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18.09.2021Bayer 04

#RoadtoGlasgow – OnThisDay: Lyon vs Bayer 04 0:1

20 years ago today, on 18 September 2001, Bayer 04 picked up the first three points on the #RoadToGlasgow: The Werkself beat Lyon 1-0 in a hard-fought encounter thanks to a goal from Ulf Kirsten.
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Pre-match situation

Both teams started the group stage with a week’s delay. Matchday one, planned for 12 September, was postponed to 10 October due to the previous day’s terrorist attacks in the USA. Both Bayer 04 and Lyon had made a very good start in their respective league campaigns. The team under coach Klaus Toppmöller were still unbeaten after six matchdays and were second in the table on 14 points. Lyon were third in Ligue I after seven games with 16 points. The French club finished runners-up the previous season and they inflicted a 3-0 defeat on FC Bayern in the second group stage of the Champions League in March 2001. Lyon were on track to become the dominant team in French football and they went on to win the French league title in each of the following seven years. “Lyon are the most dangerous team in our group,” said Bayer 04 CEO Reiner Calmund before the start of the group stage.

The match

After a good start by the Werkself, the hosts increasingly took control of the game in front of a sell-out 37,000 crowd at the Stade Gerland. While Lyon created a lot of chances through Edmilson and Foe plus strikers Nee and, above all, Govou, Bayer 04 only created one big chance for Oliver Neuville in the first half. His unaimed shot was saved by the Lyon goalkeeper Coupet. The Werkself defend with a passion in the second 45 and then struck clinically on 75 minutes: Ulf Kirsten sealed a 1-0 win with goal number 38 on the European stage.

Moments of the match

Lucio’s duels with Lyon legend Sidney Govou, with the Brazilian mostly coming out on top, were amongst the highlights of the match. Solid at the back – also thanks to the impressive Jörg Butt in goal –and cool up front: A typical Ulf Kirsten strike won the match on 75 minutes when the ‘Schwatte’ slid into a waist-high cross from Zoltan Sebescen, just ahead of Edmilson, to prod the ball past Coupet into the back of the net.

Man of the match

Lucio frustrated Govou und Nee, the Lyon strikers, again and again. The tackling by the Brazilian defender was outstanding.

Reaction

Goalkeeper Jörg Butt: “A clean sheet and an away win: What more can you want.” Coach Klaus Toppmöller: “That shows Ulf is a genuine goal-getter of high-calibre. He has one chance and he takes it.” Right-back Zoltan Sebescen: “I was pretty nervous. I had goose bumps when the anthem was being played before kick-off.”

What the papers say

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ): “There’s nobody else in German top-level football at the moment who has a better nose for a goal than Ulf Kirsten. The soon-to-be 36-year-old centre-forward secured a dream start for Bayer Leverkusen with the only goal of the game away to the French league runners-up Olympique Lyon.” Le Monde: “Since 1988, Lyon and their Gerland Stadium did not enjoy a good reputation in Germany. Their battered honour and pride now rested in the hands of their best clubs and a couple of old soldiers – Ulf Kirsten is one of them. This ‘old gentleman’ of European football is not quite 36 but he has seen everything. And now the Bayer Leverkusen veteran secured a 1-0 win the Rhone city.”

Stats

Lyon: Coupet – Deflandre, Edmilson, P. Müller, Brechet – Violeau, Carriere (Juninho 66’), Foe, Laigle (Delmotte 78’) – Nee (Luyindula 60’), Govou.

Bayer 04: Butt – Sebescen, Lucio, Nowotny, Placente – Schneider, Ramelow, Ballack, Bastürk (Zivkovic 78’) – Kirsten (Ojigwe 87’), Neuville (Brdaric 85’).

Goals: 0-1 Kirsten (75’)

Shots on goal: 12-7; on target: 6-6

Corners: 13-4

Booked: Brechet – Nowotny, Placente, Zivkovic

Sent off: Juninho (84’)

Referee: Graziano Cesari (Italy)

Attendance: 37,000

Matchday images

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Support

Four members of the Bayer 04 fan club Rheinmacht Hoppaz made their way to Lyon in a hire car. “We were all still affected by the terrorist attacks on 11 September in the USA. And, even with all the anticipation of the trip to France, the mood at the Stade Gerland was downcast,” recalls Thomas von der Heide. Around 500 Black and Red fans supported their team in Lyon. The atmosphere at the Stade Gerland was supposed to be highly charged and passionate. “The game itself was erratic and scrappy,” explains Thomas who, as an aficionado and friend of French football, knew the value of the hard-fought 1-0 win. “We didn’t really count on getting the three points for starters.”

State of play: Group F

As Barcelona beat Fenerbahce 3-0 in the other game, the Catalan side were top of the table ahead of Bayer 04 on matchday two that was, in effect, the first set of games. On 25 September, the third matchday, the Werkself entertained Barcelona at the BayArena. The home game against Fenerbahce on matchday one had been moved to 10 October.

 

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