What the papers say: 'A committed phase was enough'

There are no divided opinions after the 2-0 win for Bayer 04 against Union Berlin: It was a well-deserved victory for a clearly superior Werkself. Here's what the papers say:

The Welt am Sonntag reports: "Bayer Leverkusen secured a 2-0 win, that was never in doubt, against newly promoted Union Berlin on Saturday afternoon and thus made some amends to the shaken home fans. Bayer were on course for victory early on. ... Berlin didn't show up and many of the travelling supporters must have asked themselves how the team were able to beat Dortmund 3-1 three weeks ago."

And the Cologne-based Express also looks to portray the rehabilitation: "They were opponents as only Bayer Leverkusen could have wished for: Against a completely harmless Union Berlin, the Werkself started their mission to make amends for the Moscow humiliation in the Champions League. ... The hosts only needed to produce an average performance to easily keep the league newcomers at bay."

Alario’s plea

The insight in the online edition of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger under the headline, "That was good": "The patience displayed by Bayer 04 against the passive Berliners as they waited for the decisive moment contrasted with the fruitless possession against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League that was an annoyance. The Werkself bench was also strong. It included Tah and Demirbay." Lucas Alario was named man of the match: "not just because he produced an outstanding and spectacular performance but also with the old-fashioned determination that this true central striker produced to probably secure the victory. His goal to make it 2-0 came at a point where the attack was passed to death and it was a plea for the basics of the game. Just have a go and celebrate."

The Kicker assesses the game as follows: "Thanks to a 2-0 victory over Union Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen return to winning ways after three games without a win. The Rhinelanders clinically exploited their chances in the first half. against harmless newcomers, who were down to ten men after the break, the three points were never seriously in doubt for Bayer."

The Rheinische Post headline, "Bayer escape minor crisis against Union". The report reads: "The never threatened 2-0 victory over Union Berlin settled the turbulence for the team under coach Peter Bosz. That was due to a significantly more focused performance than in the opening defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday. ... The hosts were completely dominant but made too little of their chances that naturally increased as the game went on against ten men. It was a highly deserved victory that could have been won by two or three more goals with greater efficiency – and it should have been."

The Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sums up the one-sided affair at the BayArena: "Bayer Leverkusen have expunged the frustration of the recent games in the Bundesliga and Champions League: Against newcomers Union Berlin, they secured a 2-0 win after a 2-1 defeat against Lokomotiv Moscow three days ago in the Champions League and a 4-0 reverse at Borussia Dortmund last weekend."

‘Like lambs hiding from a wolf’

The Berlin media also clearly recognise the inferiority of Union. The Tagesspiegel writes: "Tireless 2,500 away fans witnessed an anaemic first-half performance by their team who were unable to hit one shot on goal in the first 45 minutes. Like lambs hiding from a wolf, the visitors surrendered wearing the apt kit of white shirts, shorts and socks. It would be wrong to pick out individual players for the poor performance from a Berlin point of view as it was more a case of a collective failure by the visitors. After a quiet start, Leverkusen hit a short but committed phase where they scored twice with misplaced passes by the Berliners on each occasion. After a disallowed goal, Kevin Volland opened the scoring 120 seconds later. First, his shot hit the Union captain Christopher Trimmel and then he fired the rebound into the corner of the net from 20 yards out. As Union continued with their afternoon nap – Christian Gintner failed to find a Sheraldo Becker with a pass – Alario was able to make it 2-0 shortly after the opener. He hit an impressive shot from 18 yards out."

The Berliner Morgenpost report reads: "The team from Köpenick did not pose any threat up front. Their offensive efforts were too tenuous – and with too many mistakes. Leverkusen clinically punished that after 20 minutes. After a misplaced pass from Sebastian Andersson, Nadiem Amiri put Kevin Volland through. His first shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Christopher Trimmel but his second effort was deflected by the Union captain putting it out of the reach of goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz. Union deserved to go behind having been spared four minutes before thanks to VAR. Germany internationals Kai Havertz and Lars Bender combined to get the ball to Lucas Alario in the penalty area and he found the back of the net. But the goal was disallowed as Volland obstructed the view of goalkeeper Gikiewicz turning passive into active offside. ... Union were lucky that Havertz only hit the bar on 82 minutes. A third goal for Leverkusen would not have been undeserved."


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