Werkself share points in 1-1 draw

An improved performance in the second half saw the Werkself get back into the game and create a host of chances. An impressive display by the Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow prevented the visitors conceding more than one goal. Bayer 04 had chances to win the game in the closing stages with Chicharito missing the best opportunity from the penalty spot on 88 minutes. Bayer 04 had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the end.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Bayer 04 head coach Roger Schmidt made two changes to the side that started in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away to FC Bayern Munich: Tin Jedvaj replaced Jonathan Tah in central defence, Chicharito started up front in place of the injured Admir Mehmedi. Schmidt also had to make do without long-term absentees Karim Bellarabi and Lars Bender plus Ömer Toprak and Kevin Volland. Stefan Kießling and Joel Pohjanpalo returned to the squad on the subs bench.

Few chances in first half

Bayer 04 set out from the start to assert themselves on the visitors but the well organised Freiburg defence presented the Werkself with major problems. Chicharito had a chance on 11 minutes from a Hakan Calhanoglu cross but Schwolow was able to keep the Mexican out. That was the only decent goalscoring opportunity for the Werkself in the first 45 although appeared to have the upper hand before the break.

The team coached by Christian Streich became more adventurous and succeeded in creating chances. A corner from Vincenzo Grifo gave Janik Haberer the chance to finish but his deflected shot on 25 minutes went wide of the target. The visitors then took the lead five minutes later. Another corner from Grifo found Haberer unmarked in the box and he was able to tap in the opening goal. SC Freiburg went in 1-0 up at half-time.

Improved Werkself display after the restart

The Werkself made a much brighter start to the second half and were able to put SCF under increasing pressure. With 53 minutes on the clock, Aleksandar Dragovic headed a Calhanoglu corner onto Chicharito but Schwolow pulled off a reflex save with his thigh. The Mexico international then had another header from a Kevin Kampl cross but his effort went just wide of the left upright. The deserved leveller finally came on the hour mark from Calhanoglu. He made the most of good work from Julian Brandt that put the Turkey international through in the opposition penalty area to score his fourth goal of the season.

The Werkself were determined to take the lead. A long-range effort from Calhanoglu was saved by the impressive Schwolow and seconds later he kept out sub Joel Pohjanpalo set up by a back-heel from Brandt on 74 minutes. And Schwolow was in the right spot to keep his team in the game three minutes later when he pulled off a world class save to keep out a point blank shot from Chicharito. The Werkself were undaunted as they continued to press forward in search of a second goal.

Chicharito misses penalty

With three minutes to play, the Freiburg substitute Onur Bulut committed a mistimed challenge on Wendell in the box – referee Benjamin Cortus pointed to the spot. Chicharito fluffed his lines as he failed to connect properly leaving Schwolow to save the weak and undirected effort with his foot. The Werkself had to settle for one point in the end and that was down to the efforts of the Freiburg keeper to a great extent.

The Werkself remain mid-table with 17 points from 13 games. Bayer 04 play AS Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday. The next Bundesliga fixture is away to Schalke 04 on Sunday 11 December (17.30 CET) .

Match stats

Bayer 04: Leno – Henrichs (da Costa 46’), Jedvaj, Dragovic, Wendell – Aránguiz, Kampl – Havertz (Pohjanpalo 56’), Calhanoglu – Brandt (Kießling 90.’), Chicharito

SC Freiburg: Schwolow –Kübler (Ignjovski 72’),Gulde,Söyüncü,Günter –Schuster (Bulut 85’),Frantz –Stenzel,Grifo – Haberer(Petersen 81’) –Niederlechner

Goals: 0-1 Haberer (30’), 1-1 Calhanoglu (60’)

Key event: Schwolow saves Chicharito penalty (87’)

Booked: – / Schuster

Referee: Benjamin Cortus (Röthenbach a. d. Pegnitz)

Attendance: 27,111

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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