1.10.2021Europa League

#CELB04 review: ‘Top three experience’ and icing on the cake twice

Lukas Hradecky and Jonathan Tah choose the same words, Gerardo Seoane praises Piero Hincapie and the press write about a “magical Euro night” - the follow-up to the Werkself win in Glasgow...

summary: four goals and Hradecky outstanding

The Werkself experienced a perfect night on the fantastic stage at Celtic Park with Piero Hincapie opening the scoring on 25 minutes with his first goal in a Werkself shirt. Ten minutes later, Florian Wirtz doubled the lead after great work by Paulinho and Lucas Alario put the game out of reach from the penalty spot after the restart. Seconds before the final whistle, substitute Amine Adli made it 4-0 for the Werkself with an impressive piledriver. Celtic did have a number of chances in the game but were again and again foiled by the outstanding Lukas Hradecky who pulled off a number of world-class saves. HERE is the match report.

reaction: "one of my top three experiences"

The memory of the 90 minutes in "paradise" and a special place in the internal Hradecky rankings. "It was one of my top three experiences in European football," said our keeper who has already seen a lot at the European Championships and as a DFB Cup winner. The reason for his assessment: the 50,000 plus spectators in Glasgow after a long time without fans. “What gave me the most joy was playing in front of full stands," declared a happy Hradecky. "Perhaps that brought the best out of me."

And for Jonathan Tah too, Celtic Park is "in my top three venues where I've played." The central defender, who pulled off a brilliant sliding tackle to prevent the Werkself going behind early after just two minutes, spoke about a "special match with a special atmosphere you don't experience very often. I'm happy we were able to use the atmosphere positively for us." Coach Gerardo Seoane assessed the final 4-0 winning margin as "a bit too big but deserved" and he paid "a big compliment to my team." He added: "We withstood the pressure early on and we did very well in playing the way we wanted to."

Personnel: icing on the cake from Hincapie and Adli

His first start could hardly have gone better. In his first appearance for Bayer 04 from the beginning, Piero Hincapie scored the important opener for the Werkself. But the central defender not only received special praise from Gerardo Seoane for his goal. "You've seen in the last two or three games that he is completely impervious in terms of the atmosphere," said the Werkself coach. "He remains really very calm. He played well, had good vision and won lots of challenges. The goal was the icing on the cake."

Amine Adli also rounded off a successful night with icing on the cake. Along with Hincapie, our new signing from France celebrated scoring his first goal for Bayer 04 – at the third attempt. After he hit the woodwork at Augsburg and his goal against Mainz was ruled out for offside, there was no doubt about his powerful shot in added time – a cracker of a goal.


Stats: only two numbers count

Sometimes only two numbers really say a lot – those on the scoreboard. In spite of the heavy defeat, the brave hosts who always tried to get on the front foot had more possession (54.5%) challenges won (56.7%), a better pass completion rate (85.5 %) and exactly the same number of shots on goal (18) as the Werkself. Statistics that did not really concerned Bayer 04 on this night: Seoane's team was simply the smarter, more efficient and direct team. And that was mainly reflected on the scoreboard.

what the papers say: "a magical night"

"Bayer 04 Leverkusen achieved something on Thursday night that not many succeed in doing at Celtic Park in Glasgow," stated the match report in the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger. "The team second in the Bundesliga radiated calm." The Kölnische Rundschau reports: “The young guns of Bayer Leverkusen have made their next impressive mark on the European football stage," and the BILD saw "a magical Euro night for Bayer 04."

The press shared out special praise to different Werkself players. So, the Rheinische Post named keeper Lukas Hradecky an “outstanding shot stopper”, the EXPRESS headline "Young star Wirtz scores at Celtic Park too" and the kicker reports Piero Hincapie having "an outstanding performance in his first start" and praises the performance of the central defender as "exuding maximum calm and being impressive on the ball."

outlook: unusuual kick-off time against Bielefeld

The Werkself do not have much time to celebrate as the Black and Reds head to Bielefeld on Sunday, 3 October. Against the winless team sixteenth in the table, Bayer 04 have an unusual kick-off time: The two teams round off the matchday with a 19.30 CEST start. In Glasgow, Lukas Hradecky looked forward to East Westphalia: "We will have to show our quality there." As was the case at Celtic Park on Thursday night.

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