What the papers say: 'Milestone enhances Bayer win'

The assessment of the 2-1 victory for the Werkself at VfL Wolfsburg was unanimous: The media acknowledge a deserved win for Bayer 04 at the Volkswagen Arena. Special attention was paid to Stefan Kießling's 400th Bundesliga appearance.

Press coverage of the match in Wolfsburg:
The Kicker writes: "The Werkself were the livelier side and deservedly won the game. The Wolves were ineffective up front, particularly after half-time. … It quickly became clear: Both teams wanted to play football and played few long balls. Bayer were very versatile up front with Havertz, Volland & Co. constantly swapping positions.

The headline in the Rheinische Post reads‚ 'Alario and Brandt spoil Labbadia's home debut': "Bayer 04 deservedly won the duel of the works clubs 2-1. The team coached by Heiko Herrlich remain unbeaten  away from home for the tenth game in succession at VfL Wolfsburg."

The Bild concluded: "The visitors were the better side over the 90 minutes without really impressing. They benefited from a penalty in the first half that Alario tucked away to make it 1-0. It was one-way traffic for Bayer after the restart but initially without reward. That changed on 78 minutes as the game was starting to drift when Brandt extended the lead. Mehmedi netted a consolation goal against his former team-mates straight away but there was no big final offensive. Leverkusen easily protected the lead to the end to pick up three well deserved points and Wolfsburg remain in the drop zone."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung analysis reads: "Leverkusen led the way, above all in the first half, looking as if they wanted to spoil the party. They were  quick and very flexible in transition. Bayer defended as a unit when Wolfsburg had possession and they succeeded in closing down the opposition. Divock Origi ploughed a lonely furrow as the only striker up front as VfL attempted to get on the front foot. The game plan set out for his players by Labbadia in the relegation battle proved to be almost completely ineffective."

The Welt declared: "After two defeats in succession, Bayer 04 Leverkusen finally had reason to celebrate again. The Werkself clocked up a highly deserved win against a very weak Wolfsburg attack. The home debut for Bruno Labbadia proved to be a flop."

The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger reports: "Leverkusen made a good overall oppression. With one exception in defence, they controlled the midfield for 80 minutes  and played good football in and around the Wolfsburg penalty area. Although the final pass was missing at times the attack was able to function without the exceptional Jamaican talent Leon Bailey. Bayer 04 celebrated a highly deserved win against a VfL Wolfsburg team that was well below par for much of the game. The Werkself pressed forward and brave and strong in the challenge – qualities rarely seen at the BayArena recently. Albeit, the winning margin should have bigger given the number of crosses and passes into the VfL penalty area and the quality of the opposition."

The Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung takes the following position: "Bruno Labbadia's home debut at VfL Wolfsburg did not go to plan. The Bundesliga team from Lower Saxony deservedly lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday on the first outing for the new coach on his own turf and are now even deeper in the relegation mire. While Wolfsburg wait for the first win under Labbadia, the recently under-performing Leverkusen team are back on course for Europe."

The Tagesspiegel admires the goal scored by Julian Brandt to make it 2-0 for the Werkself: "Leverkusen were clearly on top. And they took the lead. But, making it tricky for Bayer, it was only 1-0 for the visitors. Then Julian Brandt produced a brilliant move. He broke through into the opposition box with the ball at his left foot. Just as the oncoming keeper Koen Casteels was bearing down, Brandt moved the ball to his right foot and lobbed it Casteels into the back of the net. A great strike."

The Express report reads: "There is something wrong at home but Bayer Leverkusen are looking ever stronger on the their travels. The 2-1 win at VfL Wolfsburg was the tenth away game in succession where the Werkself remain unbeaten. The three points for the team coached by Heiko Herrlich (46) puts them back in with a shout in the race for a Champions League finish. At the same time, Bayer spoiled the home debut for Bruno Labbadia (52). It was the twelfth time Labbadia has faced the Werkself as a coach (previously with Hamburg and Stuttgart) – and he has not won once."

''Making history" - Press reaction to Stefan Kießling's special milestone:

The Kicker takes a statistical approach to the 400th Bundesliga appearance for the Werkself striker: "He's made it. Stefan Kießling celebrated in Wolfsburg. The Franconian is the 66th player to clock up 400 appearances in Germany's top flight. Following on from Gerd Müller, Rainer Geye, Klaus Allofs, Manfred Burgsmüller, Stefan Kuntz, Claudio Pizarro and Klaus Allofs, Kießling is only only the seventh central striker to earn his place in that list. Pizarro is the only current pro who has more appearances than the Leverkusen striker. … With his  400th game, the blond forward has drawn level in rankings with Thomas Häßler and Klaus Zaczyk. Two Leverkusen legends are immediately ahead of him: Defender Martin Kree and goalkeeper Rüdiger Vollborn, who made all 401 of his appearances for the  Werkself, holds the club record. Kießling (341 games for Bayer) is in third place in these rankings behind Ulf Kirsten (350)."

The Express reports under the headline 'Kießling milestone enhances Bayer win': "Heiko Herrlich made a beeline for Stefan Kießling (34) after the final whistle and gave him a hug of joy. The Bayer stalwart had just made history. His two-minute appearance was his 400th in the Bundesliga. 'Kies' is the 66th player to reach that magical number. 'I'm over the moon. Of course, it is a special number that I'm very proud of. One of the best moments in my carrier,' said Kießling: 'It'll be my round now.' The striker was not only able to celebrate reaching a personal milestone but also three very important points in the race for the Champions League."

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