What the papers say: 'Bayer 04 can hope for European spot again'

After the 2-0 victory over FC Nürnberg the media are almost unanimous in crediting the Werkself with a clear improvement in performance in the second half…

For the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger (Sunday online subscription addition) the Werkself are on their way to playing in a European competition next season: "Bayer 04 are a step closer to qualifying for Europe with four games to play. With the victory against the Club, Leverkusen move above Werder Bremen in the table. As with the 1-0 win at Stuttgart, thanks to a penalty from Kai Havertz, it was a set piece that made the difference against Nürnberg."

That is also the assessment of the the Sonntags Express: "Bayer can again hope to be in Europe but the Peter Bosz team need a clear improvement in performance in the last four games to achieve the minimum target of qualifying for the Europa League.' We face an important few weeks,' said sporting director Simon Rolfes.' We have a very difficult game ahead of us at Augsburg.'"

The Werkself fulfilled their obligatory duty against FC Nürnberg in style," was the verdict in the online edition of the Rheinische Post. The newspaper sees the turning point for Leverkusen coming in the second half: "The Werkself were on the front foot after the restart and had the first good chance in the second half with a long-range effort from Mitchell Weiser. The first goal of the game came on 61 minutes: A header by substitute Alario from a Julian Brandt corner ended up in the Nürnberg net."

The Bild am Sonntag highlights goal-line technology playing a decisive role in the first goal for the Werkself: "Referee Guido Winkmann gave the thumbs up on 61 minutes: After an Alario header and an attempted clearance by Leibold on the line, the ref pointed to his watch. The Hawk-Eye system showed that Leibold's leg arrived too late. In the closing stages, Alario, (top marks from BILD), set up Volland for the second goal. Up to that point, Nürnberg had defended well and kept a clean sheet for a long time thanks to goalkeeper Mathenia. He turned a Havertz rocket onto the post."

The verdict in the online edition of the Nürnberger Nachrichten clearly sees the Werkself as the better team: "After three games without defeat, FC Nürnberg suffered another defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday. The Club again showed commitment in the 2-0 defeat but conceded the first goal from a set piece – and were then hit on the break by the lively Leverkusen side."

And the Kicker sports journal also sees the improvement of Bayer 04 after half-time as decisive: "After the change of ends, Leverkusen upped the strike rate, Erras put in an heroic tackle to halt Aranguiz and Mathenia made a flying save to keep out a long-range effort from Weiser to prevent Nürnberg going behind early in the second half. The hosts were able to celebrate a deserved opener thanks to goal-line technology: Alario skilfully headed a Brandt corner in at the far post only for Leibold to pull off an artistic clearance - albeit from behind the line as Winkmann immediately recognised by looking at his watch."


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