Werkself remain unbeaten after 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund

Bayer 04 were held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga. Julian Ryerson had put the visitors in front at a sold-out BayArena after only five minutes. Leverkusen would go on to dominate proceedings and finally get their deserved equaliser through Victor Boniface in the 79th minute. It’s a result that extends the Werkself’s unbeaten run in all competitions this season to 20 matches.

Head coach Xabi Alonso made eight changes from the team that started the 2-0 UEFA Europa League win away at Häcken on Thursday, reverting back to his usual starting XI. Boniface and defenders Jonathan Tah and Edmond Tapsoba were the only players to retain their places.

BVB off to fast start – Werkself dominate

Dortmund made the perfect start in Leverkusen by striking with the first attack as Niclas Füllkrug, holding off Tapsoba with his back to goal, played in Ryerson, who finished past Lukas Hradecky. It was Bayer 04 who then dictated play, which took place mostly in the BVB half. Alonso’s men frequently found gaps in the defence but were unable to get away a telling effort. The best chance came for Granit Xhaka with a half volley from the right of centre on the edge of the box after a miscued clearance, but his attempt flew just wide of the near post. The original delivery had come from Jeremie Frimpong, who often found space up against Jamie Bynoe-Gittens on the Borussia left. The Dutchman would put the ball into the box again shortly after but without any takers.

Wirtz am Ball

That changed in added time when a long ball found Boniface, who played in Jonas Hofmann. He slipped in Frimpong racing up the right, with the cross this time finding Florian Wirtz at the far post. The Werkself No.10 took a touch and then curled the ball into the far top corner off the underside of the bar. However, the goal was chalked off on review for offside against Boniface. It meant Leverkusen went into the break a goal down.

Boniface with a deserved equaliser

Play continued in a similar pattern after the restart, with the hosts pushing and Edin Terzic’s visitors focusing on defending. Bayer 04 increased the pressure on Gregor Kobel’s goal, first with Hofmann in the 57th minute and then Wirtz again, but the BVB goalkeeper repelled both attempts. Another double effort followed shortly after when Exequiel Palacios tried to burst through the back line and then Wirtz had a crack with the rebound, only for Kobel to palm away. There was no letting up. Emre Can lost the ball in his own area, with Wirtz teeing up Xhaka, but the Switzerland international fired over from 20 yards.

Schick Jubel

The equaliser had been coming and finally arrived with 11 minutes remaining. Less than 60 seconds after his introduction, Patrik Schick popped up in the box and squared the ball for his strike partner Boniface to tap into an empty net and finally make it 1-1. That was how it remained as the Werkself extended their unbeaten run this season to 20 games in all competitions and their advantage at the top of the Bundesliga to three points, although Bayern Munich have a game in hand.

First cup then Stuttgart

The fixtures continue to come thick and fast, with the next game again at the BayArena on Wednesday as Paderborn arrive in town for the DFB-Pokal last 16 (18:00 CET). Then Alonso’s men go to high-flying VfB Stuttgart for Matchday 14 in the Bundesliga on Sunday (15:30).

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba - Frimpong, Palacios (Schick 79'), Xhaka, Grimaldo - Hofmann (Adli 64'), Wirtz - Boniface

Borussia Dortmund: Kobel – Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck (Papadopoulos 64'), Ryerson - Can, Sabitzer - Reus (Meunier 84'), Brandt, Bynoe-Gittens (Adeyemi 64') - Füllkrug

Goals: 0-1 Ryerson (5'), 1-1 Boniface (79')

Yellow cards: Frimpong, Palacios, Kossounou - Hummels, Wolf

Referee:  Daniel Siebert (Berlin)

Attendance: 30,210 (sold out) at the BayArena

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