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26.01.2020Bundesliga

Werkself beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-0 in first home game

The Werkself secured victory in the first home game of the second half of the Bundesliga season. In a clash with the neighbours from Düsseldorf, Bayer 04 earned a deserved 3-0 win against Fortuna and now move up to fifth in the table. The goals for the Peter Bosz team were scored by Kai Havertz (40'), Lars Bender (79') and Lucas Alario from the penalty spot (79').
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"Today's game does us a lot of good, above all with the clean sheet," said Kai Havertz who opened the scoring at 1-0. "We had some good moves and lots of good chances. That's something we can build on."

The Werkself started with the same line-up as in the first game after the winter break at Paderborn. "We played very well so there is no need to change things," was the thinking of head coach Peter Bosz who was able to welcome Leon Bailey and Wendell back to the squad after suspension and that gave him further options.

Long stand-off – interplay between Bellarabi and Diaby

As at Paderborn, the Werkself dominated from the start and moved the ball around well. Progress was made down the flanks but Bayer 04 initially lacked precision in the decision-making in the final third. In contrast, Fortuna very much looked to maintain their defensive structure, defended with discipline and scarcely moved upfield. The outcome: Little goalmouth action in the opening stages. The Werkself needed a lot of patience and a set-piece before the first real threat on goal in the game. A header from Havertz set up Kevin Volland in the six-yard box but he slipped at the decisive moment and hit the ball into the side netting (24').

That move got the game going. Daley Sinkgraven pulled off a brilliant tackle to frustrate a Düsseldorf counter-attack (26'), Markus Suttner at the other end cleared a shot from Karim Bellarabi off the line to prevent Bayer 04 taking the lead (27'). Peter Bosz decided to vary his attack at this point with Moussa Diaby and Bellarabi switching wings. The latter, now on the left flank, created other chances. A great move ended with his powerful shot hitting the side netting (29'), then he just failed to connect with a cross from Diaby (37’). The visitors from Düsseldorf then became more adventurous: Erik Thommy just missed connecting with a dangerous Suttner cross (31') and a rocket from Rouwen Hennings flew just wide of the left upright (36').

Havertz converts Bellarabi cross

Bayer 04 set the pace throughout the first half. The lead for the Peter Bosz team was therefore a logical consequence: After a smart intervention by Kerem Demirbay, Bellarabi had more space on the left flank. The winger put in a delightful cross for Havertz, who had eluded Suttner, to coolly head the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for the Werkself (40'). A great move!

The opening goal gave the Werkself a boost and it was all one-way traffic for the Black and Reds in the final minutes of the first half. A shot from Kevin Volland was deflected away from the target – and there was real danger from the ensuing corner. Jonathan Tah struck a volley but it only hit his team-mate Volland. The ball stayed alive and the Fortuna keeper Florian Kastenmeier was able to parry a header from Julian Baumgartlinger (42'). The following corner saw the Austria international again rise highest but his header missed the target to the right (43') – just 1-0 at half-time.

The match takes off – Werkself active on the wings

At the start of the second half, Bellarabi and Diaby changed back to their original positions – and, above all, the Frenchman was now very lively. In the opening minutes after the restart, he broke down the left several times and an excellent cross was headed over the bar by Volland when he was well-placed (55'), then Diaby hit a shot wide just before the hour mark. And on the other wing? Bellarabi continued where he had left off in the first half. Another energetic move saw him put the ball over the target (53').

Bayer 04 now had significantly more chances than in the first half due to the fact Düsseldorf moved up the pitch in the attempt to level as they sought to get on the front foot. Defender Kaan Ayhan missed the ball when he was unmarked from a corner, a shot from Thommy landed in the arms of Lukas Hradecky (60'). The match really got going during this phase and both sides missed out the midfield and there were great chances at each end: After another sprint from Diaby down the left, an effort from Volland was only inches wide (61'), and Hradecky pulled off an incredible reflex save at the other end to keep out a volley from Hennings (62'). It was a brilliant save by the Werkself keeper who had scarcely been tested before in the icy temperatures and nevertheless was on his toes at the right moment. The ensuing corner again saw Hennings shoot but his effort went over the top (63').

The captain scores: Lars Bender makes it 2-0

Peter Bosz reacted to the somewhat more adventurous approach of the visitors by bringing on Leon Bailey in place of Bellarabi. The tempo remained high in an enormously entertaining encounter that saw Bayer 04 have further goalscoring opportunities. Kastenmeier parried a long-range effort from Volland (69') and, shortly after that, the Düsseldorf shot-stopper first kept out Volland and then Baumgartlinger (70'). It was clear the Werkself had enough chances to be further ahead.

But that kept the excitement levels up in the closing stages – and Düsseldorf in the game. A chance for Fortuna found Hradecky and then Sinkgraven wide-awake as they cleared a dangerous situation (77'). Bailey then had a chance at the other and to double the lead but Kastenmeier kept out the Jamaican (78'). It was hard to believe that only one goal had been scored in the game – but that then changed from the following corner. Demirbay curled the ball into the six-yard box. Kastenmeier was unable to intercept and Lars Bender was at the far post to put the ball in the back of the net – 2-0 (79').

Alario seals result from the penalty spot

That appeared to have settled the result – and Bayer 04 were now really enjoying their attacking approach. A double chance for Bailey was denied by Kastenmeier and Kevin Stöger (80'), a low drive from Volland went just wide of the left-hand post (83'). Two substitutes were involved in final key move. Lucas Alario and Nadiem Amiri were brought on in the closing stages – and they were the last two leading protagonists in an eventful second half. Amiri was brought down in the box by Matthias Zimmermann and Alario slotted the penalty into the bottom right corner to put the Werkself 3-0 up (89').

The win in the first home game of the year moves Bayer 04 up to fifth in the table. Next Saturday, the Werkself will be looking to build on the impressive start with six points and seven goals for and one against from the first two games in the second half of the season. The Werkself are away to TSG Hoffenheim in a 15.30 CET kick-off.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender, Tah, S. Bender, Sinkgraven – Baumgartlinger, Demirbay – Bellarabi (Bailey 63'), Havertz, Diaby (Alario 76') – Volland (Amiri 87')

Fortuna Düsseldorf: Kastenmeier - Zimmermann, Ayhan, Hoffmann, Suttner - Sobottka - Skrzybski (Kownacki 65'), Morales, Fink (Stöger 63'), Thommy (Ampomah 87') - Hennings

Goals: 1-0 Havertz (40’), 2-0 L. Bender (79’), 3-0 Alario (89’ pen.)

Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)

Booked: Hoffmann, Kownacki, Hennings

Attendance: 26,250

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