Dream start

The two draws on the first two matchdays are followed by an impressive 4-0 win against the German champions VfB Stuttgart. Andreas Thom turns into a goal-getter and leads the goalscorer list with five goals after three games, three of which he netted in the game against VfB. The strength at home in the first third of the season is worrying, above all four opponents. The 4-0 victory over Stuttgart is followed by a 5-1 win against Karlsruhe SC and a 6-1 scoreline against Schalke 04. The Schalke keeper Jens Lehmann tears a cruciate in this match so defender Mike Büskens has to go in nets but he is unable to stop the last two goals. Up to matchday 12 the Werkself are in touch with league leaders Bayern Munich being just two points adrift. Bayer 04 then lose 1-0 to relegation candidates FC Köln and in the top game at home against Bayern Munich a 1-0 half-time lead ends in a 4-2 defeat. At the end of the first half of the season, Reinhard Saftig's team are in sixth place and after a very good start they have lost strength and ideas by the end of the year.


The performances in the first rounds of the DFB Cup hardly inspire celebration. Omega 3-1 win in Bergedorf is followed by poor 1-0 home win thanks to an 84 minute penalty scored by Martin Kree against FC Kaiserslautern. In the next round, VfR Heilbronn are not strong enough to compete with the Bayer 04 players who were disappointing on the day. A 2-0 win is secured with goals from Martin Kree and René Rydlewicz. Second division Hertha Berlin our next up on 7 November 1992. The only goal of the game comes on 83 minutes. This match is equally lacking in highlights as the games before but Bayer 04 go through to the quarter-finals. A very convincing 2-0 win at FC Carl Zeiss Jena follows on 1 December. The draw takes place on the same night and Lady Luck was not on Bayer 04's side. It was the most difficult draw: Leverkusen have to play Eintracht Frankfurt at the Waldstadion.

Coach decision in the winter

General manager Reiner Calmund decides to recruit a new coach in the winter break but the new man will only start in the new season. Discussions with Stuttgart coach Christoph Daum got nowhere. Contract discussions with the Frankfurt coach Dragoslav ’Steppi' Stepanovic proved to be successful. Bayer 04 and the Serbian agree a contract from the summer of 1993. Coach Reinhard Saftig carries on but his coach’s chair is no longer standing on four legs.

Berlin, Berlin, we're off to Berlin!

Finally, it's time on 30 March for the Cup semi-final at Frankfurt's Waldstadion. Bayer 04 are focused from the start and Andreas Thom makes it 1-0 on six minutes. The following frenetic attacks from Frankfurt are calmly deflected by the visitors who take a lead into the half-time break. Eintracht peer panic stricken in the second half. Bayer 04 do not concede any chances on goal. Goalkeeper Rüdiger Vollborn, who made two brilliant saves in the first half, has little to do in the second. His fellow defenders Franco Foda, Martin Kree and Christian Wörns take all the work from him. On 72 minutes following a corner and a head-on from Andreas Fischer, central striker Ulf Kirsten is on the spot to make it 2-0. Thom nets the third three minutes later and it's clear to the travelling Bayer 04 fans: Berlin, Berlin, where off to Berlin!
At last!

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Andreas Thom makes it 1-0 for Bayer 04 on 6 minutes.


Dragoslav Stepanovic becomes advisor – for starters

Following Leverkusen's Cup win at Frankfurt, the Eintracht coach Dragoslav Stepanovic resigns to take up and advisers post at his future employer Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The team begins to be heading towards a crisis. The euphoria of reaching the Cup final is followed by sobering weeks with low points of a 4-0 defeat at Kaiserslautern, a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Frankfurt and a 2-0 reverse in Dresden. Above all, the manner of the defeat at Dynamo Dresden causes concern amongst the management. The season target of qualifying in a UEFA Cup place appears to be in danger. General manager Reiner Calmund holds discussions with the coach and the players committee. Coach Reinhard Saftig rejects a training camp ahead of the important home game against FC Köln. Further individual conversations with the players lead to dismissal of Saftig over the course of Sunday. Dragoslav Stepanovic takes over as coach at Bayer 04 ahead of time. In the final five games team picks up eight out of a possible ten points to secure a UEFA Cup place.

DFB Cup winners 1993

Bayer 04 Leverkusen finally play their first DFB Cup final on 12 June. The opponents, the Hertha Berlin Reserves, are the rank outsiders. 15,000 fans in black and red follow the team to Berlin. Bayer 04 control the ball and opponents for 90 minutes and do not conceded a single goal scoring opportunity. On the other hand, the favourites struggled to find a way through the Hertha defence. Then, with 77 minutes gone, striker Ulf Kirsten heads home across from Pavel Hapal the net the winner and thereby secure the second title following the UEFA Cup win in 1988.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

DFB Cup winners 1993. Standing from left to right: Markus von Ahlen, Matthias Stammann, Markus Happe, Pavel Hapal, Heiko Herrlich, Andreas Thom, Ioan Lupescu, Andreas Fischer, Rüdiger Vollborn, Guido Hoffmann, Martin Kree; Kneeling from left to right: Christian Wörns, Ulf Kirsten, Franco Foda, Heiko Scholz

 Ulf Kirsten top goalscorer

 For the first time, a Bayer 04 player is top goalscorer in the Bundesliga. Together with Frankfurt's Anthony Yeboah, Ulf Kirsten heads the goalscorers list with 20 goals at the end of the season. Both players are presented with the top scorer's award in the home game against Eintracht Frankfurt on 18 September 1993.



Rainer Holzschuh of Kicker Sportmagazin and Franz Beckenbauer present the  top goalscorer's award to Ulf Kirsten and Anthony Yeboah.