What the papers say: ‘Bayer now start Plan B’

A deserved win but the big target missed. Following the final Bundesliga matchday of the season, the reporters write about a record the Werkself have established – and why Bayer 04 are now looking forwards.

"Bayer 04 Leverkusen beat FSV Mainz 05 1-0 on matchday 34 to end the season in fifth place as Borussia Mönchengladbach ran out 2-1 winners against Hertha BSC," summed up the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. "The hope for help from the team from the capital was in vain."

"Dream start" with Volland's "powerful left-footed shot"

The reports have little to criticise about Leverkusen's performance. The Welt am Sonntag describes a "good game" played by the Werkself at the end of the season, beginning with a "dream start".

The early goal by Kevin Volland is described in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung as follows: "Bayer got off to a lightning start because the team from Rhinehessen were still half asleep and Volland converted with a powerful left-footed shot on the spur of the moment to round off a move from Wirtz and Amiri."

"Focus" and "comfortable on the ball": Not only the first two minutes were right

There is also praise for the overall display. "There wasn't long to wait for the next big chance but Mainz were able to make a last-ditch clearance for the whipped-in and low cross from Bailey," describes RP online and adds: "Bayer were straight into the match, applied pressure, were focused, remain comfortable on the ball and did not allow the visitors to play their game at all."

According to the WAZ that did not change in the second 45 minutes. "The Rhinelanders kept up the pressure after the half-time break," reports the journal and points to the quality of the Werkself substitutes: "The introduction of Havertz and Moussa Diaby provided another boost."

A Bundesliga record and "Plan B"

The Werkself were unable to qualify for the Champions League with this win but did set a Bundesliga record as the BILD explains: "With 63 points, Leverkusen are now the most successful fifth-placed team since the introduction of the three-point rule (1995/96). Up to now, that many points always guaranteed at least fourth-place! Last season Leverkusen only needed 58 points to be in the Champions League…"

"Leverkusen don't want to worry about fifth place for too long," declared the EXPRESS. "In a week’s time there is the cup final against Bayern and then the Europa League could offer a back door to the Champions League. The Werkself are looking forwards." Fitting – and perhaps also fitting for the coming Werkself weeks – is the headline of the article "Cup final & Euro League: Bayer now start Plan B".

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