Head coach Gerardo Seoane made two changes to his team from last week’s 3-0 win at Mainz. Both were enforced, with Piero Hincapie and Mitchel Bakker suspended. Odilon Kossounou and Daley Sinkgraven came in. But before the action got under way, there was a minute’s silence at the BayArena – and at all other grounds around the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 this matchday – to mark the 50th anniversary of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
As in Mainz, Bayer 04 were playing in all black and starting with a back three, with Jeremie Frimpong and Sinkgraven the wing-backs. After an even start to proceedings, it was the first attack of note that brought the opening goal as Kossounou got into the box down the right and squared the ball, where Demirbay tucked away from close range among the bodies with 16 minutes gone. The next attack also came from Leverkusen, but Schick only struck the side netting, before he was also denied by Mark Flekken on 35 minutes. Moussa Diaby was also thwarted by the Freiburg goalkeeper shortly before the break, so it remained 1-0 at half-time.
The second half couldn’t have got off to a much worse start for Bayer 04. Matthias Ginter first headed in the equaliser from a Vincenzo Grifo corner three minutes after the restart before Michael Gregoritsch tapped home a Woo-yeong Jeong square ball to put Freiburg ahead on 51 minutes. It demanded a response from the Werkself, so Seoane sent on Sardar Azmoun, Charles Aranguiz and new signing Hudson-Odoi just after the hour. And those changes paid off.
It was the England international’s cross from the left that found Schick in the middle, and he headed home a deserved equaliser with 65 minutes on the clock. Leverkusen had fought back after a brief wobble and – like before half-time – were throwing themselves into challenges. However, Lukas Hradecky & Co. were hit with another setback as Freiburg put away just their third telling opportunity of the game when Ritsu Doan forced the ball home. Even with 18 minutes still to play, there was no way back again for Bayer 04 as they remain without a point at home this season after three games.
The Werkself now face back-to-back away games. First they kick off the new Champions League season away at Belgian champions Club Brugge on Wednesday, 7 September. They’re back in Bundesliga action at Hertha Berlin just three days later.
Bayer 04: Hradecky – Kossounou, Tah (Aranguiz 60'), Tapsoba – Frimpong, Andrich (Amiri 78'), Palacios (Hudson-Odoi 60'), Sinkgraven (Fosu-Mensah 78') – Demirbay (Azmoun 60') – Diaby, Schick
Freiburg: Flekken – Ginter, Lienhart, Gulde (Doan 46') – Sildillia, Keitel (Eggestein 46'), Höfler, Günter – Sallai (Jeong 9'), Gregoritsch (Schlotterbeck 79'), Grifo (Petersen 79')
Goals: 1-0 Demirbay (16'), 1-1 Ginter (48'), 1-2 Gregoritsch (51'), 2-2 Schick (65'), 2-3 Doan (72')
Yellow cards: Tah, Amiri – Höfler, Gregoritsch
Referee: Sascha Stegemann
Attendance: 26,853 at the BayArena
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
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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