7.11.2019Champions League

What the papers say: 'The longed-for big win'

"Great desire," an impressive returnee – and another own goal. That was the view of the reporters of the 2-1 win for the Werkself against Atletico Madrid.

"The longed-for big win" was the headline in the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger and the report talks of a "sign of life on the biggest football stage." It continues: "A 2-1 win against Atletico that opens up a good chance of competing in the Europa League and at least theoretically in the Champions League Round of 16." At the same time, credit is especially due to the Werkself for scoring two goals against the top Spanish club: "Even scoring one goal against the Spanish defensive artistry of coach Diego Simeone is a rarity. Since 21 September and up to the game against Leverkusen, Atletico only conceded three goals in ten matches – and never more than one per game." The newspaper also praises Charles Aránguiz on his return to the line-up: "The presence of Aránguiz quickly made itself felt on the Werkself game," and the Chilean was "immediately the focal point of the Bayer game."

"Important factor", "motor of the engine room": praise for returnee Aránguiz

The BILD reports a "Leverkusen dream of group miracle" and highlights a curious statistic: "The opener (41'/Thomas) is the sixth own goal across all competitions to benefit Bayer." Like the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, the BILD emphasises the role of Aránguiz as a "really important factor against Atletico."

The kicker also recognises the impressive performance of the midfielder and names him man of the match: "Charles Aránguiz was the motor of the Leverkusen engine room. He impressed with many incisive moves, kept it tight in midfield even when Atletico were pressing forward after the second goal." In the match analysis, the specialist sporting journal draws the following conclusion: "Bayer clearly dominated and deservedly won through great determination." But a key point was the number of dangerous corners: "It was particularly striking how often Bayer kept curling in corners to the near post to cause problems for the Spaniards," reported the online edition of kicker. "That was the cause of the own goal by Thomas to make it 1-0 but there were immediately other opportunities from corners that caused such problems in the otherwise well defended Madrid penalty area."

Volland's "skilful" goal with his right foot

According to the Rheinische Post the opening goal provided a "deserved half-time lead for the hosts." The report continues, " The Bosz team were on top again after the restart and they extended their lead." And the analysis continues, "Volland, who replaced Lars Bender as captain, exploited a rare positional error by Mario Hermoso to skilfully score with his weaker right foot to make it 2-0. The cross was provided by Karim Bellarabi who again stood out."

Annoying goal conceded - Hradecky rescues win late on

A stormy end to the game not only brought a sending off for Nadiem Amiri but also a goal for the visitors. "The goal from Alvaro Morata (90+4') to make it 2-1 was annoying as Madrid are on top in terms of direct comparison after the 1-0 in the away game," declared the Kölnische Rundschau but the report did point out that it could have been even worse: "Fortunately, the Bayer keeper Lukas Hradecky prevented Morata scoring a second goal in the final seconds."

And the Express also highlights Hradecky's great feat: "With Leverkusen a man down, the goalkeeper Hradecky secured the win for the Werkself when he saved a shot from Morata in the last move of the game." But the first win in the Champions League this season was perfect and the newspaper looks forward: The Werkself can "have renewed hope of qualifying for the Round of 16. To do that, Bayer have to win the last two games against Lokomotiv Moscow and Juventus and hope for the Spaniards to slip up again."


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