2-1 against Schalke 04 – Win for Wolf in first game

A successful start for Hannes Wolf as the Bayer 04 head coach. The Werkself win 2-1 at home to Schalke 04. Lucas Alario opened the scoring on 26 minutes and substitute Patrik Schick doubled the lead on 72 minutes. Schalke stalwart Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted a consolation goal late on (81').

Black and Red rotation: Hannes Wolf made six changes to the Leverkusen starting eleven compared with the 3-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin – in the last game under Peter Bosz. Lukas Hradecky returned after injury to replace Lennart Grill in goal, stalwart Sven Bender was part of a back three with Jonathan Tah and Edmond Tapsoba. In the centre of midfield, Exequiel Palacios played 90 minutes in the Bundesliga for the first time since 1 November. Also in the starting line-up were Karim Bellarabi, Nadiem Amiri and Lucas Alario.



While Charles Aránguiz has remained the captain with Wolf at the helm, the captain's armband looked different against Schalke. The upper arm of the Chilean sported the hashtag #Morethanfootball, which was featured at today's game. Over recent weeks, Bayer 04 along with over 100 fellow campaigners from across Europe have been supporting the #Morethanfootball Action Weeks to show that football is more than just a game. Inclusion, integration plus the promotion of social interaction are just a small selection of themes that are an inherent part of the Bayer 04 DNA.

Wolf insists on control – Alario scores

As under Hannes Wolf's predecessor Peter Bosz, the Werkself dominated the stats with 66 per cent possession in the first ten minutes. But it was the visitors from Gelsenkirchen who had the best chance early on: Experienced striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar put a cross from Schalke Bundesliga debutant Mehmet Aydin just over the bar (11').



The Werkself played with caution and the back three did not give the visitors another chance on goal following that effort on goal – and they were able to convert their first clear chance. With 26 minutes on the clock, Kerem Demirbay put in an accurate cross from the left and centre forward Lucas Alario was able to slide into turn the ball into the net to make it 1-0. There were few clear-cut chances before Sven Jablonski blew the whistle for half-time but the Werkself succeeded in keeping it tight at the back.

Equaliser ruled offside

While the Schalke head coach Dimitrios Grammozis made one change at half-time, Wolf kept faith with his starting eleven. Five minutes after the restart, Wendell won the ball by the opposition penalty area and tried his luck with a left-foot shot but the shot went wide of the target.

The new scoreboard at the BayArena briefly showed 1-1 just before the hour mark: Huntelaar put the ball in the back of the net – but the provider, substitute Can Bozdogan, was offside in the build-up. While the decision of the match official was being checked by VAR, Florian Wirtz came on in place of the skipper Aránguiz (59'). Shortly after that, the duo involved in the opening goal, Demirbay and Alario, were also taken off (68').



First Schick, then Huntelaar

The substitute duo sent on by Wolf were then directly involved in the second Black and Red strike of the game: Wirtz put Patrik Schick through and he hit a perfect left-foot shot into the far corner of the goal from 20 yards out to double the lead at 2-0 (81'). But, thanks to the opposition centre forward, the game at the BayArena was close again in the final stages.

While the strike from Schalke stalwart Huntelaar 15 minutes earlier was rightly disallowed, there were no complaints about the second successful effort from the Dutchman. The 37-year-old was picked out by Bozdogan in the box and he was able to chest the ball down and then volley it into the net.


Three points for starters – away game in Sinsheim

Hannes Wolf brought on fresh legs in the closing stages in the shape of Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby and the Werkself were comfortably able to hold on to the narrow lead to claim the first three points under the new head coach.

The Werkself have a longer break after the home game against the Royal Blues. There will be a light training session on Sunday but the players will have the day off on Easter Monday. The next league match is on Monday, 12 April. Bayer 04 are away to TSG Hoffenheim at the end of Bundesliga matchday 28 with the kick off at 20.30 CEST.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Tah, S. Bender, Tapsoba – Bellarabi (Frimpong 82'), Palacios, Aránguiz (Wirtz 59'), Wendell – Demirbay (Bailey 67'), Amiri (Diaby 82') – Alario (Schick 67')

Schalke 04: Rönnow – Aydin (Schöpf 75'), Becker, Stambouli, Thiaw, Calhanoglu (Bozdogan 46') – Serdar (Paciencia 75'), Mascarell, Kolasinac – Huntelaar, Harit

Goals: 1-0 Alario (26’), 2-0 Schick (72’), 2-1 Huntelaar (81’)

Booked: Tapsoba

Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen)

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