Werkself review #B04VfB: Good feeling going into the break

Three wins on the bounce at the end of competitive matches in 2022: The Werkself beat VfB Stuttgart 2-0 in front of a full house at the BayArena on Bundesliga matchday 15 in the last game before the winter break. It was the third successive victory in a week. Here is the Werkself review…

Summary: Impressive defensive display

The 30,210 spectators witnessed a focused defensive display from the start by the team under head coach Xabi Alonso. The first chance fell to Amine Adli on ten minutes after a break down the right by teammate Jeremie Frimpong, who has just been selected for the Netherlands World Cup squad. The Werkself then continued to press in search of goals. Jonathan Tah and Co. were rarely put under pressure and success up front came on the half-hour mark: The Alonso team took a deserved lead at 1-0 with a deflected long-range shot from Moussa Diaby. The Black and Reds remained hungry after the restart and again and again created good goalscoring opportunities with a number of fast breaks by Diaby and Frimpong. Jonathan Tah netted to make it 2-0 from a Kerem Demirbay corner eight minutes from full time and thereby secured the third victory within seven days following the wins against Union Berlin (5-0) and in the derby at FC Köln (2:1). The Werkself are now eleventh in the Bundesliga table. HERE is the match report.

Reaction: "We want to keep moving up the table"

Xabi Alonso was pleased at the post-match press conference: "We were solid today. It wasn't the best football but we did work to control the game. After the first goal we defended deeper and were dangerous on the break." At the same time, the Spanish coach chose to look forwards: "We want to keep moving up the table in the second half of the season. Now we have more time to train to achieve that objective. And we'll use it too."

Nadiem Amiri spoke to Werkself TV: "It was tough but we deserved it." And the forward also describe the solid defensive work and the dangerous counter-attacking as crucial for the victory: "We showed what great quality we have as a team. And we are growing together more and more as a team. You could finally see that on the pitch."



Personnel: Bellarabi back

Karim Bellarabi is back: The Werkself number 38 played for a few minutes in the home game against Stuttgart for the first time since his knee injury in August. The fans gave their favourite a suitable welcome: There were loud cheers from the stands when he came off the bench on 86 minutes. "I heard that of course. I'm very grateful for the support. That motivates me to give more and more," said Bellarabi after the final whistle.

Stats: Diaby on top form

The Werkself had a total of twelve shots on the VfB goal with the visitors replying with seven. And the Alonso team were in front in duels won with 52%. It was different with possession: VfB had the edge here with 56%. Interesting for stats fans: Moussa Diaby has been involved in eight goals (six goals, two assists) in seven Bundesliga matches under coach Xabi Alonso – the highest number in the Bundesliga over that timespan.


What the papers say: Top marks for Diaby

The headline in the Welt am Sonntag reads "Diaby runs rings round Stuttgart," and the Express says: "Diaby causes Alonso to celebrate." The Rheinische Post takes a similar view and awards top marks to the Werkself number 19. The explanation: "Whenever Bayer were dangerous, it was the Frenchman who was involved in every action. The lightning fast winger scored the opening goal with a bit of luck as Waldemar Anton deflected the shot but the real achievement was the route to the position to shoot where he left four Stuttgart players standing. And he was a constant threat to the visitors’ defence in the second half."

Outlook: Werkself on #Bayer04USATour

This afternoon, 13 November, sees the Werkself fly from Frankfurt am Main to the USA. 17 players are on the #Bayer04USATour. The Black and Reds will play a friendly in St Louis in Missouri against the newly formed team in the Major League Soccer (MLS) St. Louis CITY Soccer Club and at the same time provide the opening event at the brand new CITYPARK Stadium (kick-off: 16 November 19.00 local time/02.00 CET 17 November). During the stay the Werkself will also be involved in events with Bayer AG employees and also get involved in community projects as well as a cultural programme.

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