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5.08.2023Bayer 04

Debut goals for Hofmann and Boniface in 4-0 win against West Ham United

The Werkself on fire in the curtain raiser for the start of the 2023/24 season: Bayer 04 clocked up a 4-0 win against the holders of the UEFA Europa Conference League West Ham United at an atmospheric season launch in front of 25,335 spectators at the BayArena. New signings Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface netted their first goals in a Werkself shirt and the other strikes were an own goal and a Robert Andrich penalty.
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Compared with the friendly on Wednesday away to top-flight French side Olympique Marseille (2-1), head coach Xabi Alonso made six changes to his starting line-up with skipper Lukas Hradecky returning in goal in place of Patrick Pentz. Alejandro Grimaldo was sidelined with a muscular problem in his left thigh.

Debut goals for Hofmann and Boniface

The Werkself got off to a flying start in the first game in the new season at home and they dominated proceedings from the kick-off. Jonas Hofmann had the first effort on goal after just four minutes when he hit a shot from a cross from the left straight into the arms of the West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

 

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A few moments later, Victor Boniface headed towards the opposition goal from the left flank after winning possession but the new signing was brought to a halt on the edge of the penalty area by West Ham defender Kurt Zouma. Hofmann stepped up to take the resulting free kick for Bayer 04 and curled the ball spectacularly into the top far corner via the inside of the post for the early opener on eight minutes. It was also the first goal for the number seven in a black and red shirt.

The hosts remained on top after taking the lead and pressed for the next goal – with success: On 24 minutes, it was Hofmann who set up Boniface with a diagonal ball. With the help of the opponent Thilo Kehrer the ball landed in the back of the English net for a deserved 2-0 lead. And there was more to come: Florian Wirtz picked out Boniface with a long ball and the forward hit an impressive volley into the far corner to make it 3-0. The Nigerian too scored his debut goal for Bayer 04 in his first outing at the BayArena (38 '). Xabi Alonso’s team took that clear lead into the half-time break.

Andrich converts penalty

The Werkself also made a bright start to the second half with a shot from Amine Adli heading to the far top corner but the visitors’ keeper Fabianski managed to keep it out (46’). At the other end, Said Benrahma had the best chance for West Ham United up to that point with a shot against the woodwork five minutes later. Just after the hour mark, Xabi Alonso brought on Odilon Kossounou and Robert Andrich and changed from a back four to a back three in defence.

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West Ham substitute defender Nayef Aguerd brought down the Bayer 04 striker Boniface in the penalty area on 68 minutes. Andrich stepped up and converted the penalty clinically in front of an excited North Stand to make it 4-0 on 69 minutes. There were no real chances for either side after that with the Werkself now going into the first competitive match of the 2023/24 campaign on the back of a 4-0 victory.

DFB cup tie in Hamburg

The Werkself are away to the Hamburg Cup winners FC Teutonia 05 Ottensen in the first round of the DFB Cup on Saturday 12 August. The kick-off at the Millerntor Stadium is at 15.30 CEST.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky - Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Arthur - Palacios (Kossounou 62’), Xhaka (Puerta 87’) - Hofmann (Andrich 62’), Wirtz (Amiri 83’), Adli (Mbamba 87’) - Boniface (Hlozek 77’)

West Ham United: Fabianski (Areola 46’) - Kehrer, Zouma (Aguerd 46’), Ogbonna, Palmieri (Johnson 71’) - Soucek, Downes (Coventry 75’) - Bowen (Fornals 71’), Paqueta (Coufal 46’), Benrahma (Cornet 71’) - Mubama (Antonio 46’)

Goals: 1-0 Hofmann (8’), 2-0 Kehrer (24’ o.g.), 3-0 Boniface (38’), 4-0 Andrich (69’ pen.)

Booked: Zouma, Paqueta, Coventry

Referee: Stegemann (Niederkassel)

Attendance: 25,325 at the BayArena

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