Category Archives: Game Reports

Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 15, Bayer Leverkusen vs TSG Hoffenheim 2:0

Goals from Eren Derdiyok and Sidney Sam gave Bayer Leverkusen a routine 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim at the BayArena on Friday evening.

The Swiss striker gave the hosts an early lead, while his 23-year-old teammate ensured the three points 10 minutes from time.

The hosts had already tested Tom Starke twice through Andre Schurrle and Eren Derdiyok, before the latter put his side into the lead after just 11 minutes. A long-range strike from Schurrle found its way to Derdiyok, who continued his good form by heading his team ahead.

Eager to strike back quickly, Gylfi Sigurdsson sent in an effort from distance, but the Icelandic international’s shot was too high and left Bernd Leno untested.

The visitors failed to trouble the young German goalkeeper for the rest of the first half, and failed to come out for the second half with any sort of attacking threat.

As the match wore on, Sam, who had earlier missed a great chance, latched on Stefan Kiessling’s flick-on to send a fantastic lob over Starke and ensure his side emerged with all three points.

Bastian Oczipka missed a great opportunity to make it three just minutes after coming off the bench, while Leno was forced into an impressive save by Marvin Compper in the dying minutes – but in the end the score remained 2-0.

This results sees Leverkusen remain in sixth, level on points with fifth-placed Schalke. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim slips to 10th.


Line-up: Leverkusen (bottom) vs Hoffenheim (top)

Substitutions Leverkusen
68 min. Rolfes for Derdiyok
73 min. Reinartz for Ballack
85 min. Oczipka for Sam

Substitutions Hoffenheim
59 min. Musona for Johnson
73 min. Ibisevic for Mlapa
80 min. Schipplock for Sigurdsson

Yellow cards: Castro and Derdiyok (both Leverkusen); Babel and Salihovic (both Hoffenheim)

1:0 Derdiyok (10 min.)
2:0 Sam (79 min.)

Statistics Leverkusen vs Hoffenheim
Posession: 51 % vs 49 %
Shots: 11 vs 6
Fouls: 14 vs 30
Corners: 4 vs 7
Offsides: 3 vs 6
Distance covered (km): 116 vs 114

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or here>> Recap  First Half + Second Half

Lenomenal is staying with us for good

Ballack best friend

Sam celebrating his goal with Kiessling

M.Friedrich post-game: WTF?

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Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 12, Bayer Leverkusen vs Hamburg SV 2:2

Hamburg overcame a 2-0 deficit to earn a respectable 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in their Bundesliga clash at the BayArena.

A deflected free kick from Andre Schurrle and a close range strike by Lars Bender sent the home side two goals up after 20 minutes, but Heiko Westermann’s header sent the match into halftime on a knife’s edge. Marcell Jansen equalized for the visitors in the 58th minute, and despite late chances, neither side could go on to claim all three points.

The home side broke the deadlock after only five minutes through Schurrle. The Germany international lined up a free kick some 30 yards from goal, but it was a deflection off Dennis Diekmeier that took it past Jaroslav Drobny in the Hamburg net.

Leverkusen was dominant, and Bender showed great skill to turn Michael Macciene inside out near the right byline, but Schurrle’s effort from his cutback was blocked. From the resulting corner, Simon Rolfes came within inches of guiding the ball home from inside the six-yard area.

Dutt’s men were not to be denied a second, and got it in the 20th minute through a close range finish from Lars Bender. Michael Ballack’s drive from outside the box was deflected into the path of Schurrle on the left flank, who crossed for the onrushing Bender to volley home from a few yards out.

Hamburg was under severe pressure, and almost conceded a third after Schurrle beat the onrushing Drobny to a through ball, but his weak prod towards goal was cleared off the line by Diekmeier.

However, despite its offensive dominance, it was a lackluster piece of defending by Leverkusen that allowed the visiting side back into the game in the 34th minute. Dennis Aogo’s free kick went completely unchallenged by any defenders in the area, allowing the unmarked Westermann to head home from close range.

The goal sparked HSV into life, and the team kept Leverkusen under pressure for the rest of the half, spurning a few good chances to draw level. Gokhan Tore fired over from inside the box, before Jansen had had a goal correctly chalked off for offside as the first half ended to the relief of Leverkusen.

The second half unfolded at a slower pace, but the visiting team managed to level matters in the 58th minute with a well worked goal. Tore hit a brilliant lofted through-ball into the path of Jansen, who volleyed his finish expertly into the far corner.

With the match now up for grabs, both teams looked to attack with renewed vigor. Jose Guerrero scuffed a good chance into the arms of Leno, before Schurrle blasted over the bar after another good feed by Bender with 20 minutes remaining.

The German had an even better chance to put his side in front a few minutes later after Stefan Kiessling capitalized on Gojko Kacar’s sloppiness in possession to put him clean through on goal, but he could only place his finish disappointingly wide of the far post.

There were nervy moments for both sides as the game moved towards the end, and Guerrero planted a header high and wide from a great position inside the area. Neither side could be separated, and a draw was perhaps a fair result.

Hamburg moves into 17th place with 10 points, and is still mired in the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Leverkusen is in seventh spot with 18 points, seven behind leader Bayern Munich.


Bundesliga Fanatic Analysis: Link

Line-up: Leverkusen (bottom) vs Hamburg (top)

Substitutions Leverkusen
46 min. Reinartz for Sam
63 min. Derdiyok for Rolfes

Substitutions Hamburg
79 min. Tesche for Kacar
82 min. Jarolim for Töre
89 min. Skjelbred for Son

Yellow Cards: Derdiyok and Reinartz (both Leverkusen); Rincon (Hamburg)

1:0 Schürrle (5 min.)
2:0 L. Bender (20 min.)
2:1 Westermann (34 min.)
2:2 Jansen (57 min.)

Statistics Leverkusen vs Hamburg
Posession: 49 % vs 51 %
Shots: 15 vs 14
Fouls: 20 vs 17
Corners: 5 vs 4
Offsides: 2 vs 4
Distance covered (km): 119 vs 111

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Brian the Lion

Sorry, but we are not rocking the world at the moment

Postgame frustration

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Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 11, SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen 0:1

An early goal from Michael Ballack was enough for Bayer Leverkusen to secure a 1-0 Bundesliga victory over struggling Freiburg, who will lament its poor finishing, having missed a string of chances to equalize.

Robin Dutt’s men didn’t have to wait long to take the lead. Omer Toprak got his head to Michal Kadlec’s corner and Manuel Friedrich flicked the ball to Michael Ballack, who tapped the ball past Oliver Baumann to give the visitors the lead.

Papiss Cisse struck the woodwork as the first half wore on, coming to the near post to meet Anton Putsila’s cross, and he would also send a header narrowly wide on the stroke of half time.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, was largely unable to capitalize on its early dominance, with a Sidney Sam shot that went narrowly wide the closest the visitors came to doubling its advantage.

Leno, who looked shaky all night, spilled a fierce shot from Stefan Reisinger, but was able to get back to the ball before any Freiburg striker.

In an attempt to quell the hosts’ dominance, Dutt withdrew Andre Schurrle and replaced him with Stefan Reinartz, a center-back, but the additional defender was unable top shore up the defense.

Leno was forced into making two late saves, first to deny Reisinger, who blasted a shot goalward after a turn in the box, and then stopping a tame header from Oliver Barth from the resulting corner.

In the end, Freiburg’s poor finishing betrayed them and Bayer left with all three points. This result leaves the hosts rooted to the bottom of the table, while the visitors leapfrog Hoffenheim and move into eighth place.


See also Bundesliga Fanatic Analysis>> Link

Line-up: Freiburg (top) vs Leverkusen (bottom)

Substitutions Freiburg
69 min. Reisinger for Dembelé
76 min. Jendrisek for Putsila
81 min. Makiadi for Rosenthal

Substitutions Leverkusen
65 min. Rolfes for Ballack
74 min. Kießling for Derdiyok
83 min. Reinartz for Schürrle

Yellow Cards: Cissé (Freiburg)

0:1 Ballack (2 min.)

Statistics Freiburg vs Leverkusen
Posession: 54 % vs 46 %
Shots: 20 vs 10
Fouls: 21 vs 12
Corners: 6 vs 2
Offsides: 5 vs 5
Distance covered (km): 124 vs 124

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or here>> (just Ballack goal)

Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 10, Bayer Leverkusen vs Schalke 04 0:1

Schalke 04 moved to third in the Bundesliga standings on Saturday with a well-earned 1-0 victory at Bayer Leverkusen.

Just three days after winning their Europa League match in Cyprus 5-0, Schalke were again in outstanding form, winning through Jefferson Farfan’s goal.

The Peruvian international, who was playing his 100th Bundesliga match, scored with eight minutes to go after a Leverkusen corner, but the home side claimed that he had fouled Leverkusen’s Andre Schuerrle in the run-up.

Michael Ballack came close for the home side, only to see Schalke goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall do well to deny the former Germany captain.

Earlier, Ballack had the ball in the back of the net, but was ruled offside. The midfielder was also lucky that a penalty was not awarded against him in the 17th minute when he seemed to push over Schalke’s Lewis Holtby.

The victory takes Schalke to 18 points – one behind Borussia Dortmund, who thrashed Cologne 5-0 on Saturday and four behind Bayern Munich, who are away to Hanover later on Sunday.


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Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 9, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen 2:2

A late goal from Andre Schürrle denied Gladbach the three points after a valiant comeback in the second half. Despite being the more persistent and adventurous side it was Leverkusen that took the early lead but spent the rest of the match trying to hold off an aggressive and motivated Gladbach. The defensive troubles that have been plaguing Leverkusen throughout the season along with questionable tactical decisions by Dutt eventually allowed Gladbach to come back and nearly steal the game but Schürrle netted his first Bundesliga goal for his new club at the end to split the points. Gladbach have now failed to beat Leverkusen at home in 22 years.

Continue reading:

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0:1 Reinartz (20 min.)
1:1 Reus (65 min.)
2:1 Herrmann (72 min.)
2:2 Schürrle (87 min.)

Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 8, Bayer Leverkusen vs VfL Wolfsburg 3:1

Bayer Leverkusen got back to winning ways in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.

The win takes them into a pack of teams chasing the top three and leaves the Wolves struggling on the back of their fifth defeat of the season.

Gonzalo Castro gave Leverkusen the lead in the 14th minute, but Mario Mandzukic levelled for the visitors on the hour mark.

Eren Derdiyok restored the home team’s advantage five minutes later and Stefan Kiessling rounded off the win five minutes from time.

The three points will be particularly welcome for Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt, who had moved into the firing line after heavy defeats to Cologne and Bayern Munich in their last two league matches.

Leverkusen could have gone ahead in the 13th minute when Kiessling met Sidney Sam’s cross with his head from point-blank range, but Diego Benaglio somehow managed to keep the ball out.

There was nothing Wolfsburg’s Swiss goalkeeper could do a minute later, though, as Castro took the ball round him and scored from a tight angle after Derdiyok and Kiessling crafted the opening.

Fresh from his goal in the Champions League in midweek, Michael Ballack almost got his name on the scoresheet again, but his shot hit the post in the 38th minute.

Benaglio then denied the former Germany captain with a fine save just before the interval.

Leverkusen were punished for not adding to their early goal when the Wolves drew level in the 52nd minute. Marcel Schafer crossed to the far post from the goal line and Mandzukic leapt to head in from close range.

Their joy at equalising was short-lived, however, with the lively Derdiyok restoring Leverkusen’s lead in spectacular fashion in the 65th minute.

He met Hanno Balitsch’s cross with an acrobatic overhead kick that left Benaglio no chance.

Kiessling then ended Wolfsburg’s faint hopes of finding an equaliser, keeping his cool to beat Benaglio in a one-on-one situation after being put through by Simon Rolfes.


Short comment by Patrick1904:

A convincing team effort yesterday by the Werkself, it seems like that the focus on communication this week between players and coach has paid off. The rare public criticism of Bayer 04’s management towards a player/team performance, in this case Wolfgang Holzhäuser vs Renato Augusto: “His performances have been poor lately, we expect more of him”, have clearly shaken things around if you look at the first goal celebration and Castro’s defense after the game: “He is a sensitive player, the celebration was planned beforehand”.

Together with the first time use this season of a 4-4-2 and some needed modifications to the line-up itself (Rolfes and Renato deserved a place on the bench), the Werkself celebrated an offensive festival at the BayArena. It was fun to watch and for me the second best performance this season next to the game against Dortmund.

However Wolfsburg with it’s usual crazy summer transfer activities is at this moment of the season, not a real test of strength. The same goes for Genk last Wednesday.

The next games against Mönchengladbach, Valencia and Schalke will surely allow us to judge better.

Line-up: Leverkusen (bottom) vs Wolfsburg (top)

Substitutions Leverkusen
67 min. Rolfes for L. Bender
72 min. Schwaab for Derdiyok
88 min. M. Friedrich for Ballack

Substitutions Wolfsburg
46 min. Hasebe for Jönsson
46 min. Helmes for Lakic
69 min. Koo for Josué

Yellow Cards: Derdiyok (Leverkusen); Josué and Russ (both Wolfsburg)

1:0 Castro (14 min.)
1:1 Mandzukic (59 min.)
2:1 Derdiyok (65 min.)
3:1 Kießling (85 min.)

Statistics Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg
Posession: 52 % vs 48 %
Shots: 19 vs 8
Fouls: 16 vs 22
Corners: 6 vs 4
Offsides: 5 vs 4
Distance covered (km): 118 vs 111

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Leno has replaced Adler not only in the line-up

Stupid rule: Derdiyok receives yellow for taking his shirt off celebrating the bicycle kick goal

Cheer up Reinartz! You played some unusual good long balls

More photos @

Loved Gonzalo Castro in midfield, that’s where he really belongs in my opinion. Ballack has clearly an upwards trend, the big question is: When will he play an entire match? And score his first Bundesliga goal since the transfer back to Bayer 04? Will it happen before the winter-break?

Why is Derdiyok focused more on quality than quantity of goals? Goals against Bremen/Schalke in low-scoring 2010/11 for example.

Game Report: Champions League Group E, Fixture 2, Bayer Leverkusen vs KRC Genk 2:0

Bayer Leverkusen beat Belgian champions Genk 2-0 at the BayArena in a sometimes nervy performance to go second in Champions League Group E behind Chelsea and leave Genk at the bottom of the table.

Lars Bender opened the scoring on half an hour, but Leverkusen laboured for long periods and only put the game to bed in the final minutes as substitute Michael Ballack scored with a deflected effort.

Genk had their chances, particularly through set pieces and can consider themselves unfortunate not to have grabbed a point.

The first half was dominated by Leverkusen, though there were brief pockets of Genk pressure, and it was they who created the first chance after a quarter of an hour. Leverkusen would struggle with set pieces all half and this was the first as Jeroen Simaeys headed over at the far post from the first corner of the match.

Andre Schurrle was involved in everything for Leverkusen and it was he a minute later who sliced a golden opportunity miles over the bar from 10 yards after being teed up by Sidney Sam.

Leverkusen looked to be running short on ideas until Bender grabbed the breakthrough. When Stefan Kiessling was tackled after trying to turn in the box, the ball fell to the young German, who hit a first time effort from a tight angle past the lunge of Laszlo Koteles and into the far corner.

A couple of efforts from the edge of the area went close for Leverkusen, the second a shot from Renato Augusto that was acrobatically palmed behind by Koteles. Genk had one further half chance following another corner to the far post, but it went the same way as the other, flying wide.

The second half was a bit of a timid affair until the excellent Schurrle almost scored what would have been a memorable solo effort. He jinked in and around four or five Genk challenges and found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat, but his shot flew into the legs of Koteles and away to safety.

Genk created a wonderful opportunity to equalise with 13 minutes to go as Marvin Ogunjimi was presented with a free header with absolutely no one around him. He headed into the ground, taking some pace off the ball, but Bernd Leno still had to pull off an excellent save to tip it around the post.

It was nervy in the last 10 minutes until Ballack settled it. Anele Ngcongca’s header fell onto the chest of the German veteran and his early volley hit off the same man and flew into the far corner.


Reactions after the game

Robin Dutt: “It was an important victory for us. People talked before the match about how we needed to win, but if you come off a run of three defeats in a row nothing is guaranteed.  I saw a good mentality from my team today, even though not everything worked out perfectly, of course.  We sometimes lacked aggression and didn’t apply as much pressure as we should have, but that has something to do with the confidence level after the latest results. The victory nevertheless feels great.”

Michal Kadlec: “Of course we’re happy with the win, especially given that recent weeks have not been easy for us. However, you have to say that there is still a lot of room for improvement.  The performance was a step in the right direction, but the win was the only thing that mattered.  At the end we were trembling, but Bernd Leno parried the header wonderfully. With Michael Ballack’s goal in added time, we were finally able to relax. Lars [Bender] was really happy with his goal and I’ve already asked him where he got his left foot. It doesn’t really matter who scores, though, the main thing is to win in the Champions League.”

Lars Bender: “At Leverkusen, we’re not used to losing three successive games. We absolutely had to win this game and it’s taken a lot of pressure off us. I don’t know why Michal Kadlec said I don’t have a left foot – I don’t score often, but when I do it’s always with my left. For the goal, I didn’t think too much about it, I just hit it and it was a nice strike.  It’s great to be named man of the match, but the win is more important”. Chelsea are the clear favourites in this group and we’re in competition with Valencia for second place. It was a good first step in the right direction and now we have to win at home against Valencia.”

Line-up: Leverkusen vs Genk

Substitutions Leverkusen
65 min. Balitsch for Renato Augusto
80 min. Ballack for Kadlec
90. + 3 min. Derdiyok for Kießling

Substitutions Genk
46 min. Barda for Vossen
69 min. Hyland for Nadson
78 min. Nwanganga for Hubert

Yellow Cards: Kadlec and Toprak (both Leverkusen); Nadson and Pudil (both Genk)

1:0 L. Bender (30 min.)
2:0 Ballack (90. + 2 min.)

Statistics Leverkusen vs Genk
Attempts on target: 5 vs 5
Attempts off target: 11 vs 4
Corners: 7 vs 9
Offsides: 3 vs 2
Fouls committed: 15 vs 18
Possession (%): 62 vs 38

Standings Group E
1 Chelsea FC 4 Points
2 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3 Points
3 Valencia CF 2 Points
4 KRC Genk 1 Point

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