Bayer 04 head coach Heiko Herrlich made two changes to the starting eleven in the Leipzig game: Julian Baumgartlinger and the fit again Karim Bellarabi came in for Mitchell Weiser and Wendell. The Werkself played with a back four today. Lars Bender moved to right back and Baumgartlinger played in holding midfield. Tin Jedvaj was in the left back position.
The situation ahead of the game was clear: "We haven't picked up enough points at home up to now. We want to put that right and definitely win against VfB," said Herrlich pre-match. The first tricky situation came just after kick-off when Pablo Maffeo went down in the Bayer 04 penalty area but the referee Robert Schröder decided Charles Aránguiz had not committed a foul and he waved play-on (2').
Then it was the turn of the hosts to get onto the front foot. A shot from Kevin Volland after a one-two with Bellarabi went over the bar (7'). Kai Havertz forced Ron-Robert Zieler into making a first save on 11 minutes with a shot from 17 yards out. Bayer 04 were now on top. The next exciting move came on 14 minutes: Emiliano Insua used his hand as Lars Bender played a lob on the edge of the VfB penalty area and referee Schröder initially awarded a penalty but then gave a free kick following the use of VAR - and the shot from Volland was blocked. Shortly after that, Aránguiz tried to hit a curler from a lay-off from Julian Brandt but his effort went over the target (20'). The hosts had the best chance on the half-hour mark when Havertz put in an outstanding cross for Jedvaj breaking into the opposition box. The Croatia international failed to connect properly and his shot went over the bar. Then came the next opportunity for the Werkself. Jedvaj found Volland in the penalty area but his effort from a tight angle went past the upright (34').
The Herrlich team were solid at the back and gave little away. Stuttgart only posed a slight threat from corners. Towards the end of the first half, the game became more physical - by the end of the first 45 minutes Schröder had already shown six yellow cards - three for each side. There was another chance for the hosts shortly before the break: A Bellarabi ball into the box was met by Volland with the tip of his boot – but there wasn't enough power in his effort. Bayer 04 had more of the game in the first 45 and the better chances.
Stuttgart had the first shot after the restart through Mario Gomez but Lukas Hradecky pulled off a great save to keep out his long-range effort (52'). Bayer 04 remained the more attacking team and were on top. The absolute determination of the Werkself was clear to see and the team put in a huge amount of running and challenges. But the score was still 0-0. A free kick from Aránguiz went inches wide of the top corner (57'). A classic counter-attack involving Brandt and Bellarabi led to the next massive chance for the Black and Reds. The industrious Volland put a cross from Bellarabi over the bar from five yards out. The opening goal was well overdue at this point.
With the introduction of Lucas Alario and Mitchell Weiser in place of Charles Aránguiz and Tin Jedvaj, Herrlich strengthened his attacking options. And the Werkself continued to press for the first goal and it finally came on 76 minutes: A corner from Brandt was headed home by Volland at the far post to give Bayer 04 a deserved 1-0 lead. And just seven minutes later, Volland doubled his tally with a fine shot from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 on 83 minutes. Jonathan Tah started the attack with a strong challenge, Alario picked out Volland and he settled the result with his second goal. Alario thought he had score a third in added time but it was ruled offside and then came the final whistle. Bayer 04 registered a vital 2-0 win against VfB.
This match marks the start of another packed fixture list over the next few weeks. Next up, Bayer 04 host Ludogorets in the Europa League at the BayArena on Thursday 29 November. The game kicks off at 18.55 CET. The next Bundesliga game is on Monday 3 December away to FC Nürnberg (20.30 CET).
Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender (Wendell 78'), Tah, S. Bender, Jedvaj (Weiser 66') – Baumgartlinger, Aránguiz (Alario 66') - Bellarabi, Havertz, Brandt - Volland
VfB Stuttgart: Zieler - Beck, Pavard, Kempf, Insua - Aogo (Akolo 81') - Maffeo (Thommy 46'), Ascacibar, Gentner (Castro 81'), Gonzalez - Gomez
Goals: 1-0 Volland (76'), 2-0 Volland (83')
Referee: Robert Schröder (Hannover)
Booked: Jedvaj, S. Bender, L. Bender - Gentner, Maffeo, Kempf
Why is healthy eating important? What positive effects can it have on everyday life? And what does a competitive athlete actually eat? These questions and many more were the focus of the latest Bayer 04 event as part of the neighbourhood games days. With a visit to GGS Kerschensteinerschule, Bayer 04 professionals Gustavo Puerta and Verena Wieder kicked off the third campaign match day of this Bundesliga season against VfL Bochum, which will be centred around the Küppersteg district. The duo were supported by nutritionist Lena Kadlec, who organised a workshop with the pupils.Show more
Bayer 04 are through to the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal after a 3-1 win over Paderborn in the round of 16. Victor Boniface opened the scoring before Exequiel Palacios doubled up inside the first half hour. Sebastian Klaas got one back for the visitors on 82 minutes, but Patrik Schick restored the two-goal lead a few moments later as Leverkusen extended their unbeaten start to 2023/24 to 21 matches.Show more
The Werkself host Paderborn in the DFB-Pokal round of 16 today, Wednesday 6 December (18:00 CET) at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the cup clash with the Bundesliga 2 club.Show more
The Bundesliga has announced its nominees for November’s Player of the Month, with two Werkself players up for the award in Alejandro Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong. Fans can now vote for who they want to win.Show more