Back
22.10.2020Europa League

Werkself start Europa League campaign with emphatic win

Bayer 04 got off to a perfect start in the Europa League group stage on Thursday evening. The Werkself enjoyed a 6-2 win over French side OGC Nice after an impressive performance, with their goals coming from Nadiem Amiri (11’), Lucas Alario (16’), Moussa Diaby (61’), Karim Bellarabi (79’, 83’) and Florian Wirtz (87’).
20201022_JS_B04_OGCN_0455.jpg

Bayer 04 coach Peter Bosz was without his captain for the first match of the new Europa League campaign: Charles Aránguiz missed out with an Achilles problem and was replaced in the holding midfield role by Julian Baumgartlinger. Wendell and Exequiel Palacios also made their first starts of the season, with Daley Sinkgraven and Kerem Demirbay dropping to the bench. They were joined by Florian Wirtz, who returned to the squad following his abdominal muscle injury.

AMIRI AND ALARIO STRIKE IN QUICK SUCCESSION

The weather conditions made it hard for both teams to play flowing football, with heavy rain – particularly in the opening minutes – soaking the pitch at the BayArena. Set pieces were therefore an even more effective weapon, and it was from one of these that the Werkself had their first attempt on goal, but Nadiem Amiri’s free-kick landed in the arms of Walter Benitez (10’).

But just a minute later, Bosz’s men showed that you can still produce attractive, one-touch football. Leon Bailey picked up the ball on the right wing, cut inside, played a one-two with Lucas Alario and then delivered a perfectly weighted through ball to Amiri, who went past Dante before keeping his cool in front of Benitez to give Bayer 04 the early lead. Things got even better soon after: the Werkself’s second goal was one for the end-of-year highlights. Alario controlled a chipped pass from Baumgartlinger, left one opponent for dead and fired at goal from an almost impossible angle. The Argentinian’s unstoppable shot crashed against the underside of the crossbar and in (16’).

 

20201022_JS_B04_OGCN_0516.jpg

NICE SCORE WITH FIRST CHANCE

Bayer 04 were very much on top in the game, quick to the challenges and switching to attack at speed. They continued to create chances, Bailey being denied by Benitez from long range (17’) and Moussa Diaby testing the Nice goalkeeper from a corner (26’).

Nice barely had a sniff of goal in the opening half-hour, which made it even more annoying for Bayer 04 that the visitors scored with their first serious attempt. After the Werkself lost possession in midfield, Stanley N’Soki broke forward and found Amine Gouiri on the edge of the area. The young attacker’s precise shot into the right corner left Lukas Hradecky with no chance (31’). Lifted by the goal, Nice came into the game more before half-time and Hassane Kamara went close with a shot (41’).

Palacios' TEXTBOOK TACKLE sets up diaby

Bayer 04 regained control of proceedings after the interval, dominating the midfield like they did at the start of the first half. However, it was the French side who created the first opportunity of the second period on the break, but Hradecky made a flying save from Gouiri’s shot (54’). Overall, though, the Werkself were moving the ball around very well and breaking up Nice’s play effectively. This was how they scored their third goal – and Palacios demonstrated how beautiful tackles can be on a wet surface. The Argentinian poked the ball away from the feet pf experienced Nice midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin just outside the penalty box, meaning Diaby was free in front of goal to confidently make it 3-1 (61’).

Bosz subs kill off the game

The hosts now had the match firmly in their grip, continued to win numerous balls in midfield and rarely let Nice get going. Bosz brought on Karim Bellarabi and Wirtz for Palacios and Alario – and it proved to be a touch of magic. After a corner was cleared, Bellarabi got away from his marker outside the area and found the bottom left corner of the net with a powerful lot shot (79’). And when something works so well, why not try it again? For a change, Bailey played the next Werkself corner straight to Bellarabi, who rifled in the next goal from a similar position, with the help of a slight deflection (83’).

His fellow substitute Wirtz had some catching up to do. After a sublime through ball from Bailey, Diaby played the ball precisely into the path of the youngster, who bagged the Werkself’s sixth goal from close range (87’). Everything just came off for Bayer 04 during this spell, although the visitors did manage a consolation goal from substitute Claude-Maurice in the 90th minute.

The Werkself can therefore take a resounding win with them into another packed week, which starts with a home match against FC Augsburg on Monday 26 October (kick-off 20:30 CET). In the Europa League, Bayer 04 travel to Slavia Prague in a week’s time. The Czechs suffered a surprising 3-1 defeat at Hapoel Be’er Sheva in their opening fixture.

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender (Dragovic 81'), S. Bender (Tah 81'), Tapsoba, Sinkgraven – Baumgartlinger - Palacios (Wirtz 74') , Amiri – Bailey, Alario (Bellarabi 74'), Diaby

OGC Niice Benitez - Lotomba (Latal 80'), Robson Bambu, Dante, Nsoki (Rony Lopes 63'), Kamara - Boudaoui (Claude-Maurice 63'), Schneiderlin, Lees-Melou (Ndoye 86'), Kamara, Gouiri - Dolberg (Maolida 71')

Goals: 1-0 Amiri (11'), 2-0 Alario (16'), 2-1 Gouiri (31'), 3-1 Diaby (61'), 4-1 Bellarabi (79'), 5-1 Bellarabi (83'), 6-1 Wirtz (87'), 6-2 Claude-Maurice (90')

Booked: Baumgartlinger, L. Bender, Wendell - Gouiri, Noski

Referee: Fran Jovic (Croatia)

Related News

crop_20231015_B04_Frauen_vs_Freiburg_105040.jpg
Frauen - 22.02.2024

Eichin on Women's game at the BayArena: 'Provides a great platform'

The quarter-final of the DFB-Pokal will be a special highlight for the Bayer 04 Women. The team will play at the BayArena for only the second time since 2009. Bayer04.de has collected reaction to the game to be played on Tuesday 5 March (kick-off: 18.30 CET). Director of professional teams Thomas Eichin, who is also responsible for women's football at the club, explains the background to the decision and the Women's team head coach Robert de Pauw and the captain Elisa Senß talk about the anticipation of the players ahead of the clash at the BayArena. Winter signing Borja Iglesias also shares his views. The striker was a big supporter of women's football following the kissing scandal involving the former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales last summer. Borja also attended the last Bayer 04 Women's home game against TSG Hoffenheim.

Show more
crop_20240221_JS_Mitarbeiterversammlung_0067.jpg
Bayer 04 - 22.02.2024

Bayer 04 staff honour AFCON winner Kossounou

Odilon Kossounou certainly deserved this reception: At a Bayer 04 staff meeting, Fernando Carro, CEO, and head coach Xabi Alonso presented the Africa Cup of Nations winner with a special memento of his great achievement on behalf of all members of staff. The Werkself player won AFCON with Ivory Coast in the middle of February in his own country.

Show more
Sondertrikot_hero_slider_ws_1920x1080px.jpg
Bayer 04 - 21.02.2024

A first under the Cross: The special edition Bayer Sports Family shirt

The special edition Bayer Sports Family shirt pays homage to sport in the city of Leverkusen. Ahead of the forthcoming Bayer Sports Family matchday at the Werkself Bundesliga home game against Mainz 05 (Friday, 23 February, 20.30 CET), Bayer 04 Club members can secure this limited edition shirt now at the Bayer 04 fan shops and the online club shop.

Show more
crop_20231121_JS_eSports_0091.jpg
eSports - 21.02.2024

#B04eSports: Important points in battle for play-offs

The Bayer 04 eSports team this week played matchdays 30 to 32 in the 2023/24 VBL Club Championship by WOW in the business end of the season. The #B04eSports team picked up six important points in the games against Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg and direct rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf. The Black and Reds remain seventh in the table in the North West Division and are still in with a chance of qualifying for the finals of the German Club Championship via the play-offs.

Show more
crop_20240220_FS_Training_Lizenz_82905.jpg
Bayer 04 - 20.02.2024

Exchange of experience: Mexico coach Lozano and coaching team visit Leverkusen

There's big interest in Bayer 04 in Mexico, not least because of the involvement of former Werkself player Chicharito. The #Bayer04MexicoTour in summer 2022 also made a vital contribution to the popularity of the current Bundesliga leaders in the North American country. Since this week, the connection between Bayer 04 and football-mad Mexico has been enriched by one more aspect: Mexican national team coach Jaime Lozano and his coaching team have used their European tour to exchange experiences with those responsible at the works club, among other things.

Show more