What the papers say: 'With passion, conviction and plenty of luck'

The first compliments for the Werkself after the 2-1 win at FC Bayern came from the opposition coach. "The speed Leverkusen got forward, how they covered the pitch and interacted with each other is extraordinary in the Bundesliga. Thet are great fun to watch," said FCB coach Hansi Flick. And the media did not spare praise for the lucky winners. Read on for what the papers say:

The Bild am Sonntag ventures a snappy formulation in the headline: "A brace! Bailey pulls Bayern part." The tabloid describes the short period between the Bayern and equaliser and the Werkself taking the lead again: "It takes just 113 seconds for the next goal after it was 1-1. Leverkusen clear the ball from their own area and it lands at the feet of Volland. The striker again puts the speeding Bailey through. Martinez is too far away and far too slow. Bailey races away at a speed of 33.1 km/h and leaves Neuer helpless. A copied goal to make it 2-1!"

‘The one-eyed saviour’


One of many brilliant saves: Lukas Hradecky parries a Lewandowski effort.


Lukas Hradecky plays a significant part in the reports and for the Bild am Sonntag he is "the one-eyed saviour": "Lukas Hradecky (30) had an excellent game in the 2-1 win for Leverkusen in Munich – and that with only half his normal vision. The goalkeeper: 'I lost my contact lens in the first half and had to play the game with vision in one eye for 20 minutes. You try that against Bayern…' How did it happen? On 18 minutes: Gnabry shoots from a tight angle. Hradecky saves the ball with his solar plexus. One of his contact lenses comes out. And he was only able to replace it at half-time. It does not prevent him producing a really impressive performance. Hradecky saved a total of ten shots to equal the record for the season of Zak Stefan (24/Düsseldorf) and Frederick Rönnow (27/Frankfurt). That's not the end of it! The Finn, who qualified with his country for the Euros for the first time, had 58 touches of the ball – more than any Leverkusen outfield player!"

'Hastily put together'

When images speak volumes: Leon Bailey turns to celebrate, Neuer and Pavard are well and truly beaten.

And the Cologne-based Express opts for a snappy headline: 'Top gun Bailey becomes a serial killer’. The assessment of the encounter reads: "What a thrilling game to round off the Bundesliga Saturday fixtures! The cracker between Bayern and Bayer absolutely deserves the status as the top match. At the end of the day, the Peter Bosz team were surprisingly the ones to celebrate. The 2-1 win at the record champions was hastily put together but not undeserved."

Leon, Lars and Lukas the 'Man of the Match'


HHeroic deed from the captain: Lars Bender's incredible tackle to deny Perisic.

The online edition of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger judges the events in Munich from a Leverkusen perspective as follows: 'With passion, conviction and plenty of luck'. With the Man of the Match award, there was good reason to talk about it in the plural: "Leon Bailey. And Lars Bender. And Lucas Hradecky. The one for his goals that was reminiscent of the Leon Bailey of two years ago when he turned everything upside down in the 4-4 draw at Hannover 96. All the characteristics that the Jamaican displayed in Munich had seemed to have disappeared recently. Now they are back. Lars Bender was the rallying point in the battle and Lucas Hradecky the sorcerer on the goal line." The moment of the match happened in added time at the end of the first half: "Three FC Bayern players bore down on Lukas Hradecky after Leverkusen lost possession. Nothing in front of them except for the penalty area. Serge Gnabry on the ball in the middle, to the right striker Robert Lewandowski, to the left Ivan Perisic. Gnabry passed to Perisic in the box, Hradecky was beaten, the Croat was ready to slot the ball into the back of the net. Out of the blue, Lars Bender appeared panther-like to get his toe to the ball to put Perisic off his shot and turned the shouts of goal from thousands of Bayern fans into sounds of horror and disbelief."

'Textbook assists'


Had a great game with his assists and distribution: Kevin Volland (here taking on Martinez and Davies).

The assessment in the online edition of the Rheinische Post awards top marks to another Werkself player in addition to Hradecky and Bailey: "Kevin Volland: Not just because of his two textbook assists was it a notable performance by the striker who is also irreplaceable in the Bayer attack with his high work rate. Also, he was again and again a vociferous motivator for his team-mates."

The Kicker points out that the record champions produced an impressive performance in spite of the defeat: Hans-Dieter Flick suffered his first defeat in the 2-1 loss against Bayer Leverkusen after four wins and 16 goals for and zero against from his first four matches as coach of FC Bayern. The record champions were not disappointing against the team from the Rhineland but did miss a number of excellent goalscoring opportunities.…' Even if we’d have won 3-2 or 4-3 nobody could have said it wasn't deserved,' said Thomas Müller looking at the number of great chances missed as he also praised the efficiency of Leverkusen – and added self critically: 'On the other hand, it was perhaps due to a lack of efficiency on our part. We can't explain it,' said the only Munich goalscorer who did, on a personal level, end a run of 1,356 minutes without scoring in the Bundesliga."

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