What the papers say: Joel Pohjanpalo man of the match

There is no doubt hat-trick hero Joel Pohjanpalo is the man of the match for the media after the 3-1 win for the Werkself against HSV.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

The Sonntags Express is not the only journal to see it that way and they came up with the play on words of "What a Finish: Football spring surprises. Perhaps that's the reason why so many people love it. What a Finn! What a Danger! Hat-trick in 18 minutes! Mad, crazy, incredible. The Leverkusen super hero is: Joel Pohjanpalo (22). Bayer were 1-0 down. Coach Roger Schmidt sent the Finn on in the 72nd minute. As he went on he whispered: "score goals." Then the crazy show started. Minute 79: Brandt with a wonderful cross, Pohjanpalo is there with his head. Eleven minutes later: Henrichs crosses, Joel bangs it in. That should have been enough. But the crazy story carries on. Chicharito passes, the Finn turns on the magic and scores to make it 3-1."

"Do you know Joel Pohjanpalo?" asks the Welt am Sonntag and goes on to provide the answer: "The Bayer Leverkusen striker made his second Bundesliga appearance on Saturday – and scored a hat-trick. With his three goals he almost beat Hamburg SV on his own. The last two goals in the 3-1 win came in added time.… It was the Finn Pohjanpalo's afternoon. The game went into added time and HSV here and for the final whistle the 21 year old received the ball from the left, took his chance and scored to make it 2-1. And there was more to come. Two minutes later he scored for a third time – a hat-trick from a storybook."

Bild am Sonntag looks at the history books: "Leverkusen have had to wait 19 years for a hat-trick (after Kirsten in 1997). And then came the Finnish super sub Joel Pohjanpalo. Three goals in 15 minutes. Pohjanpalo knocked out HSV single-handed. In the 2-1 defeat at Gladbach Joel Pohjanpalo came on in the 78th minute and scored a minute later. In yesterday's 3-1 victory against HSV Pohjanpalo came on in the 72nd minute and scored in the 79th, 91st and 94th minutes. Pohjanpalo is the Finnish super sub."

The online edition of the Rheinische Post points out that Hamburg SV have not won at Leverkusen for a long time: "Bayer Leverkusen turned defeat into victory thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo. After going 1-0 behind the Finnish substitute turn the game round with a hat-trick to secure a pleasing 3-1 win against Hamburg SV. That was the fifth defeat in succession for HSV at the BayArena and they have not won in Leverkusen since 22 February 2009."

The analysis in the online edition of the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger reads: "(Coach Roger) Schmidt when he emphasises the high quality of this special victory. A second defeat in the second competitive match would very probably have caused great uncertainty ahead of the busy run of fixtures in the next few weeks. And the spectacular Pohjanpalo show that secured a happy ending cannot completely hide a number of deficiencies at Bayer. On the other hand, the relatively calm handling of critical moments of the game against a tough HSV side indicates that the Werkself have moved on apace in terms of maturity.

The Kicker report says the Werkself were on top before the frenetic closing stages but out of luck: "In the second half Leverkusen with a more active team. Bayer continually endeavoured to press forward but often ran up against a brick wall. Kampl (47') and Calhanoglu (56') had shots on goal. But it was HSV who took a surprise lead when the Hanseatic side completed a perfect counter-attack: Gregoritsch put the ball in the path of Wood and he ran past the advancing Leno to put the ball in an empty net to make it 1-0 (58'). The Werkself are now under pressure and up their attacking efforts and are very intense conditions.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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