Wow what a great display of offensive football by both teams today. The 2-2 draw against Werder Bremen puts an end to 7 games in 3 weeks as the national teams will move into focus next week.
Jupp Heynckes made one change to the line-up: Derdiyok was left on the bench to give him a needed rest. Helmes took his position. The tactical formation mutated also from a 4-2-3-1 (Stuttgart) to a 4-1-2-2-1 (Atletico and Bremen). Mundilev, the German media and several Bayer 04 blogs have had different opinions on how our tactics have evolved, but today it was easy to see! It’s clearly an 4-1-2-2-1 with position changes of the wingers.
Leverkusen was the better team in the first half, and took the lead in the 16th minute with a goal by Patrick Helmes who finished from a tight angle after a through ball by Tranquillo Barnetta. Unfortunately after this goal, our team preferred to control the game and take little risk going forward. A second goal in the first half could have decided the match. And of course we paid for this attitude later. As in Madrid the opponent came out more determined after the break and thanks to a free-kick by Almeida leveled the score (53 min.). Over the foul that leads to the free-kick can be argued as our readers correctly point out. However the referee also judged an offside situation of Bremen wrongly in the 1st half which could have also meant a goal against us, so overall it can be seen as fair trade 🙂 . A few minutes later (62 min.) Marko Marin netted in a nice counter-attack and turned the match upside down. Heynckes was forced to switch to a 4-2-2-2 formation and brought Derdiyok on for Balitsch. The last 15 minutes were an orgy of Leverkusen attacks. The Swiss striker equalled the scoreboard in the 78th minute with an outstanding goal from outside of the area. Leverkusen could have scored a winner but in most cases our attacks were just badly finished. In the last two minutes of the match, Helmes and Prödl missed clear chances on goal. It seems like that the Football God did not want any of the teams to lose after this great football spectacle.
Overall I can live with the result, we came back at the end and showed morale. Leverkusen was the better team in the last 15-20 minutes despite having a day less of recovery than Bremen. Of course, after an initial 1-0 and looking at the table (Bayern lost 🙂 ) 3 points would have been fantastic for us. But if you compare the beginning of the month with the current situation, we can be satisfied with our performance in the last 2 weeks. Hopefully after the break for the national teams Simon Rolfes and Renato Augusto will be at 100% so that we can start a winning streak in October against: Wolfsburg-Thessaloniki(EL)-Mainz-Mönchengladbach(Cup)-Gladbach-Schalke-Thessaloniki(EL)
It will be not easy, it never is!
57 min. L. Bender for Vidal
65 min. Derdiyok for Balitsch
73 min. Rolfes for Reinartz
46 min. Hugo Almeida for Bargfrede
83 min. Ayik for Arnautovic
86 min. Husejinovic for Hunt
Yellow Cards: Sam,Reinartz (Leverkusen); Wesley,D. Jensen,Wiese,Prödl(Bremen)
1:0 Helmes (16 min.)
1:1 Hugo Almeida (53 min.)
1:2 Marin (62 min.)
2:2 Derdiyok (78 min.)
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