27.10.2022Champions League

Werkself review #AtletiB04: Thriller in Madrid

In a high intensity encounter, the Werkself drew 2-2 away to Atlético Madrid. The team led by head coach Xabi Alonso impressed with a courageous team performance on matchday five in Group B in the UEFA Champions League. Captain Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty after the final whistle to maintain the chance of progress to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League. The Werkself review for #AtletiB04...

Summary: Deserved point

On an impressive stage at the Estadio Metropolitano, both teams were focused at the start of the game where Moussa Diaby gave Bayer 04 an early lead with an impressive strike (9'). Atletico's Yannick Carrasco levelled on 22 minutes. Leverkusen remain committed in challenges and Callum Hudson-Odoi was able to restore the lead for the Werkself seven minutes later. After the restart, the hosts pressed for the equaliser and substitute Rodrigo de Paul found the back of the net on 50 minutes. There were chances for both sides in the rest of the game particularly through Atléti’s Antoine Griezmann while substitute Paulinho had two chances on the break for the Werkself. There was a curious incident after the final whistle: Following the intervention of VAR and viewing the video screen for a possible handball by Piero Hincapie, referee Clément Turpin pointed to the spot but Lukas Hradecky saved Carrasco's penalty. The game ended all square at 2-2. HERE is the match report.

Reaction: "We'll fight to get in the  Europa League"

Nadiem Amiri, who made his first start in the current campaign, summed up the game talking to Werkself TV after the match: "We had a very good first half and had chances to score more goals. Then there was massive pressure from Atlético in the second half. We found it difficult to play out from the back but were then able to stage several counter-attacks so we were able to get what we deserved." Amiri, who celebrates his 26th birthday today, added: "I'm over the moon, this performance was extremely important for our team spirit." Teammate Robert Andrich was also relieved: "We put in a shift off the ball. I'm glad Lukas made the last save."

Head coach Xabi Alonso saw the performance of his team as one "to build on." The 40-year-old described the match as intense, exciting and emotional: "Both teams played at a high level, we had to take a lot of pressure and we could have lost the game. But we could also have won with the chances on the break."



The Spanish coach is also clear about the last match in Group B and the possibility of going through to the UEFA Europa league: "Anything can happen in this balanced group and we'll fight right to the end."

Personnel: Trio in Madrid

Xabi Alonso had to manage without the injured players Sardar Azmoun, Charles Aránguiz and Kerem Demirbay against the Rojiblancos. There was good news that Florian Wirtz, Karim Bellarabi and Exequiel Palacios were at the match in Madrid. The trio worked at the Real Madrid training ground on Wednesday under the guidance of assistant coach Alberto Encinas together with teammates Daley Sinkgraven (not registered for the Champions League) and goalkeeper Niklas Lomb

What the papers say: Top marks for Hradecky 

The headline in the Bild Zeitung read: "Penalty madness after final whistle." The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger focused on Hradecky's penalty save and described it as "brilliant". Kicker and the Rheinische Post awarded top marks for the performance of the skipper. Kicker quoted the Finn as follows: "Perhaps it's a sign we are slowly becoming a team by getting through such difficult phases and not conceding in the end."

Stats: Hradecky makes nine saves

Lukas Hradecky made a total of nine saves. On top of that there was the penalty save after the final whistle. And the many intense challenges on both sides are reflected in the stats with both teams registering 50%.


The Simeone team had 23 shots on goal and scored twice with the Werkself it was 13 shots on goal. The Madrid side were on top in terms possession with 63% in the same applied to the pass completion rate: Atlético had 89%, the Black and Reds 79%.

Outlook: Away in the Bundesliga, home game in Champions League

Preparations have already started for the away game at RB Leipzig on Saturday 29 October (kick-off: 15.30 CEST) on Bundesliga matchday 12: The Werkself have a training session at the Real Madrid campus on Thursday morning before flying back to Leverkusen. Three days later comes the final group match in the UEFA Champions League. On Tuesday 1 November (kick-off: 18.45 CET), Club Brugge visit the BayArena. A victory for Bayer 04 (with the help of Porto against Atletico Madrid) would secure third place and qualification for the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League.

Related News

Europa League - 29.11.2023

Alonso ahead of #BKHB04: ‘Play to win’ in snow and minus temperatures

The Werkself are looking to seal winning the group against Häcken on matchday five in the UEFA Europa League. Ahead of the game against the Swedish Cup winners on Thursday 30 November (kick-off: 21.00 CET), head coach Xabi Alonso talked about clear aims as well as the busy fixture list up to the winter break – and he recalled a special trip to Gothenburg, tomorrow's venue, as a teenager. Nathan Tella also fielded questions from the journalists on Wednesday night where he spoke about the importance of the Europa League to the club and himself.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 29.11.2023

Bayer 04 extend contract with top talent Francis Onyeka to 2027

Bayer 04 Leverkusen have given U17 player Francis Onyeka a long-term contact. The club has agreed a deal with the 16-year-old to 30 June 2027.

Show more
eSports - 29.11.2023

#Bayer04eSports: Four points on triple matchday

#B04eSports team suffered the first defeat of the season on matchday five in the VBL Club Championship 2023/24. Last night’s other games ended in a win and a draw. The Black and Reds are now fifth in the North West division.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 28.11.2023

Bayer 04 seal long-term deal with Simon Rolfes

Bayer 04 Leverkusen back continuity at the top of the club. The Bundesliga and Europa League participants have extended the contract with sporting managing director Simon Rolfes to 2028. The former midfielder and long-standing Werkself captain took over this position as the successor to Rudi Völler in the summer of 2022. He was previously the sporting director at Bayer 04 for three and a half years.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 28.11.2023

Florian Wirtz wins October Goal of the Month award

The fans have decided: The goal scored by Florian Wirtz to make it 1-0 for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2-1 home win against SC Freiburg was voted Goal of the Month for October with 45 % of the votes cast. The 20-year-old Werkself player won the vote conducted by ARD-Sportschau by a clear margin ahead of second-placed Harry Kane (Bayern Munich).

Show more