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2.02.2021DFB-Pokal

Extra-time exit for Werkself in Essen

Bayer 04 are out of the DFB Cup at the Round of 16 stage. The Werkself were out of luck in the away tie at Rot-Weiss Essen with a 2-1 defeat after extra time. Leon Bailey put Bayer 04 in front (105'), Oguzhan Kefkir (108') and Simon Engelmann (117') turned the game round.
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Werkself coach Peter Bosz reshuffled his line-up after the 1-0 defeat in Leipzig. He made a total of five changes: Jonathan Tah was suspended and Wendell, Daley Sinkgraven, Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz dropped down to the bench. They were replaced by Aleksandar Dragovic, Karim Bellarabi, Lucas Alario, Patrik Schick and - for the first time since his injury in the middle of November - Exequiel Palacios. Welcome back.

There was also good news on the Werkself bench: Sven Bender was back in the squad after being sidelined for two months due to injury. Jeremie Frimpong was in the Werkself squad for the first time since his transfer.

Lots of good chances, no goals – Schick hits the post

Bayer 04 played a rather unusual 3-5-2 formation with Alario and Schick both starting for the first time. But it was a defender who had the first chance of the game: Birthday boy Edmond Tapsoba tested the RWE keeper Daniel Davari with a powerful long-range effort (3'). The hosts played with a back five and got behind the ball to deny Bayer 04 space. So there was a need for passing moves on the deck on the long grass at the Hafenstraße ground to get in a position to shoot. The Werkself completed one of moves perfectly. After several quick passes, Lucas Alario had a shot from the left side of the penalty area but Davari was able to make the save. The follow-up shot from Leon Bailey was blocked (8'). The next good move involving Bailey and Kerem Demirbay ended with the Werkself number ten unable to finish (13'). Bayer 04 went into the game with a very attacking attitude, were resolute in challenges and soon created the next big chance: A pinpoint cross from Bellarabi was headed against the post by Schick (24'). Essen did have spells of possession in the Werkself half but were unable to make progress as the Leverkusen back three were fully focused on their job. Bayer 04 were playing really well – only the goals did not want to go in: From a great back-heel by Alario, Charles Aránguiz hit a low shot but Davari made an excellent save with his foot (29'). A few minutes later, the experienced Essen shot-stopper parried a powerful shot on the turn from Alario (38').

Bellarabi goes off injured

Essen only had one real shot in the first half but it was a worthwhile effort: The RWE captain Marco Kehl-Gomez rounded off a quick counter-attack with a shot that just went the wrong side of the far post (40'). Peter Bosz was forced to make a change before half-time: Bellarabi suffered a thigh injury and had to go off. He was replaced by Diaby (44') – and the Frenchman had the next clear-cut opportunity. An outstanding pass from Tapsoba across the width of the pitch saw Diaby skilfully bring the ball down and then shoot just wide of the right-hand post (45 + 1'). Essen were happy to go into half-time with the score at 0-0.

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Woodwork again – RWE keeper on top form

Peter Bosz again rang the changes at half-time and reorganised the formation. Wendell and Wirtz came on for Palacios and Schick with Bayer 04 returning to a normal 4-3-3 system. Otherwise everything stayed the same: The Werkself were in charge of proceedings but were unable to take the chances created: After a great through ball from Demirbay, Diaby raced through but his shot hit the outside of the post – woodwork again for the second time (50') – and a few minutes later the impressive RWE keeper Davari pulled often the next great save to keep out a Tapsoba header (51').

It was hard to grasp that the Werkself were not clearly ahead at this point but the Essen keeper was having an absolute field day. Davari held onto an Alario shot (56') and then pulled off a brilliant save to stop a rocket shot from Bailey on the hour mark and he parried an effort from Wirtz on 68 minutes. In the middle of the second half, the conditions increasingly affected the Werkself game. There was increasing rainfall in Essen that made the pitch heavier and caused problems in terms of players staying on their feet – Bayer 04 continued to run up against an eleven-man wall made up of Red and Whites. A long-range effort from Demirbay flew wide of the left upright (78'), a deflected shot from Fosu-Mensah ended up in the arms of Davari (82'), and Aránguiz shot over the bar (87').

Both posts again: Essen's goal impenetrable

But the story this game was far from over. The 89th minute was representative of everything that had gone before – and what was still to happen: A shot from Diaby hit the left-hand post and the follow-up on the rebound from Aránguiz was turned against the right-hand post by Davari. Bayer 04 were jinxed: The team hit the woodwork four times and the Essen goal appeared impenetrable with the many chances proving fruitless – and the Werkself had to go into extra-time.

Bailey breaks the deadlock – Essen quickly level

And the match continued exactly as it had ended on the 90 minutes: with a great chance for Bayer 04. This time it was not Davari but key defender Daniel Heber who intervened as Alario was about to shoot (92'). Unsurprisingly, the action did not differ much from the first 90 minutes. Essen defended with all eleven players and the action was exclusively in one half of the pitch. It lasted until the 105th minute before the Werkself broke the deadlock: From a corner, Demirbay crossed into the penalty area where Essen initially cleared but Dragovic hit the ball back into the box to Bailey. The Jamaican was unmarked in front of Davari and this time the impressive keeper did not stand a chance (105').

However, it was all part of the drama on the night that the match was not decided at that point. Essen lifted themselves as the rain came pouring down and equalised with their second attack on goal in the whole game: A hard shot from substitute Marcel Platzek was saved by Lukas Hradecky but the ball landed at the feet of another substitute Kefkir who turned it into the net to level at 1-1 (108').

Werkself unlucky - Essen land lucky punch

Peter Bosz made another change by bringing on Frimpong for his first appearance in Black and Red. The new signing replaced goalscorer Bailey (114') – and he provided a real boost. After a one-two with Alario, his shirt was clearly pulled in the Essen box but the game carried on and Essen landed the decisive lucky punch: Former Bayer 04 youngster Cedric Harenbrock picked out striker Engelmann who hit his shot into the net under the bar (117'). The bad luck that plagued the Werkself on the night was demonstrated within a minute – and that ensured an extremely unfortunate cup exit.

Bayer 04 are back in action in the Bundesliga on Saturday 6 February (kick-off: 15.30 CET) when VfB Stuttgart visit the BayArena.

Match stats:

Rot Weiss Essen: Davari - Plechaty (Harenbrock 106'), Heber, Hahn, Herzenbruch, Grund (Neuwirt 79') - Condé (Young 62'), Grote, Kehl-Gomez (Platzek 106') - Young (Hildebrandt 62'), Engelmann

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Fosu-Mensah, Dragovic, Tapsoba – Aránguiz - Bellarabi (Diaby 44' ), Palacios (Wirtz 46'), Demirbay, Bailey (Frimpong 114') – Alario, Schick (Wendell 46')

Goals: 0-1 Bailey (105’), 1-1 Kefkir (108’), 2-1 Engelmann (117’).

Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)

Booked: Engelmann - Palacios, Bailey

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