What the papers say: Schwolow was the spoilsport

Lots of chances but just a draw: In the second half of the home game against SC Freiburg, Bayer 04 only managed to beat the outstanding visitors keeper Alexander Schwolow once. The Freiburg goalkeeper was the focus of attention in the match reports.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

According to the online edition of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the Werkself missed a great chance against Freiburg with the following result: "Bayer are moving further and further away from their targets. Up to the winter break the intention appears to be to muddle through and then start again – although it could already be the case that it's too late to seriously challenge for one of the top spots. And, in addition: It wouldn't harm to practise penalties.”

And the online edition of the Rheinische Post also saw the chance to win as absolutely clear: "After the break… the hosts, weakened by bad luck with injuries, looked like they had the upper hand. However, in front of the Freiburg goal Leverkusen were, without strikers Kevin Volland and Admir Mehmedi, more or less harmless. After a good opportunity for Chicharito, Julian Brandt did good work to set up Calhanoglu. After the restart, the substitute Joel Pohjanpalo and Chicharito both had chances to make it 2-1 against a Freiburg side that appeared to lack confidence."

The Sonntags Express was keen to discover the reason for the "Fear of the striker at penalties": Bayer and the penalty problem! It's the most absurd story of the season.… 11 of the last 19 penalties have been missed. This season, the Werkself players missed all four attempts from the spot – if you count the Cup exit at Lotte, then it's seven. Against Frankfurt, Augsburg, Leipzig and now Freiburg this miserable streak has already cost Bayer six important points.' At some point the bloody ball has to go in. Things like that are costing us wins. It just can't be true,' said a miffed Kevin Kampl."

Bild am Sonntag identifies another important reason for the draw; the outstanding performance of the Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow: "BamS top mark is for his super saves. The Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow (24) secured a vital point in Leverkusen. 18 months ago he was still playing in the third division for Arminia Bielefeld. And yesterday he became a Freiburg hero. Saved the Chicharito penalty with his foot. Schwolow on the penalty:' I just stood still by intuition and reacted to the ball. Of course, I was lucky the ball didn't rebound to Chicharito. Brilliant!'"

And, in the view of the Freiburg-based Badische Zeitung, it was Schwolow who primarily frustrated Chicharito: "Schwolow becomes the match winner – First the Mexican has a close range effort saved by Schwolow (52'), then he heads the ball wide of the goal (58'). The poor finishing ran through the game like a thread as even Calhanoglu and the substitute Joel Pohjanpalo were unable to beat Schwolow. And then he saved Chicharito's penalty with his foot and was justifiably thanked by his team-mates.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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