Werkself review #TSGB04: Winning with tempo

Victory at the third attempt in the Rückrunde: Bayer 04 earned a deserved 3-1 win against TSG Hoffenheim in Sinsheim. The reaction from the Black and Reds is suitably relaxed. The Werkself review...


Bayer 04 were on the case from the start at the PreZero Arena and immediately took control. Inspired by the early goal scored by Robert Andrich, who hit the ball into the corner of the net from 18 yards out (6’) from an assist by Florian Wirtz, Leverkusen clearly had the upper hand in proceedings and prevented the hosts having a single big chance. When TSG looked to apply more pressure up front with the introduction of Kasper Dolberg as a second striker, they were caught cold by Jeremie Frimpong’s incredible pace on the right flank. The Dutchman twice outpaced all opponents and provided textbook crosses leaving Moussa Diaby (46') and Adam Hlozek (56’) with little trouble to put the Werkself 3-0 up. Stanley Nsoki netted a consolation goal (77) but victory for the visitors was never in danger. HERE is the match report.



The joy at a successful afternoon's work was clear to see on the faces of two outstanding protagonists from an impressive group. "It was great fun. We played to our strengths and created a lot of chances. Bundesliga matches have a different intensity compared with friendlies or training when you come back after a long injury. But it is all coming back and a lot went right for me today," said Florian Wirtz. Jeremie Frimpong also talked about a "deserved victory because we defended well from start to finish." The right winger said about his crucial breaks down the wing for the second and third goals: "You have to make use of it and run if the space is there. It worked well this time." And coach Xabi Alonso also stressed the value of the duo for the overall benefit of the team: "Florian created space in midfield and that enabled us to use pace on the flanks. We produced a good performance for 75 minutes. We controlled the game and created chances. That's the right way forward."


One had his birthday and the other celebrated a landmark in Black and Red: Jonathan Tah was 27 years old on the day of the match and he produced a brilliant performance at the centre of defence on his big day. In addition, Kerem Demirbay played his 100th Bundesliga match for the Werkself in Sinsheim and impressed with a solid performance. Also worth mentioning: Daley Sinkgraven, who produced a very decent performance on the left flank, was back in the starting line-up for the first time since the match in Leipzig at the end of October last year.



When you win again the other numbers play a less significant role. But the stats were still right for Leverkusen in the clash with Hoffenheim. Bayer 04 had more shots on goal (12 to 11), a significant advantage in terms of challenges (60% to 40%) and were also narrowly ahead in terms of completed passes (83% to 82%). TSG were only level in terms of possession.


The Rheinische Post wrote about a "deserved victory against a faltering TSG." The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger saw the hosts as "without a single chance." The Bild am Sonntag awarded top marks for the performances of Jeremie Frimpong and Florian Wirtz. The Kicker reports: "Bayer secured the first points in the Rückrunde and reduced the gap to seventh place to three points."




The Werkself face two busy weeks after the win in Sinsheim. AS Monaco are the opponents for Bayer 04 on Thursday 16 February with a 21.00 CET kick-off at the BayArena in the first leg of the play-off for the Round of 16 in the Europa League. Monaco confirmed their impressive form on Saturday with a 3-1 win against champions and league leaders Paris St Germain. That is followed three days later by the Bundesliga match against Mainz 05. The kick-off at the BayArena on Sunday 19 February is at 19.30 CET. The second leg in Monaco is the following week (23 February, 18.45 CET) and then comes the match away to SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga (26 February, 15.30 CET).

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