10.10.2021Bayer 04

#RoadtoGlasgow – On This Day: Bayer 04 vs Fenerbahce 2-1

The match due to be played on 11 September 2001 was postponed to 10 October due to the terror attacks in the USA. At the BayArena, Klaus Toppmöller's team were again able to demonstrate their ability to bounce back.


Bayer 04 faced a Turkish team for the first time on the European stage. While the Werkself had won both of their first two group matches against strong opponents Lyon (1-0) and Barcelona (2-1), the situation was exactly the opposite for Fenerbahce. The Turks started with two defeats (3-0 against Barcelona and 1-0 against Lyon) and they were under some pressure ahead of the match at the BayArena. "We have to win and we will win," predicted Fenerbahce coach Mustafa Denizli. For Leverkusen, general manager Reiner Calmund warned: "The risk of us being knocked out in spite of our six points is bigger than many think. The match against Fenerbahce is the toughest of all."


And 'Calli' appeared to be right again. The champions of Turkey took the lead on six minutes with a goal from the Israeli star and playmaker Haim Revivo. As against Barcelona, the Toppmöller team found it difficult to get into the game. Goalkeeper Jörg Butt prevented his side going further behind with a great reflex save to keep out a header from Akdeniz (35'). In turn, Lucio ended one of his typical runs with the help of Michael Ballack by smashing the ball into the back of the net from 18 yards out to level at 1-1 (36'). Shortly after that, the Turks suffered a setback when Samuel Johnson was shown a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Carsten Ramelow.

After the restart, Bayer 04 put the decimated visitors under massive pressure. The deserved lead for the hosts came 15 minutes later: Jens Nowotny crossed from the left wing, Ulf Kirsten headed the ball down to Michael Ballack and he beat the Fenerbahce keeper Rüstü to make it 2-1 (59'). Bayer 04 were now in control of the game and Kirsten missed a good opportunity to put the Werkself 3-1 up.


The great feat by goalkeeper Jörg Butt to keep out the point-blank header from Akdeniz with an incredible save with his foot appeared to be the final and urgently needed wake-up call for the Werkself after the Turks had taken the lead. The fact the Ghanaian Johnson was sent off shortly after Lucio's equaliser was described by Klaus Toppmöller as the "turning point of the match."


Enforcer, instigator and goalscorer: Lucio once again demonstrated his incredible personality on the pitch and even the usually so critical TV pundit and World Cup winner Paul Breitner was raving about the Brazilian after the game: "I could watch him 24 hours a day."


For Klaus Toppmöller it was "a hard-earned victory and nothing more." The coach put his foot down after the euphoria of winning the third group match in succession: "We haven't achieved anything and a lot can still happen." Reiner Calmund was however relieved and he said: "We were rather sluggish at the start. It did is good that the Fenerbahce players brought a lot of aggression to the match as we had to defend ourselves and managed to turn it round." In spite of his impressive performance, Lucio was his usual modest self as he said: "I've only played one really good game for Bayer, in Lyon. I'll try to improve."


The Kölner Stadt Anzeiger highlighted after the 2-1 win: "Leverkusen are unbeaten in 14 games since the start of the season including ten wins in that time. Above all the ability to come back from behind is a new quality for the team of former ditherers." For the Rheinische Post "the option of going through to the next round of the Champions League was not yet achieved but was almost in their pockets." And the Kölnische Rundschau declared that "Bayer's record under Toppmöller after 14 games without defeat is beginning to take more than impressive shape."


Bayer 04: Butt – Schneider, Nowotny, Lucio, Placente – Ramelow, Bastürk, Ballack, Ze Roberto (Vranjes 90’) – Kirsten (Sebescen 86’), Neuville (Berbatov 68’)

Fenerbahce: Rüstü – Mirkovic, Ümit Özat, Ogün (Akin 79’), Meric – Akdeniz, Lazetic (Günes 79’), Johnson, Abdullah – Rapaic, Revivo (Bayraktar 64’)

Goals: 0-1 Revivo (6’), 1-1 Lucio (35’), 2-1 Ballack (59’)

Booked: Placente, Nowotny  – Ogün, Revivo, Rapaic, Akdeniz, Ümit Özat

Sent off: Johnson (38’)

Chances ratio: 10-3

Shots on goal: 12-3; on target: 7-3

Corners: 4-2

Referee: Alain Hamer (Luxembourg)

Attendance: 22,500 (sold out)




The BayArena was completely sold out a few weeks before the match. A lot of Fenerbahce fans made their second journey to Leverkusen because the match planned for 11 September was postponed due to the terror attacks in the USA. Around 3,000 supporters of the champions of Turkey got into the mood for the match several hours before kick-off in the Wiesdorf pedestrian zone (see additional article). Yellow and blue, Fenerbahce's club colours, were also very evident at the stadium later on although the 20,000 Bayer 04 fans gained the upper hand vocally in the second half.


Bayer 04 remained top of the group three points ahead of Barcelona after the third win in the third match. The Catalans beat Lyon 2-0 at home. On 17 October the Black and Reds were away at the Camp Nou against Kluivert, Xavi and Co.

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