1-1 against Union – Werkself in Europa League

The point gained against Union Berlin plus the defeat for Borussia Mönchengladbach bring certainty on the penultimate matchday: Bayer 04 will be in the Europa League next season with the final position of sixth place already certain. Florian Wirtz gave the Werkself the lead (27') and Joel Pohjanpalo levelled at 1-1 (72').

Head coach Hannes Wolf was forced to make two changes to his starting eleven compared with the goalless draw in Bremen: Injury ruled out Daley Sinkgraven (cruciate) and Exequiel Palacios (groin) and they were replaced by Wendell and Charles Aránguiz. In addition, Moussa Diaby was preferred to Karim Bellarabi, who dropped down to the bench.

'Loyalty, fight, passion – Thank you Lars'. Those words were on a huge banner on the North Stand of the BayArena on the penultimate Bundesliga matchday. This Saturday afternoon in Leverkusen not only featured the race for Europe but was also shaped by farewells: Lars and his twin brother Sven Bender are retiring at the end of the season. In addition, managing directors Fernando Carro and Rudi Völler plus sporting director Simon Rolfes also thanked the departing Sven Elsinger, head of the physiotherapy department at Bayer 04.




And the important match between the sixth- and eighth-placed teams started with a highlight: Werkself centre forward Patrik Schick had the ball in the back of the Berlin net after seven minutes. However, the Czech handled the ball on receiving the pass – referee Patrick Ittrich correctly ruled out the strike. As the game progressed, the hosts gain more and more control but found it difficult to find gaps in the Union defence.

The Berlin team looked to play on the break, led by Max Kruse. And he was the first one to test Werkself keeper Lukas Hradecky on 15 minutes. The Finn was in the right place and able to make the save without any problems. At this point, the team under head coach Urs Fischer gained the upper hand – and were able to score. Kruse converted a pass from Robert Andrich but VAR revealed the provider was just offside (21').

Wirtz opens the scoring

The third strike of the afternoon counted – to the joy of all Black and Reds. Wendell hit the ball into the penalty area from the left flank on 27 minutes. His cross was slightly deflected and the ball landed at the feet of Florian Wirtz, who had a simple tap-in at the far post. There was no further excitement before the half-time whistle so that the Werkself took a 1-0 lead into the break.


The two teams came out unchanged for the second half with the opening minutes dominated by the Werkself's short passing game. But the visitors from the capital also had phases where they control possession. The game became more and more open – also due to attacking changes made by Urs Fischer.

Pohjanpalo levels

The first substitution for Leverkusen also brought a change of system: Wolf changed to a back three with substitute Bellarabi on the right flank and Diaby joining Schick in a front two. Substitutions at this time made by Union Berlin brought success: With 72 minutes on the clock, Sheraldo Becker hit a high ball into the penalty area from the right. Substitute Pohjanpalo headed goalwards, first hitting Hradecky but then putting the rebound in the net to level at 1-1.

The match was increasingly evenly balanced with any result possible on this afternoon at the BayArena. The best chance fell to Bellarabi who broke into the opposition box with the ball at his feet. A square ball to Diaby would have been perfect but the right-winger hit the feet of his opponent (88'). The game rightly ended in a draw.

finale in Dortmund

The Werkself end the 2020/21 season with an away game at Borussia Dortmund. The match against the newly crowned DFB Cup winners, with Nadiem Amiri and Edmond Tapsoba suspended, kicks off next Saturday, 22 May at 15.30 CEST.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Tah, Dragovic, Tapsoba, Wendell – Aránguiz, Demirbay – Diaby, Wirtz (S. Bender 90+2'), Amiri (Bellarabi 67') – Schick (Gray 84')

Union Berlin: Luthe – Trimmel (Becker 66'), Friedrich, Knoche, N. Schlotterbeck, Lenz (Bülter 66') – Gentner (Griesbeck 84'), Andrich, Ingvartsen (Pohjanpalo 55'), Kruse – Musa (Awoniyi 55')

Goals: 1-0 Wirtz (27’), 1-1 Pohjanpalo (72’)

Booked: Amiri, Tapsoba – Ingvartsen, Andrich

Referee: Patrick Ittrich (Hamburg)

Related News

Frauen - 22.02.2024

Eichin on Women's game at the BayArena: 'Provides a great platform'

The quarter-final of the DFB-Pokal will be a special highlight for the Bayer 04 Women. The team will play at the BayArena for only the second time since 2009. has collected reaction to the game to be played on Tuesday 5 March (kick-off: 18.30 CET). Director of professional teams Thomas Eichin, who is also responsible for women's football at the club, explains the background to the decision and the Women's team head coach Robert de Pauw and the captain Elisa Senß talk about the anticipation of the players ahead of the clash at the BayArena. Winter signing Borja Iglesias also shares his views. The striker was a big supporter of women's football following the kissing scandal involving the former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales last summer. Borja also attended the last Bayer 04 Women's home game against TSG Hoffenheim.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 22.02.2024

Bayer 04 staff honour AFCON winner Kossounou

Odilon Kossounou certainly deserved this reception: At a Bayer 04 staff meeting, Fernando Carro, CEO, and head coach Xabi Alonso presented the Africa Cup of Nations winner with a special memento of his great achievement on behalf of all members of staff. The Werkself player won AFCON with Ivory Coast in the middle of February in his own country.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 21.02.2024

A first under the Cross: The special edition Bayer Sports Family shirt

The special edition Bayer Sports Family shirt pays homage to sport in the city of Leverkusen. Ahead of the forthcoming Bayer Sports Family matchday at the Werkself Bundesliga home game against Mainz 05 (Friday, 23 February, 20.30 CET), Bayer 04 Club members can secure this limited edition shirt now at the Bayer 04 fan shops and the online club shop.

Show more
eSports - 21.02.2024

#B04eSports: Important points in battle for play-offs

The Bayer 04 eSports team this week played matchdays 30 to 32 in the 2023/24 VBL Club Championship by WOW in the business end of the season. The #B04eSports team picked up six important points in the games against Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg and direct rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf. The Black and Reds remain seventh in the table in the North West Division and are still in with a chance of qualifying for the finals of the German Club Championship via the play-offs.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 20.02.2024

Exchange of experience: Mexico coach Lozano and coaching team visit Leverkusen

There's big interest in Bayer 04 in Mexico, not least because of the involvement of former Werkself player Chicharito. The #Bayer04MexicoTour in summer 2022 also made a vital contribution to the popularity of the current Bundesliga leaders in the North American country. Since this week, the connection between Bayer 04 and football-mad Mexico has been enriched by one more aspect: Mexican national team coach Jaime Lozano and his coaching team have used their European tour to exchange experiences with those responsible at the works club, among other things.

Show more