What the papers say: VAR helped Leipzig

In spite of an impressive performance before the break, the match ended in defeat: The media identify a good deal of bad luck for Leverkusen in the 4-2 loss against RB Leipzig.

The Sunday Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, in its subscription online edition, searches for the reasons why the Werkself are failing to pick up points in spite of a strong attack: "No points and four goals for and 11 against from the last three games plus 48 goals conceded in the current campaign certainly mean something: The Werkself are much too susceptible to errors. They have mastered large parts of the attacking system of Peter Bosz and are able to put it into practice for long periods of games. But, against teams with individual quality, there always comes a point where the system collapses due to errors. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the season target of qualifying for Europe."

The Sonntags Express sees it as a game of two halves in this match: "A good first half and a 2-1 lead. The goal to make it 3-1 – correctly – ruled offside. A 4-2 defeat in the end! Leverkusen had a bitter pill to swallow in the race for a European finish against Leipzig.… The Leipzig victory was not undeserved due to an impressive second-half – the turning point was however very contentious. According to nearly everybody involved there was an unintentional handball by Mitchell Weiser that referee Tobias Welz awarded a penalty for after studying the VAR screen. RB's Swedish player Emil Forsberg was happy to accept the gift as he converted to make it 3-2."

Bild am Sonntag sees the game as part of the impressive run by Leipzig in the Bundesliga: "This 4-2 win for Leipzig is down to commitment – and millions! RB came back from 2-1 down at Leverkusen to earn an incredibly important win in the race for Europe. A place in the Champions League appears to be a certainty.… Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer on Sky: 'We weren't in good shape at the start and Leverkusen outplayed us. Then we changed it round and we were back in the game. It was a really big win for the Champions League.'" Bild also recognises the difference between the two halves: "Ahead of the break everything pointed to a Kai Havertz show: He coolly converted a penalty on 11 minutes to make it 1-0. And 12 minutes later Havertz had the whole stadium on its feet. From one of the many Bayer corners in the first half, Baumgartlinger headed the ball on to Havertz. With a wonder strike on the turn he found the back of the net via the post. Just one of four wonderful goals.

The online edition of the Rheinische Post recalls that the Werkself also had good chances to win this game: "As Leverkusen missed the opportunity to wrap it up, Leipzig remained in the game. And the team third in the table has the quality to score at any time as Leipzig proved when Timo Werner levelled at 2-2 on 64 minutes.… The match was now completely open – and Leipzig had more stamina. Emil Forsberg converted the penalty awarded after consulting the VAR for a handball by Mitchell Weiser to give RB the lead. Matheus Cunha finally settled it with a lob over Hradecky putting the visitors 4-2 up."

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday edition highlights Bayer's first half and the impressive performance of Kai Havertz: "In the first half, the hopes of coach Bosz that his players were possibly fresher than the team from Saxony who played for 120 minutes at Augsburg seemed to be fulfilled. Bayer played in the usual 4-3-3 formation with conviction and succeeded in producing moves that thrilled the crowd. The young national player Kai Havertz was the man of the first 45 minutes and he proved to be an excellent replacement on the right wing for Bellarabi who is sidelined for the rest of the season." The FAZ sees the turnaround coming from two VAR decisions: "Bayer score the next goal – at least that's what Leverkusen thought. A Bailey shot went in at the top corner but was ruled out after consulting VAR… Video evidence helped Leipzig again when referee Welz decided the unfortunate Weiser had handled the ball in his own box after looking at the TV images. Forsberg did not fail to take his chance as he turned the game round for his team."




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