In these weeks with such heavy workloads, Werkself coach Peter Bosz again made several changes to his starting eleven. That again included changing his whole back four with the same players coming in as in the game against Slavia Prague: Tin Jedvaj, Jonathan Tah (captain this time), Aleksandar Dragovic and Wendell replaced Lars and Sven Bender, Edmond Tapsoba and Daley Sinkgraven. In contrast to the side for the away win at Freiburg, Exequiel Palacios and Kerem Demirbay came in for Julian Baumgartlinger and Moussa Diaby.
Palacios and Demirbay played as holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 system, Nadiem Amiri was on the left wing and Florian Wirtz played as a 10. The Werkself youngster fitted in brilliantly in the central position and he brought Leon Bailey into the action with a lightning quick pass - and the Jamaican cut into the penalty area from the right to hit a volley. The Hapoel keeper Ohad Levita got his foot to the ball but it flew up into the back of the hosts’ net (5’).
Bayer 04 had everything under control and kept both the ball and opposition moving in the opening stages. Then, almost out of the blue, the hosts hit back and equalised with their first attack: Be’er Sheva exploited an error in the Leverkusen build-up and hit back straightaway on the break. The ball came to Elton Acolatse from the left and he slotted a low drive into the far corner (11’).
With the lead under their belts, the Israelis became significantly more confident and found their way back into the game. However, the Werkself retained the upper hand and, with another wonderful pass from Wirtz, had a great chance to restore the lead with Amiri put through with a brilliant pass from the 17-year-old but he was unable to beat Levita (20’). Instead, it was the opposition who suddenly took the lead: Acolatse beat Dragovic on the right flank, cut into the middle and then left Tah and Lukas Hradecky standing before tucking the ball into the Werkself net to make it 2-1 (25’). In spite of all the annoyance of going behind, respect had to be paid to an outstanding individual effort by the Dutchman.
Of course, that made the job for Bayer 04 anything but easy. Be’er Sheva sat back skilfully to close down space and again and again they posed a threat from counter-attacks via the lightning fast Acolatse. After the double goalscorer again broke through, it was Wendell who made a last-ditch challenge (36’). As in the game at Freiburg, the Werkself had to roll up their sleeves and fight their way back into the game. A dangerous shot from Palacios was deflected but Bayer 04 scored the equaliser from the ensuing corner: Jedvaj produced a powerful header from a well hit ball from Amiri. Levita produce a brilliant save but his parry hit the back of the head of defender Dadia and rebounded into the net for the half-time score of 2-2 (39’).
Peter Bosz decided to make a change at half-time. Diaby came on for Lucas Alario, Bailey moved up top. The Jamaican straightaway had the first chance of the second half in his new role but Levita saved his powerful shot from a tight angle (48’). The Werkself attacking game was now more structured and a lightning fast move led to next clear-cut opportunity: After a great diagonal ball from Demirbay, Wirtz hit a pinpoint cross to Palacios but his header was straight into the arms of Levita. A few seconds later, the Be’er Sheva keeper kept out a curler from Diaby (56’).
The pressure from the Werkself continued to increase. Bailey had the next cast-iron opportunity but failed to connect properly with his head (59’) with other efforts from Amiri (68’) and Palacios (73’) sailing over the bar. The goal to take the lead was in the air - and it deservedly came: Demirbay chipped the ball perfectly into the open space between the central defence and the goalkeeper with Bailey reaching the ball before Levita and he was able to tuck it away to give Bayer 04 a 3-2 lead (75’). The double goalscorer was hit hard by the Be’er Sheva keeper and was unable to really celebrate his strike. But the Jamaican was then able to carry on.
There was a heavy rain shower over the HaMoshava Stadium in the closing stages. The Werkself had to battle with the precipitation from above and also a last attack from the hosts: Substitute Itamar Shviro headed the ball against the bar from a corner (86’). Bayer 04 hit back almost straightaway to seal the win: Diaby impressively broke down the right flank, showed his pace and provided a perfect ball behind the defence. Wirtz kept his head up and placed his shot into the net to make it 4-2 (88’).There were no more goals with Be’er Sheva unable to convert the last chance through Lucas Bareiro (90+2’).
Following the game at Freiburg, it was the second 4-2 win in succession for the Werkself who are now at the top of the group in the Europa League level on points with Slavia Prague. The Czechs beat Nice in the other game 3-2. Bayer 04 have one more game before the international break: Borussia Mönchengladbach visit the BayArena on Sunday 8 November (kick-off: 18.00 CET).
Hapoel Be’er Sheva: Levita - Dadia, Taha (Meli 88’), Kabha (Varenne 84’), Miguel Vitor, Goldberg (Safuri 84’) - Bareiro, Josué - Sallalich (Yosefi 64’), Acolatse - Agudelo (Shviro 64’)
Bayer 04: Hradecky – Jedvaj (L. Bender 62’), Tah, Dragovic, Wendell - Palacios, Demirbay - Bailey, Wirtz, Amiri - Alario (Diaby 46’)
Goals: 0-1 Bailey (5’), 1-1 Acolatse (11’), 2-1 Acolatse (25’), 2-2 Dadia (39’ o.g.), 2-3 Bailey (75’), 2-4 Wirtz (88’)
Referee: Radu Marian Petrescu (Rumania)
Booked: Sallalich - Alario, Demirbay
The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 on Bundesliga matchday 12 and again succeeded in holding on to top spot in the table as well as setting a new Bundesliga and club record. The facts, stats and reaction to the away win in Bremen is here in the Werkself review.Show more
The annual Black and Red Week is drawing to a close. And day 04, on Sunday 26 November, brings you an exclusive offer on Bayer 04 membership…Show more
The first of eight games across all competitions before the winter break has been won: The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 away on Bundesliga matchday 12. The goals scored were an own goal (9') and one each from Jeremie Frimpong (42') and Alejandro Grimaldo (76'). The away win ensures Bayer 04 stay top of the table.Show more
The final international break of 2023 is over and now Bayer 04 start a busy run of fixtures up to the winter break. The first of eight games across all competitions before Christmas is today’s away fixture at Werder Bremen (kick-off: 15.30 CET). The latest updates on the game at the Weserstadion.Show more