Clinical Werkself secure 3-0 derby win against FC Köln

This season's second derby against FC Köln also ended in a clear victory for Bayer 04. The Werkself beat the Rhine rivals 3-0 at home. The outstanding Leon Bailey netted a brace (5', 76') and he provided the assist for Moussa Diaby to make it 2-0 (51').

Werkself coach Hannes Wolf drew logical conclusions from Monday's 0-0 draw in Sinsheim. There were no changes to the personnel in the very solid defence but Wolf looked for new inspiration up front: The injured Florian Wirtz (groin) plus Kerem Demirbay and Lucas Alario were replaced in the starting line-up by Leon Bailey, Nadiem Amiri and Patrik Schick - and the Werkself did not need long to get going: Schick set up an attack with a great back-heel, Amiri picked out Moussa Diaby. The Frenchman won a foot race with Jannes Horn and crossed the ball to the far post where Bailey had a simple header to give the Werkself an early lead (5'). An outstanding attack – and all three new starters played a crucial part in it.

Köln very lively – Hector hits the woodwork

FC Köln, under new coach Friedhelm Funkel, were under pressure from the start but the Rhine rivals replied with a shot from Max Meyer that was blocked by Charles Aránguiz (10’). As the visitors were forced to get on the front foot after going behind early the game developed into an entertaining derby with lots of challenges – and FC Köln who again and again sought to make progress down the wings. Within two minutes, two crosses from the left were a source of danger: First, Marius Wolf failed to connect with a low cross from Florian Kainz (19'), and then Jonas Hector went close with a header from a Jannes Horn cross (20').

The Werkself appeared to have a certain derby nervousness during this phase but Bayer 04 soon rediscovered their strength on the ball and gradually regained control of the game. In a rather dull part of the match, referee Sören Storks pointed to the penalty spot in the Werkself box. But the situation was quickly resolved by the intervention of VAR: The tackle on Wolf by Aránguiz was made outside the penalty area. Nevertheless it proved to be tricky for the Werkself as Hector hammered the free kick against the bar (37’). After the brilliant opening attack, Bayer 04 were finding it relatively difficult to get forward but the situation changed at the end of the first half: Schick forced Timo Horn into making a flying save to keep out a powerful header (45').


Diaby scores early goal in second half

Hannes Wolf made adjustments at half-time both in terms of personnel and tactics. Jonathan Tah and Jeremie Frimpong replaced Exequiel Palacios and Tin Jedvaj with Bayer 04 changing from a back four to a back three. But the first chance of the second half fell to Köln with a low shot from Hector rolling just wide of the far post (48'). But then the Werkself hit back clinically: From a Köln corner, Bayer 04 defended the second, third and fourth ball before Aránguiz switched play in a flash with a brilliant diagonal ball to Bailey who started his run in his own half. The scorer of the opening goal raced away – and repaid his provider for the delightful cross at the beginning of the match. Diaby wrapped up Bailey's perfect cross-feel pass by leaving Kingsley Ehizibue standing as he hammered the ball into the empty net – 2-0 for Bayer 04 (51').

Köln were now forced to open up – and the Werkself had more space to counter-attack, but Diaby and Bailey were unable to convert a promising opportunity on the hour mark. Nevertheless, Bayer 04 had to remain on their toes as the visitors tried with all their might to avert the impending derby defeat with a second strike against the woodwork: Kainz hit the top of the crossbar with a powerful long-range effort (63').

Great dribble, great finish: Bailey bags a brace

Bayer 04 looked more solid after the change to a back three and significantly reduced the number of threatening attacks compared with the first half – and finally sealed the result with the next counter-attack. After an excellently performed move in transition, substitute Demirbay picked out Bailey who crowned his outstanding performance with a great individual move: He outpaced Noah Katterbach, evaded Rafael Czichos sliding tackle and, at full pace, also left Sebastiaan Bornauw standing before ending the move with a curler into the far corner – an absolute masterpiece from our Jamaican to make it 3-0 (76').

Tuesday in Munich

The match was done and dusted. Köln through Dominick Drexler (78') and Bornauw (86') as well as Bayer 04 through Schick (83') and Demirbay (90+1') each had two half chances but that did not affect the next convincing derby victory following the 4-0 win in the first of the season.

Bayer 04 now move above Borussia Dortmund into fifth place in the table at least until Sunday. The Werkself face the next tough game on Tuesday, 20 April with the Black and Reds away to league leaders FC Bayern. A huge challenge – but one that can be approach with confidence after the derby victory.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Jedvaj (Frimpong 46'), S. Bender, Tapsoba, Wendell (Sinkgraven 57’) – Aránguiz, Palacios (Tah 46') – Diaby (Demirbay 73’), Amiri, Bailey (Bailey 83’) - Schick

FC Köln: T. Horn - Ehizibue (Schmitz 70’), Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn (Katterbach 70’) - Skhiri (Özcan 79’), Hector - Wolf (Limnios 85’), Meyer, Kainz (Drexler 70’) - Dennis

Goals: 1-0 Bailey (5’), 2-0 Diaby (51’), 3-0 Bailey (76’)

Referee: Sören Storks (Velen)

Booked: Tapsoba - Czichos


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