Werkself run continues with 2-0 win against Augsburg

The Werkself have continued their winning run with the fifth victory in succession. Bayer 04 earned a convincing 2-0 win against FC Augsburg on Carnival Sunday. The goals were scored by Moussa Diaby from a perfect pass from Kai Havertz (25') and Nadiem Amiri with his first goal for the Werkself (59').

Ahead of the game, Peter Bosz announced he was ready to make one or two changes to the starting eleven – and he kept his word. The Dutchman had to manage without Charles Aránguiz, due to illness, and Kevin Volland, due to an ankle injury, plus Lars Bender, Dailey Sinkgraven and Kerem Demirbay were rotated to the bench. Compared with the Porto game, in came Jonathan Tah, Mitchell Weiser, Wendell, Moussa Diaby and Exequiel Palacios who made his Bundesliga debut. Kai Havertz led the Werkself onto the pitch as captain. With the five changes, Peter Bosz also changed his system – Bayer 04 played in a 3-4-3 formation.

As in Thursday's match against Porto, a minute's silence was held at the BayArena in memory of the victims of the attack in Hanau.

Werkself dominate possession – warning shot from Amiri

Then came the kick-off – in Bayer 04 were faced with a packed Augsburg defence. The visitors played a back five and closed down space. The first shot on goal in the game was from distance: Nadiem Amiri tested the Augsburg keeper Tomas Koubek from 20 yards out (10'). Moments later, Palacios produced the first notable move of the game with the Bundesliga debutant chipping a great ball to Lucas Alario in a promising position but he was unable to control it (11'). Augsburg mainly focused on defence, pressed the Werkself in the build-up but also posed a threat from set pieces: Florian Niederlechner had his first chance with a header from a corner (18'), Philipp Max fired a long-range free kick just past the post (22').

Diaby converts perfect pass from havertz

The Werkself remained on top at all times with over 80 per cent possession in the first 25 minutes and they were justly rewarded with the opening goal: Jonathan Tah intelligently broke up and Augsburg press – and then Kai Havertz showed his true class: He beat two players in midfield and then played an absolute perfect pass into the path of Moussa Diaby. The Frenchman, who is expecting the birth of his first child at the moment, could hardly fail to make the most of the pass and he tucked the ball into the net past Koubek to give the Werkself the lead (25').

As the rain started falling, Bayer 04 remained focused, were alert in challenges and continued to pose a threat through the forwards. Alario just failed to connect with a Diaby cross (34'), another cross from the Frenchman was deflected just past the Augsburg goal (41'). The 1-0 lead at half-time was more than deserved.

Amiri's debut goal makes it 2-0

In spite of the unpleasant weather conditions including strong wind and the visitors’ defensive tactics, the Werkself continued to combine well after the restart and an excellent move provided the first chance for Wendell but Koubek was able to save (49'). Another successful move down the left flank led to a great chance to double the lead but Mitchell Weiser failed to connect properly when he was in a good position to score (53').

Peter Bosz had now changed the formation to 4-3-3 with Sven Bender playing in holding midfield – and he started the move for the overdue second goal. He headed the ball to Amiri who raced through midfield. At the edge of the box, Amiri hit a low shot into the bottom left corner through the legs of Tin Jedvaj (59'). For the midfielder signed from Hoffenheim in the summer, it was his first goal in a Werkself shirt.

Bayer 04 work magic but miss chances

He almost managed to score a second from a tight angle but his shot was not on target (64'). The Werkself were playing some excellent football in this phase with some great combination play but within a short space of time missed great opportunities for the next goal: Koubek denied Diaby and Palacios was then blocked in a good position (65'), seconds later Havertz hit a smart shot on the turn against the bar (66'). Augsburg were getting off lightly with the score at 2-0 and Lukas Hradecky was only called into action on 76 minutes when he saved a shot from substitute Ruben Vargas and then another from Marco Richter. The visitors then came back into the game but Richter was unable to hit the ball properly in a promising position (79'). 

Bayer 04 were generally in command to the end of the game even though both sides had great chances in the final minutes: Hradecky kept out Niederlechner impressively with his foot (89'), Diaby missed the chance to make it 3-0 in a one-on-one with Koubek seconds before the final whistle (90+2'). The game ended in a 2-0 win and Bayer 04 remain unbeaten against FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga. This was the fifth win in succession across competitions. Focus now turns to the second leg of the Europa League tie against FC Porto on Thursday (27 February, kick-off: 18.55 CET). The next game for the Werkself in the Bundesliga is away to RB Leipzig next Sunday (15.30 CET).

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Tah, S. Bender (Baumgartlinger 72'), Tapsoba - Weiser, Palacios, Amiri (Bellarabi 72'), Wendell - Havertz (Demirbay 84’), Alario, Diaby

FC Augsburg: Koubek - Framberger, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Jedvaj, Max - Khedira (Löwen 78'), Baier - Richter, Jensen (Vargas 59') - Niederlechner (Finnbogason 89')

Goals: 1-0 Diaby (25’), 2-0 Amiri (59’)

Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen)

Booked: Tapsoba, Wendell - Khedira, Gouweleeuw, Jedvaj, Baier

Attendance: 23,703


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