In his debut in the dugout, new coach Xabi Alonso made one change to the line-up for the 2-0 defeat at Porto with Mitchel Bakker replacing Adam Hlozek. From the kick-off, the Werkself were tactically disciplined and on the front foot, mainly through Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby on the right flank. A goal from Charles Aránguiz on ten minutes was ruled out due to a foul by Piero Hincapie in the build-up but Diaby (38’) and Frimpong (41’) gave the Werkself a deserved two-goal lead going into the break. Frimpong made it 3-0 less than ten minutes after the restart to seal the result (53'). The scoring was rounded off by substitute Paulinho with his strike at 4-0 (90'). HERE is the match report.
"That was a step in the right direction. We were clinical with our goals," said goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky after the final whistle but he then made it clear: "But there’s still room for improvement." Robert Andrich backed up the Werkself skipper: "It was an important and necessary win and a good start. We are incredibly happy. But there is still a tough road ahead of us." Other statements from Moussa Diaby and Hradecky are HERE on Werkself TV.
Xabi Alonso summed up the performance of his team in his debut for the Black and Reds as follows: "We are happy. We didn't have much time but the players have seen how we want to play. It was a complete performance - offensively and defensively. The next important match is on Wednesday against Porto and there are areas that need improving."
One of the best players on the pitch was Jeremie Frimpong who was involved in lots of one-on-one challenges on the right flank, he was full of running – and he scored two of the four Leverkusen goals against Schalke 04. It was the second brace in the current Bundesliga season for the Netherlands U21 international: Frimpong scored twice in the 3-0 win at Mainz at the end of August.
Xabi Alonso also played Paulinho in his first match in charge at Bayer 04. The Brazilian forward came on as a sub on 88 minutes against the Royal Blues and scored two minutes later to make it 4-0. For the 22-year-old, it was the first appearance since 20 August.
A look at the stats underlines the clear margin of victory: The Werkself had 60% possession plus 54% of challenges won, a pass completion rate of over 87% (Schalke: 77%) plus 13 shots on goal (Schalke: 2).
That was the headline in the BILD Zeitung for their report on the match. And it continues: "Alonso's commitment works. Leverkusen were at it from the start and they prevented the defensive Schalke team gaining possession through accurate passing." The kicker talks of a "dream debut" for the Spaniard in the Bayer 04 dugout, the Rheinische Post of a "exemplary start." The RP awarded top marks to Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby.
The Werkself entertain Porto in the return match in Group B in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday 12 October (kick-off: 21.00 CEST). The Alonso team are then away to Eintracht Frankfurt three days later. The kick-off on Saturday 15 October is at 15.30 CEST.
The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 on Bundesliga matchday 12 and again succeeded in holding on to top spot in the table as well as setting a new Bundesliga and club record. The facts, stats and reaction to the away win in Bremen is here in the Werkself review.Show more
The annual Black and Red Week is drawing to a close. And day 04, on Sunday 26 November, brings you an exclusive offer on Bayer 04 membership…Show more
The first of eight games across all competitions before the winter break has been won: The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 away on Bundesliga matchday 12. The goals scored were an own goal (9') and one each from Jeremie Frimpong (42') and Alejandro Grimaldo (76'). The away win ensures Bayer 04 stay top of the table.Show more
The final international break of 2023 is over and now Bayer 04 start a busy run of fixtures up to the winter break. The first of eight games across all competitions before Christmas is today’s away fixture at Werder Bremen (kick-off: 15.30 CET). The latest updates on the game at the Weserstadion.Show more