What the papers say: 'Havertz like a spectre in ‘ghost match’'

A 4-1 win at Werder Bremen, the gap to the Champions League places reduced to one point compared with RB Leipzig, 16 out of a possible 18 points picked up in the Bundesliga: The Werkself proved to be a great success in the league restart on Monday night. The focus of the media is primarily on double goalscorer Kai Havertz and the very young debutant Florian Wirtz.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung brings the events at the Weserstadion down to a simple denominator: "Werder lacked the fluency that makes Kai Havertz so valuable for Bayer." The report underlines this impression: "Leverkusen played football while Werder just worked. The walls of the Weserstadion, something that does not stand out in the hectic of a normal match day, are decorated with quotes from former players including one from Johan Micoud. According to possibly the finest player in the history of Bremen: ' The secret is not recognising the exertion.' He could have dedicated that insight to Kai Havertz, possibly the finest footballer ever to play for Bayer Leverkusen. Havertz does Havertz things on the pitch, which perhaps come closest to the concept of a 'ghost match', including materialising through opposition defences like a spectre. Before half-time, he twice gave the Bremen players the slip and twice nodded home crosses from Diaby on 28 minutes for the opener and from Demirbay on 33 minutes to make it 2-1."

Welcome to the Bundesliga: Florian Wirtz, here in a challenge with Leonardo Bittencourt, had lots of good moves in his top-flight debut.

"Talent show without an audience" is the headline in the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. In addition to Kai Havertz, Florian Wirtz also plays a key role in the report: "Just one hour before the start of the game, Peter Bosz decided to break a record at Bayer 04. He put Florian Wirtz in his starting eleven. … At the age of 17 and 15 days, Wirtz stepped out onto the Bundesliga stage at the Weserstadion and was 111 days younger than Kai Havertz when he played his first game for Bayer 04 in 2016. Top players including Alario, Bailey, Bellarabi and Paulinho started on the bench. The third youngest Bundesliga player ever was quickly the target for his teammates and he showed on both flanks that he has outstanding technique. Above all, Wirtz looked spectacular on occasions against the Bremen left back Marco Friedl. But the main man was the player who Wirtz replaced in the youngest ever rankings. Kai Havertz, rather anonymous as a central striker for half an hour, put Bayer 04 ahead with a header after Moussa Diaby meandered his way down the line. It's one of the many skills of the Leverkusen top player: heading. And he didn't do it just once on this balmy evening in an almost empty Weserstadion.”

"Werder nod off… Havertz nods it in!"

The Bild Zeitung uses a pun that also hits the mark: "Werder nod off… Havertz nods it in!"

The online edition of the Rheinische Post draws the following conclusion: "Bayer 04 outclass relegation-threatened Bremen." Meanwhile, the Weser Kurier describes events from a Green and White perspective: "In this 'ghost match', Werder couldn't shake off the fear factor: Bremen suffered their seventh home defeat in succession against Leverkusen and primarily their defence produced baffled faces."

The assessment in the online edition of Kicker: "Thanks to three headed goals, Bayer 04 won the Monday night game against Werder Bremen 4-1. Werder did put up a fight at times but eventually had to give way to the superiority of the Rhinelanders. Leverkusen not only celebrated a deserved victory but also the third youngest debutant in the history of the Bundesliga."


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