28 points from 17 league games – that represents a better points return for Bayer 04 than in the previous two seasons when the Werkself clocked up 27 and 24 points respectively. And: It could have been (considerably) more if the Werkself had been able to hold onto leads – where a total of 13 points (five draws, one defeat) were dropped in six matches in the first half of the season.
Nevertheless, Heiko Herrlich's team (particularly as the campaign continues) have shown great morale. In eight of the first 17 matches of the season the Werkself went behind. The Black and Reds only failed to avoid defeat on three occasions. In the other five matches the Werkself fought back to pick up nine points (two wins, three draws) – only RB Leipzig have proved to be more capable of making comebacks (10 points).
As mentioned, the Werkself have only ended up losing three of the first 17 league games. They were a 3-1 defeat in the season opener at Bayern Munich, another 3-1 reverse at Mainz on matchday three and a 2-1 loss at Hertha on matchday five. Following the defeat at Hertha (20 September),Heiko Herrlich's team went on an impressive run of seven wins and six draws – no other club in the Bundesliga can match that series of results. If you count the two DFB Cup games against Union Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach then Bayer 04 are unbeaten in 14 matches.
The Werkself have proved to be particularly strong at the BayArena. None of the eight opponents in the first half of the season were able to win away to Bayer 04 – only the team at the top of the table at the winter break, that is Bayern Munich, are also unbeaten in eight home games at the Allianz Arena.
Herrlich's team have picked up 16 out of a possible 24 points at home: There were wins against SC Freiburg (4-0), Hamburg SV (3-0), FC Köln (2-1) and Werder Bremen (1:0). TSG Hoffenheim (2-2), VfL Wolfsburg (2-2), RB Leipzig (2-2) and Borussia Dortmund (1-1) left Leverkusen with one point.
Bayer 04 are the only team in the Bundesliga to score at least one goal in all 17 matches in the first half of the season. Taking the previous season into account, the Werkself have found the back of the net in all of the last 22 league matches.That means Leverkusen can beat the club record in the second half of the campaign (goal scored in 24 games in succession from October 1999 to May 2000). Bayer 04 have a goal difference of 34 to 23 in the first half of the season. Only league leaders Bayern Munich (37 goals) and third-placed Borussia Dortmund (39) have scored more often. For the statisticians amongst us: The last time Bayer 04 was so successful in converting chances at the same stage was back in the 2010/11 season (35 goals).
That does not apply to the number of goalscorers. The Werkself lead the way here with 13 different players scoring. The club's top scorer Kevin Volland Kevin Volland (9) is three ahead of Leon Bailey (6) and Julian Brandt (4). They are followed by Lucas Alario (3), Lars Bender, Sven Bender, Admir Mehmedi (all on 2) plus Charles Aránguiz, Karim Bellarabi, Kai Havertz, Dominik Kohr, Joel Pohjanpalo and Wendell with one apiece.
While we are looking at the players. Along with Mark Uth (TSG Hoffenheim), Kevin Volland is the most successful German striker in the Bundesliga with nine goals. In terms of strikes and assists, Leon Bailey is the top man at Leverkusen – in the opening half of the season he has not only scored six goals but also provided five assists. He heads the assist rankings at the club this term along with Kai Havertz. Moreover: Bailey scored three of the six goals as a substitute. The best return in the league.
Heiko Herrlich has used 22 players in the first half of the season. Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno leads the way and has recently been on top form ahead of the forthcoming World Cup. The Werkself shot-stopper has played from the start in all 17 games and has played every minute of every match. It is different with the outfield players: Only Julian Brandt has played in all of the games up to the winter break (13 times in the starting line-up, four times as a sub).
The Werkself skipper Lars Bender is the only player to score for the Herrlich team with his head so far this season – that was in the 2-1 win at VfB Stuttgart. Up to now he has scored two goals and provided two assists, which is an improvement on the previous two seasons put together.
And his twin brother also able to celebrate a first: His goals at Borussia Mönchengladbach and against FC Köln represent the first time he has scored two Bundesliga goals in a season– and that in two games in succession on matchdays nine and 10.
Last but not least! Two Black and Red players can say at the end of the year that they have not yet tasted defeat in 2017/18: Julian Baumgartlinger and new signing Lucas Alario both played nine matches in the first half of the season – and neither finished on the losing side: Baumgartlinger helped secure six wins and three draws, Alario five wins and four draws.
Hopefully those runs continue in the New Year. We wish everybody a healthy and successful 2018.
Monster Energy has been a partner in the Sponsors Club at Bayer 04 Leverkusen since the start of the 2023/24 season. Monster Energy has shown their products at Werkself home games on the LED advertising hoardings at the BayArena. Monster Energy activated the next stage of the partnership with the current Bundesliga league leaders for Bayer 04’s home game against Union Berlin in the middle of November. Monster Energy will continue to present themselves as a reliable and ambitious partner to Leverkusen fans through similar promotional events as at the game against Union Berlin.Show more
Bayer 04 involvement with the ‘Kältegang Leverkusen’ project continues this winter. The current Bundesliga league leaders and their fans again presented financial and in-kind donations to the homeless charity at home game against Borussia Dortmund (1-1).Show more
For the 17th time, Bayer 04 Sportförderung gGmbH has awarded the Volunteers Award for outstanding commitment to football in Leverkusen and the surrounding region. The three outstanding clubs in 2023 are BSV Roleber 1919, TuS 05 Oberpleis and SV 1924 Glehn. They will each receive prize money of €5,000.Show more
Bundesliga leaders Bayer 04 host Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 today, Sunday 3 December (17:30 CET), with a capacity crowd expected at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the clash with BVB.Show more
Two Bayer 04 players are on the shortlist for November 2023’s Goal of the Month on broadcaster ARD’s ‘Sportschau’. Fans have until midday CET on 20 December to vote for Alejandro Grimaldo’s opening goal in the Bundesliga game against Union Berlin or for Verena Wieder’s equaliser against RB Leipzig in the Google Pixel Women’s Bundesliga.Show more