What the papers say: Efficient Werkself

It was a successful night all-round for the Werkself. The 2-0 win in the top match against Borussia Dortmund keeps Bayer 04 in touch with the leading pack in the Bundesliga. And the media coverage also focuses on the impressive performance of Roger Schmidt’s team.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

”Bayer 04 Leverkusen deserved to win the game. The means employed to achieve that result were to do with football and were within bounds,” declares the online edition of the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger and their report picks out Benjamin Henrichs for special attention as the man of the match: “From the ranks of a number of impressive individual performance in this match the 19-year-old stands out in the way he went about his job. Playing against the fastest attacking players in the Bundesliga he first kept it tight, on the left, and then the right flank. Making his fourteenth Bundesliga appearance it looked more like he had already played 141 games. Completely calm and relaxed, always with an eye for the right space in the right situation in defence or in attack and able to switch wings without any problems.”

The Sonntags Express highlights the outstanding defensive performance of the Werkself: “Bayer switched off the BVB goal machine (16 goals in five games). Bayer returned to form with an impressive 2-1 victory. Bayer are back! ‘Today we saw the real Leverkusen,’ said Hakan Calhanoglu, while Kevin Kampl let out a primal scream on his way to the changing rooms, ‘that was our best game so far.’ And it was really impressive how Bayer performed on their own turf. Roger Schmidt’s lads were incredibly sharp and aggressive from the start. Led by Charles Aranguiz they threw themselves into every tackle.”

The fact Bayer 04 Leverkusen clearly deserved to win is also fully accepted by the Rheinische Post (online): “The professed Dortmund hunters are back on track after a faltering start to the season. After the 2-0 win against BVB the Werkself not only move closer to the leading pack in the table where they believe they belong. And against last season’s runners-up the third-placed side from last term were also clearly the better team.”

Die Welt looks at the repercussions on the battle for top spot in the Bundesliga: “Bayern slip up for once against FC Köln and Borussia Dortmund are unable to take advantage. On the contrary, shortly after the draw for the Munich side BVB lost 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen and are now four points behind the German record champions.
A deserved setback. Leverkusen were the better team in many areas and scarcely gave anything away to the opposition from the kick-off... Leverkusen are thereby back in touch with the leading group in the Bundesliga.”

Under the headline “Bayern hunters? Definitely!” the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reports: “Borussia Dortmund deservedly lose at Leverkusen and miss the chance to close the gap to the champions from Munich. In an intensive match Bayer showed BVB the way - and displayed a ruthless efficiency. … While the Dortmund attacks failed to hit home the Werkself were more effective in front of goal with an early strike from Admir Mehmedi and a late second goal from Javier Hernandez.”

The online edition of the Dortmund newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten looks at the differing assessments of the match by the two coaches and reports: “As they left the pitch Tuchel gave his colleague a friendly tap on the shoulder that Schmidt casually accepted with the smile of a victor. After the game also in favour of the hosts on this Saturday. Tuchel’s players held a different view. Neither a lack of strength after seven matches in 21 days nor the aggressive approach of the hosts were decisive. The level of aggression was well within bounds said Gonzalo Castro, ‘we need to make the most of that in future.’ The fact that Leverkusen were able to end the match with eleven players after early yellow cards for Aranguiz and Kampl was another talking point from a Dortmund perspective.”

The online edition of the Kicker looks at the Werkself success from the aspect of the recent history of this fixture where Bayer 04 have not won at home for nine long: “Bayer Leverkusen can still beat Borussia Dortmund at home. That was the conclusion drawn by coach Roger Schmidt’s team after a deserved 2-0 win against the Westphalians on Saturday night. First, a change paid off for Schmidt and then a familiar face took his chance. BVB tried everything - including tactically - but never fully found their feet in this match.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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