What the papers say: 'Herrlich rotation moves Bayer up'

There is no doubt in the media that the Werkself deserved the 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen. The role of coach in the win is discussed as are the impressive provider Leon Bailey and the return to a Champions League spot.

The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger  writes under the headline: 'Still flying high':"When it went dark, fluorescent lights, which had been placed on the seats or on the terrace for the fans, flickered around the BayArena. The performance of the Werkself in the last home game of the year was not quite so spectacular. However, they continued their rise  to the top spots in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win against Werder Bremen although there was an unnecessary scare at the end. But that is a new quality of Bayer 04: One goal is enough if required. That was the twelfth game unbeaten in succession across all competitions." Leon Bailey was named the man of the match: "Of course, the man for the special moment in Leverkusen's game did it once again. The assist for the goal to make it 1-0 was again a mix of high pace and precision that few players possess."

The Kölnische Rundschau headline "Clever Werkself" refers to the coming year: "Bayer Leverkusen have continued their impressive run and are now in a Champions League place. Thanks to the 1-0 win against Werder Bremen, the Werkself are unbeaten for the eleventh time in succession on Bundesliga matchday 16 and have moved up to fourth place. If Bayer, with Lucas Alario scoring the winner on 11 minutes, win in the final matchday of the year at Hannover 96 then the opening match of the second half of the season against league leaders Bayern Munich on 12 January should be a real cracker."

The Kicker observes: "Bayer 04 are back in a Champions League position for the first time in 18 months after the Werkself were 17th in the table after three games. The climb up the league continues." And the specialist magazine also emphasises the successful rotation performed by Heiko Herrlich: "Lucas Alario, who is only been in the starting eleven once in the last six games, scored the only goal of the game.  In addition to the introduction of the €19 million signing, Heiko Herrlich made three changes from the side that won 2-0 at Stuttgart. The fact the Werkself coach regularly changes his line-up is now readily accepted in Leverkusen... "So the Herrlich rotation moves Bayer up the league. And not just because Alario scored. Julian Baumgartlinger was also impressive in the holding midfield role against Werder."

The Bild Zeitung has even made the exact calculation: "Back in a Champions League spot after 579 days: Alario wins it for Bayer. The long drought is over!"

The Express  writes: "The Werkself are unstoppable – even against bogey teams. Heiko Herrlich (46) and his team remain unbeaten for the eleventh game in succession after a 1-0 win against Werder Bremen. The victory takes Leverkusen up to a Champions League spot of fourth place – thanks to the sniffer Lucas Alario (25). 'El pipa' finally showed he has recovered his nose for a goal. After hitting the woodwork twice in Frankfurt, Lucas Alario was on the spot to score with his first chance in the game against Werder."


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