Werkself hit Werder for six

What a match! What a win! Bayer 04 beat Werder Bremen 6-2 on their own ground to round off Bundesliga matchday 9. Kevin Volland, Julian Brandt, Karim Bellarabi, Kai Havertz and Aleksandar Dragovic scored for the Werkself. Plus Sebastian Langkamp scored an own goal. Werder Bremen pulled it back to 3-2 at one point. But the Werkself responded clinically and could have won by a bigger margin in the end.

Bayer 04 coach Heiko Herrlich made four changes to the side that faced FC Zürich in the Europa League: Jonathan Tah, Mitchell Weiser, Julian Brandt and Kevin Volland started in place of Tin Jedvaj, Dominik Kohr, Leon Bailey and Isaac Kiese Thelin, who were all on the bench. 


It did not take long for the two teams to get a measure of each other in the 77th Bundesliga meeting of Werder Bremen and Bayer 04. Werder had the first half-chance through Ludwig Augustinsson but he was unable to get a clean shot away on seven minutes. The visitors, playing in blue today, then went one better a minute later. Kai Havertz put through Bellarabi down the right and his whipped-in cross was turned into the net from close range by Volland. Lucky for Bayer 04 as Werder should have been awarded a throw-in rather than the Werkself in the build-up. But that part of the move was not subject to VAR.

Werder answered by increased attacking efforts as they looked to put Bayer 04 under pressure but the Leverkusen defence stood firm at first. The Werkself showed great commitment in standing up to Werder. Volland tested the Werder keeper Jiri Pavlenka with a left-foot shot from 20 yards out on 20 minutes. Shortly after that, it became tricky in the visitors penalty area when Augustinsson was frustrated by a brilliant reaction-save from Lukas Hradecky and then Wendell cleared off the line from the follow-up shot by Max Kruse Wendell (23').

Then the Werkself struck again. A mistake by Marco Friedl allowed Bellarabi to go through one-on-one with Pavlenka but he put his shot just wide of the left upright (28'). Just one minute later, Havertz raced towards the Werder goal and Pavlenka was stretched to the limit to turn his shot away for a corner (29'). The game really took off. Werder pressed for the equaliser. Kruse just missed the target with a volley (31') and then Mitchell Weiser took the ball off the toes of the Bremen striker at the last moment (34').

Brandt and Bellarabi clinical

But Bayer 04 hit back emphatically. First, Dragovic halted a Bremen attack and then hit a brilliant pass to Bellarabi down the right flank. Pavlenka parried his cross only for Brandt to strike the ball with some force from 15 yards out to make it 2-0 for Bayer 04 (38'). And there was more to come: Just before half-time, Volland put Bellarabi through and the Werkself number 38 chipped the ball delightfully over Pavlenka and into the net (45'). 3-0 for Bayer 04. The fans at the Weser Stadium were dumbfounded. Before the game, Werder had conceded the fewest goals in the league - eight goals in eight games. Now they had conceded three goals in one half. And Bellarabi was directly involved in all three.

After the restart, Werder attempted to up the pressure but the three goals had certainly made their mark. Initially, the hosts were unable to provide a threat on goal. In contrast, Bayer 04 almost made it four: The tireless Bellarabi was unlucky when his shot was deflected onto the post (51'). Bellarabi was then substituted in favour of Leon Bailey. 

Werder back in the game

But Bremen had not given up hope. Substitute Claudio Pizarro scored on the hour mark to make 3-1. And less than 120 seconds later it was suddenly 3-2. Yuya Osako scored from close range on 62 minutes. Referee Marco Fritz initially indicated it was offside but the goal was awarded after consulting the VAR. The tension and excitement returned.But not for long.

Havertz and Dragovic settle result

Then Volland put a great ball through to Havertz and the Werkself youngster coolly chipped the ball over the keeper from a tight angle to make it 4-2 in favour of the visitors (67'). And five minutes later it was Dragovic who sealed the victory. Pavlenka failed to intercept a corner from Brandt and Dragovic was in the right place to stick out a knee and divert the ball into the net: 5-2 for Bayer 04 (72'). 

Bremen were confounded. Bayer 04 were on fire. Weiser crossed from the right flank, Havertz touched the ball but it came off Langkamp into his own net (77'). 6-2 for the Werkself. What a night of football on the banks of the Weser. And it could have been much worse for the hosts. Brandt and Dominic Kohr were denied by the impressive reactions of Pavlenka (86'). 

Then a fantastic night of football came to an end. Bayer 04 have sent out a message to the league with the 6-2 win at Werder Bremen. 

The three-day rhythm carries on for the Werkself: Bayer 04 play Borussia Mönchengladbach in the second round of the DFB Cup on Wednesday 31 October. The tie kicks off at 20.45 CET.

Match stats:

Werder Bremen: Pavlenka - Veljkovic, Langkamp, Friedl (Pizarro 46') - Gebre Selassie, Sahin (Rashica 70'), Augustinsson - M. Eggestein, Klaassen - Osako (Möhwald 79'), Kruse

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Tah, S. Bender, Dragovic – Weiser, L. Bender (Kohr 59'), Havertz (Alario 81'), Wendell – Bellarabi (Bailey 52'), Volland, Brandt

Goals: 0-1 Volland (8'), 0-2 Brandt (38'), 0-3 Bellarabi (45'), 1-3 Pizarro (60'), 2-3 Osako (62'), 2-4 Havertz (67'), 2-5 Dragovic (72'), 2-6 Langkamp (o.g. 77')

Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)

Booked: Langkamp, Veljkovic - Volland, Tah

Attendance: 40,000

Related News

Bayer 04 - 17.04.2024

Eight Werkself stars nominated for Team of the Season

The German Football League (DFL) has launched the vote for the Bundesliga Team of the Season. As of now, fans of the Werkself can select no fewer than eight Bayer 04 players in the top XI of the 2023/24 campaign: on the shortlist are Lukas Hradecky, Jonathan Tah, Jeremie Frimpong, Alejandro Grimaldo, Granit Xhaka, Exequiel Palacios, Florian Wirtz and Victor Boniface. Voting closes on Monday 22 April at 9:00 CEST.

Show more
Frauen - 17.04.2024

Bayer 04 Women out to top last season’s tally in trip to Leipzig

Bayer 04 Women have the chance to surpass their points total from last season with three games remaining in the Google Pixel Bundesliga as they visit RB Leipzig for Matchday 19 on Friday (kick-off: 6.30pm CEST). Victory against the promoted side would take Robert de Pauw’s team onto 31 points, one more than they managed in their 22 fixtures in 2022/23.

Show more
Bundesliga - 15.04.2024

Werkself review #B04SVW: A happy end to the fairy tale

14 April 2024 will go down in history at Bayer Leverkusen. We’ll try to reconstruct it all for you. Not only are the Werkself the first new champions of Germany since Wolfsburg in 2009, but only twice before in Bundesliga history has such the title been won earlier than Matchday 29. It ended Bayern Munich’s 11-year reign as champions. And Leverkusen are still undefeated in their 43 competitive matches this season, equalling the all-time record of a team in the five major European leagues. We round it all up in our Werkself review…

Show more
Bundesliga - 15.04.2024

“Really remarkable”: The media reaction to Bayer 04’s Bundesliga triumph

Media from around the world have honoured the Werkself's season after they secured their first Bundesliga title with a 5-0 win at home to Werder Bremen. We round up the praise showered on Xabi Alonso's team…

Show more
Bundesliga - 14.04.2024

The first few hours as champions of Germany! 📸🖤❤️

Sheer emotion at the BayArena! The final whistle in the home game against Werder Bremen (5-0) at 19.21 CEST marks the start of the Black and Red champions party. First on the pitch, then in the dressing room, in the press conference room and finally with the fans again in the stadium. Images from the first hours as champions of Germany.

Show more