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2.08.2023Bayer 04

Werkself win 2-1 in Marseille as Andrich returns

Bayer 04 secured a 2-1 win in the friendly at top-flight French club Olympic Marseille. In the third friendly of the preseason ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, Jonathan Tah opened the scoring with a header and Nadiem Amiri scored direct from a corner in front of a crowd of 62,073 at the Orange Vélodrome to make it 2-0 at half-time. Marseille's Francois Mughe pulled a goal back in the second half for the final scoreline of 2-1. Good news: Robert Andrich made his comeback after recovering from injury.
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Head coach Xabi Alonso made six changes to his starting line-up compared with the last Saturday's charity match against Spanish Champions League team Real Sociedad (0-1): Patrick Pentz was in goal in place of Lukas Hradecky and Jonathan Tah, Arthur, Noah Mbamba, Nadiem Amiri and Adam Hlozek all started this time round. These were the first starts for Bayer 04 for Pentz and Mbamba.

Tah scores with a header - Amiri stright from a corner

On the impressive stage of the Orange Vélodrome, the hosts started on the front foot but were unable to create any clear-cut chances. The Werkself upped the pressure as the game went on and were rewarded with the opening goal. Alejandro Grimaldo hit a corner from the right into the penalty area on 15 minutes, the OM keeper Pau Lopez punched the ball straight onto the head of Tah at the far post leaving him with a simple header into the net.

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After that, most of the action was in midfield with no real chances for either side. It was another corner that led to the second Leverkusen goal just before half-time. With 40 minutes on the clock, Amiri took a corner from the left and he curled the ball in the direction the goal – and with the help of the Marseille keeper Lopez made it 2-0. Four minutes later, Lopez saved an Amiri shot from the edge of the box at the second attempt. Half-time soon followed.

Andrich makes Comeback - OM pull a goal back

Exequiel Palacios and Jonas Hofmann replaced Mbamba and Adli at half-time. The French team were again first out of the blocks as they applied pressure. However, as in the first half, Granit Xhaka and Co. stood firm in defence. Alonso made five substitutions just after the hour mark with only the keeper Pentz and the back three remaining on the field from the starting line-up. There was one special substitution on 72 minutes: Robert Andrich, who suffered a fractured metatarsal in the game against AS Roma at the start of May, joined his teammates on the pitch the first time since then.


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The hosts came back into the game with ten minutes to play thanks to an unfortunately deflected cross: The ball flew over Pentz towards the far post and substitute Francois Mughe was on hand to score with a tap-in from two yards out. That brought the crowd alive and they really got behind their OM team. But there were no more goals so Bayer 04 were able to head home with a win under their belts.

final friendly ahead of new season

The Werkself end this week with a home game that serves as a curtain raiser for the new season: This Saturday 5 August (kick-off: 13.30 CEST) sees West Ham United from the Premier League visit the BayArena. The match against last season's winners of the UEFA Europa Conference League forms the sporting highlight of the Bayer 04 season launch. Tickets are available HERE. The Werkself are then in action a week later in the first round of the DFB Cup away to Hamburg Cup winners FC Teutonia 05 Ottensen. The tie will be played at the Millerntor Stadium on Saturday 12 August with the kick off at 15.30 CEST.

Match stats:

Olympique Marseille: Lopez (Blanco 46') - Clauss (Negouai 74'), Gigot (Touré 65’) , Balerdi (Mbemba 46'), Soglo (Lodi 65’) - Veretout (Rongier 46'), Kondogbia (Gueye 65’), Ounahi (Harit 74') - Sarr (Mughe 74'), Aubameyang (Guendouzi 74'), Ndiaye (Vitinha 58’)

Bayer 04: Pentz - Kossounou (Fosu-Mensah 81'), Tah (Andrich 72'), Tapsoba (Monamay 72') - Arthur (Frimpong 61'), Mbamba (Palacios 46’), Xhaka (Puerta 61'), Grimaldo (Münz 61') - Adli (Hofmann 46’), Amiri (Wirtz 61') - Hlozek (Boniface 61’)

Goals: 0-1 Tah (15’), 0-2 Amiri (40’), 1-2 Mughe (79’)

Booked: Touré - Münz, Alonso (head coach)

Referee: Angoula (Le Havre/France)

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