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30.03.2019Bundesliga

What the papers say: 'Up for it but lacking penetration'

The media analysis after the 4-1 defeat for Bayer 04 against TSG Hoffenheim in Sinsheim focuses on the great entertainment value of the match, plus the Werkself's bad luck with injuries, the lack of penetration up front and the approach to defending. Here's what the papers say:
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The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger describes the good start by the Werkself: "The Werkself began with the usual dominance under coach Bosz and some attractive moves with short passes. However, TSG were more efficient from the start. In the tenth minute, Andrej Kramaric exploited a poor positional mistake by Jonathan Tah as he set up Ishak Belfodil. The Algerian hit a low shot  into the bottom left corner of the net. Despite the setback,  the Werkself stuck to their mantra: possession and quick passes with no player holding on to the ball for more than a couple of seconds. That initially proved successful: 17 minutes into the game,  Brandt won the ball on the edge of the opposition box and lifted it into the air for Kevin Volland  to score against his old club with a header to make it 1-1."

The Rheinische Post recognises the permanent attacking approach of both teams  and the Werkself's bad luck with injuries: "Both teams  endeavoured to get forward. The game developed into an attractive end-to-end encounter where Bayer suffered two injuries off the ball within a space of ten minutes.  First, Bellarabi clutched his thigh before hobbling off the pitch. That meant Aránguiz made his third appearance within seven days on 26 minutes – including international fixtures on the other side of the world. Then it was the turn of the captain Lars Bender (36'). He was replaced by Mitchell Weiser. The second half began with a bombshell from Hoffenheim. Substitute Nadiem Amiri put his team back in front (52'). His apparently harmless shot was deflected into the net by Sven Bender and the DFL awarded it as an own goal. Bayer reacted  with some impressive efforts from Brandt, Weiser and Bailey (55'/56'/59') but it was Ishak Belfodil who settled the result at the end of a counter-attack (61'). Kramaric made it 4-1 in the closing stages to establish himself as the record goalscorer for TSG (79')."

The Kicker sums up the 90 minutes of action in Sinsheim as follows: "Thanks to a perhaps somewhat too clear 4-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen, TSG Hoffenheim moved to within one point of the Werkself on Friday night and closer to a Europa League position. The team from the Kraichgau were the more effective side against visitors who were up for it but lacked penetration. It was only the second victory against Bayer in eleven home games for TSG."

The Bild Zeitung headline reads "Bad luck for Bayer twins" and the report continues: "They say twins have a close relationship throughout their lives. That was evident in the Bundesliga. In Leverkusen's 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim, Sven and Lars Bender (both 29) shared a very forgettable evening. Bad luck for the twins! On 36 minutes: the captain Lars Bender suffered an injury off the ball on the touchline and had to go off after treatment. On 51 minutes: Of all people, Lars's twin brother Sven deflected a shot from Amiri into his own goal. That made it 2-1."

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