The second defeat for the Werkself this season! A big opportunity was lost to connect with the top-teams (Dortmund & Mainz) in the table. And it all started quite well, in the first 20 minutes Bayer 04 was the better team and could have gone in front. Sam and Derdiyok had good chances to score early in the game.
But after those initial 20 minutes we were “delighted” again with a display of individual errors in our defense. The worse about it, they are mostly unforced errors like the one Reinartz committed after 25 minutes (you can see it in the video clip). Vidal was outstanding in the first half cleaning up everything that came near Leverkusen’s area but once our defence did not receive this outstanding help from the Chilean we suffered a lot at the back. Mainz had 2-3 very good chances in the 1st half and should have gone ahead in the scoreboard. The picture in the 2nd half was similar. Mainz was consequently rewarded with a goal in the 70th minute. The Austrian Ivanschitz scored thanks to an assist of future Bayer 04 player André Schürrle. Only after that goal did the Werkself came back as strong as in the first 20 minutes. But this time we scored no last-minute goal, it cannot always go our way.
Bayer Leverkusen continues to show poor performances at home (1 win, 2 draws, 2 losses), these are no numbers for a top-team. What is worrying that we rely too much on set pieces. The best chances were after corners/free-kicks, the goals of the last weeks mostly too. Our wings with Barnetta and Sam are disappointing. Especially Barnetta the assist-king of the last season is showing one bad game after the other.
The coach has a dilemma for the next games: He can switch back to two strikers to try improve our offense but he will likely lose out in defense. Or make no changes and hope that we will improve at the offensive end and soon show performances close to the ones against Stuttgart/Bremen where we played with the same formation. Overall we only lost the match by one goal.
Jupp Heynckes is not only forced by the weak defense to play this way, he has only 2 strikers available for 3 competitions. Nicolai Jørgensen natural position is on the wings, of course he could also play as a striker if needed but it would be a huge loss of quality in attack if Helmes or Derdiyok get injured.
So it’s not easy to be coach of Bayer 04 at the moment! I would stick playing with one striker, especially now with a DFB Pokal game (lose and your out) against Mönchengladbach and a away game against Schalke’s Huntelaar, Raul and Jurado.
It’s not ideal but I think we just gotta focus on one system now. Switching to another formation after every loss will only confuse the team. The same goes for rotations we gotta find a standard line-up with only 1-2 changes per game.
Hard times ahead for Leverkusen! Hyypiä’s injury (minimum 6-8 weeks out) is a severe kickback.
59 min. Helmes for Barnetta
59 min. Balitsch for Rolfes
75 min. Jörgensen for Kadlec
68 min. Ivanschitz for Holtby
68 min. Schürrle for Szalai
87 min. Karhan for Allagui
Yellow cards: Karhan,Wetklo (Mainz)
0:1 Ivanschitz (70 min.)
Statistics (Leverkusen vs Mainz)
Posession: 49 % vs 51 %
Shots: 16 vs 10
Fouls: 16 vs 22
Corners: 9 vs 3
Offsides: 3 vs 3
Centres: 27 vs 5 (success rate Bayer 04: 30 %)
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More pictures >> www.1904-online.de
So what should the coach do for the next games? Leave your opinion below.