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26.11.2023Bundesliga

Werkself review #SVWB04: ' Clear game plan' with 'mature performance'

The Werkself beat Werder Bremen 3-0 on Bundesliga matchday 12 and again succeeded in holding on to top spot in the table as well as setting a new Bundesliga and club record. The facts, stats and reaction to the away win in Bremen is here in the Werkself review.
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Summary: Three goals and three ruled offside

The Werkself started with the usual control of the game with Robert Andrich and Piero Hincapie in central defence. The first goal celebration came on six minutes after a shot from Victor Boniface but the Nigerian was ruled offside. A few minutes later, the Bremen keeper again picked the ball out of the net – and this time the goal counted: Werder Bremen's Olivier Deman turned a Jonas Hofmann cross into his own net (9'). A rather quiet first half ended with a highlight when Jeremie Frimpong hit the ball into the top corner from a Hincapie pass to make it 2-0 (42'). Werder Bremen showed greater energy after the restart and appeared to have pulled a goal back but referee Martin Petersen ruled it out due to an offside in the build-up. The third goal the game was scored by Leverkusen. Substitute Amine Adli put Alejandro Grimaldo through on the left flank and the Spaniard headed for the opposition goal before firing the ball into the net (76'). Adli then found the back of the net but the strike was again ruled out due to an offside decision. The match ended 3-0.

Reaction: "doiung that clinically at the moment“

Head coach Xabi Alonso said after the game: "We did very well after the international break. We didn't have much time to prepare with the whole team. We had good control in the first half but there were no big chances. Bremen pressed us back into our own half after the restart but we deserved to win in the end. It was a mature performance." The Spaniard added: "Of course, a win is the best way to celebrate your birthday." Alonso was 42 on Saturday and he was moved by the birthday serenade from the 4,000 travelling fans after the final whistle.

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Jonas Hofmann summed up the match as follows: "We had a clear game plan that we stuck to. We are doing that clinically at the moment and we are fully focused. We put in a lot of running, defended well and gained possession quickly." Granit Xhaka also spoke after full-time: "We are happy to come back from the international break fit and well. We can carry on where we left off before the break. The first half was very controlled, it was a deserved victory that we're very happy about."

What the papers say: "lacklustre but commanding"

The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger reported "another milestone in this Leverkusen high-flying run of results" after the 3-0 away win. The Tagesspiegel describes the Werkself performance with the words "commanding, no-nonsense and effective." The headline in the Express was similar: "Lacklustre but commanding." 

The Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung highlighted the controlled performance of the Leverkusen team and summed up the match as follows: The Werkself "determined the tempo and rhythm of the game from the start. With incredible calm and confidence on the ball, the league leaders never allowed Bremen to get going and posed problems up front almost at will."

Personnel: Frimpong nets historic goal

The Jeremie Frimpong strike at 2-0 established a milestone: Never before in the Bundesliga has a team scored at least two goals in all of the first twelve matchdays. The Werkself have now set this record. The provider for the historic short was Hincapie for his first assist or goal of the season. Alonso said after the final whistle of the Ecuadorian and Andrich who played in central defence: "Piero and Rob did very well. I'm very happy with our unusual back three."

Alongside Frimpong's sixth goal of the season, Grimaldo also scored again, his ninth goal this term. Grimaldo has also provided six assists and Frimpong has set up seven goals. The two Werkself players are one of the most dangerous duos on the flanks with 28 goal involvements from 18 games.

 

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Stats: The next record

The Werkself clocked up the eighth Bundesliga win in succession in the game against Werder Bremen, something never achieved before. The Black and Reds had more possession in the game (59.5% to 40.5%), more duels won (59.7% to 40.3%) and also had the higher number of shots (14 to 2) – and were on top in most of the match stats.

Outlook: Sweden trip and Borussia Dortmund at home

Bayer 04 are next in action in the UEFA Europa League. The Werkself entertain BK Häcken from the Swedish city of Gothenburg on matchday five in Group H. The kick-off on Thursday 30 November is a 21.00 CET. That is followed three days later by the top match in the Bundesliga against Borussia Dortmund. That game is at the BayArena on Sunday 3 December at 17.30 CET.

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