo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Togo was organised by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) with the goal of establishing and promoting Africa as a new target market for the Bundesliga.Show more
Bayer 04 has modernised its media working area in the stands at the BayArena and equipped it with new, multifunctional monitors. The 50 screens will be used for the first time for the fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga next Sunday, 3 December (kick-off: 17:30 CET) and offer the media representatives working at the BayArena on matchday numerous possibilities.Show more
Bayer 04 have little time to recover from their 2-0 win away at Häcken in the UEFA Europe League, ensuring progress to the round of 16, before their next challenge up against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET). At his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, head coach Xabi Alonso spoke about BVB and gave a warning about not losing focus.Show more
Spirits are high at Borussia Dortmund following their impressive display and result away at AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. On Sunday (17:30 CET), they want to keep an impressive week going with another scalp in Leverkusen. Here’s the lowdown on our next opponents.Show more