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3.09.2023Bundesliga

Werkself review #B04SVD: ‘We'll have lots more joy’

Bayer 04 go into the international break with a maximum return of nine points from winning the first three Bundesliga matches. The Werkself clocked up a deserved 5-1 home win against SV Darmstadt 98 on Saturday 2 September. The assessment of the players and the media post-match is suitably positive. The Werkself review of the game against the Lilies.
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Summary: Dominant and hungry for goals

The Werkself were on top from the start of the game and on the front foot but initially found it difficult to break down the Darmstadt defence. Leverkusen took the lead on the break following a corner from the visitors with Victor Boniface opening the scoring with a clinical lob from close range. The Lilies were able to level shortly afterwards (25’) but the Black and Reds were undaunted by the equaliser and went on to dominate proceedings. With the strike by Exequiel Palacios (49') the Werkself had a dream start to the second half and further goals from Boniface (61'), Jonas Hofmann (68’) and substitute Adam Hlozek (83’) sealed a deserved 5-1 home win against Darmstadt.

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Reaction: "Following a clear plan"

Talking after the match, head coach Xabi Alonso assessed the game as follows: "5-1 is a big win but it wasn't an easy game for us, particularly in the first half. It became easier with the goal from Palacios in the second half and we were able to score more goals."

Hofmann and Boniface also spoke after the victory. Hofmann declared: "It's very striking how everybody remains true to our style of play. We are following a clear plan and we don't let ourselves get upset when we concede. We keep going. And that makes us strong!" Boniface emphasised: "We are very happy about the win. We fit in really well with each other and if we carry on like this then we'll have lots more joy together."

What the papers say: "It's going well under the Bayer Cross"

The kicker headline in reporting the Bundesliga fixture reads "Leverkusen ready for Munich" and explains the win for the Werkself over the Lilies has created "perfect conditions for the top of the table meeting at FC Bayern."

Given the three wins in the first three matches, the Bild-Zeitung talks about a "dream start", while the Rheinische Post sums up the current impressive performances succinctly: "It's going well under the Bayer Cross." The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger looks at the short and quick passing: "The Werkself move the ball around the box in the style of a handball match."

Personnel: The debutante and the man with a brace

It was hardly surprising that Boniface was a matchwinner with the striker netting twice for the Black and Reds. That was the second brace in succession for the Nigerian. The powerful forward put the ball in the back of the Borussia Mönchengladbach twice last week and the 22-year-old increased his goals tally to four against the Lilies. Coach Alonso again praised an impressive performance speaking after the match: "Victor is not only a good striker, he is a complete player. And you can see on and off the pitch then he gets on very well with his teammates."

Another Werkself player clocked up his first minutes in the Bundesliga with Bayer 04 on 72 minutes. With the scoreline of 4-1, Alonso brought on new signing Nathan Tella. The Englishman was keen to perform and he made several attempts on goal.

 

 

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Stats: On top in all areas

A look at the stats reflects the scoreline: The Werkself were on top in all areas including possession (72.1% to 27.9%), shots on goal (25 to 5) and challenges won (51.4% to 48.6%). Equally noteworthy: The Werkself played over 700 passes in the game – and that was more than twice as many as the Lilies (775 to 300).

Outlook: FC Bayern away next up

Matchday four in the Bundesliga is after the international break for the Werkself. The Black and Reds are away to champions Bayern Munich on Friday 15 September (kick-off: 20.30 CEST).

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