What the papers say: 'Normal day' not enough against Bayern

Bayer 04 also had to bow to the strengths of the record champions. The Werkself did take the lead against Bayern but after equalising, the men from Munich took control at the BayArena. That is also the clear view in the media reports.

The Welt am Sonntag portrays a "Bayern masterpiece". The report continues: If there were any doubts before the match at Leverkusen that the champions of Germany at the end of this special season will be FC Bayern then they were dispelled after the 4-2 victory for Munich. At least seven points and a goal difference of 60 is the comfortable cushion with four games of the season to play. (…) Leverkusen were overcome as the biggest stumbling block on the way to the eighth league title in succession. Mönchengladbach, Bremen, Freiburg and Wolfsburg are not really expected to reduce the lead the Munich side. Bayer, the Bayern experts, were at least due to try – Leverkusen had won the previous two meetings. (…) Leverkusen themselves undermined a good position after taking the lead – through a loss of possession ahead of the first goal conceded, their own corner before the second and an indecisive Lucas Hradecky before the third."

Looking good for the Werkself: Lucas Alario beats Manuel Neuer for an early lead.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung witnessed "hungry men from Munich" at the BayArena but also pointed out a strong start by the Werkself: "At the beginning, it looked like the Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz had found the right strategy for the big match. With a combination of diagonal balls and long passes, the Werkself again and again succeeded in using the tempo of their fast wingers in the opening stages of the match. The Leverkusen game was very focused and courageous in the first minutes and the early lead was not undeserved. From a throw-in, Julian Baumgartlinger played a short pass to Alario and he hit a low shot into the bottom left corner of the net from ten yards out (9'). However, over recent weeks Bayern have proved to be too solid and unshakeable to be thrown off course by the early setback. With apparent ease. they upped the tempo and intensity and Bayer began to make mistakes. (…) The football perfection shown by the Munich team at the moment is more and more reminiscent of the best phases in the three years under coach Pep Guardiola."

The headline in the Berlin Tagesspiegel reads "High line versus winning high" and summed up Bayern’s recipe for success on the afternoon in one: "Bayern did not like the aggressive midfield pressing of Leverkusen at all and that lasted until the Munich team slowly took control of the match. The league leaders then identified a weak spot in the Leverkusen game after the first half-hour: The high line taken by the defence of the Peter Bosz team. The fine feet of messieurs Alaba, Kimmich and teammates in the Munich defence now regularly fed the Bayern attackers with long balls over the top."

The online edition of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger came to the following conclusion: "The limits of the brave Werkself side are exposed after the 1-0 lead through Lucas Alario." Under the heading "That was good" is: "The opening phase from Leverkusen with Bayern almost pushed back to their own penalty area and unable to break out. The early lead was reward for that courage and also had the consequence that with the Werkself pushing their back line up to halfway that denied the opposition space. However, that only worked for 30 minutes. After that, Munich had the game in their hands with quick counter-attacks and ever stronger passing moves." The conclusion: "After two victories over FC Bayern, Bayer 04 experienced a normal day at the empty BayArena. And on a normal day, Bayern are simply better with their spectacular squad and the matching offensive strategy of the coaching staff led by Hansi Flick."

"Gigantic record awaits Bayern"

The Bild am Sonntag focus is on the enormous attacking force of the record champions: "Bayern are working on a season on an historic scale! Following the 4-2 win at Leverkusen, the eighth league title in succession appears to be a formality. But after matchday 34, not only the league trophy but also a gigantic record awaits! Bayern are currently scoring an average of three goals per game (90 goals in 30 games) – already a Bundesliga record. Even in the treble season of 2013, they had 'only' scored 89 by this stage of the season. But it could get even better! If the record champions keep up this average then they would end the campaign with an incredible 102 goals, which would break their own record (101 goals) from the 1971/72 season!"

Entered the history books with his goal: Florian Wirtz.

The Cologne newspaper Express concentrates on the new youngest Bundesliga goalscorer of all time: "Attacking jewel Florian Wirtz has made Bundesliga history: His goal to make it 4-2 in the home game against Bayern saw the youngster become the youngest ever goalscorer in league history at the age of 17 years and 34 days. He takes over from Nuri Sahin who was 17 years and 82 days old when he played for Borussia Dortmund. Wirtz scored his goal on 89 minutes in the style of a top player: Wirtz evaded World Cup winner Lucas Hernández in the penalty area and curled an unstoppable shot with his left foot past FCB keeper Manuel Neuer into the back of the net. A stroke of genius."

The online edition of the Rheinische Post reports: "Even without their most valuable player Kai Havertz, Leverkusen made a dream start. After nine minutes, Lucas Alario kept his nerve in front of the Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer and coolly slotted the ball into the net to make it 1-0. Julian Baumgartlinger did the spade work for a goal that was initially ruled out for offside but then confirmed as a goal after the intervention of VAR. The match at the BayArena was worth watching after that. (…) However, the outcome was decided after the equaliser and a double strike from Bayern just before half-time."

The online edition of Kicker took the following position: "FC Bayern brilliantly overcame the hurdle of Bayer 04 Leverkusen and are now on the verge of winning their eighth league title in succession. Against an initially impressive Werkself side, who had to manage without Havertz at short notice, the league leaders did go behind but then were back on course for another impressive victory with a double strike just before half-time. The consolation goal for the Werkself was also a record goal."



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