Bayer 04 players with their national teams (12/11/2011-15/11/2011)

12/11/2011: Let’s start with the Bayer 04 trio in the Germany team playing against Ukraine. The friendly, away to one of the hosts of next year’s European Championships, kicked off with no Leverkusen players in the starting line-up. Joachim Löw’s team were 3-1 down at the break having suffered at the hands of the Ukrainian counter attacks. Germany came back into the game following the introduction of Simon Rolfes and André Schürrle at the start of the second half. Rolfes, who replaced Sami Khedira, scored his second international goal in his 25th appearance on 65 minutes. André Schürrle, this time playing on the right, was also involved in some good moves. Thomas Müller netted the equaliser on 77 minutes. Toni Kroos scored the first goal. Bayer 04 midfielder Lars Bender also came on in the closing stages of the game to earn his third international cap for Germany.

Michal Kadlec was able to think more seriously about the prospects of playing in the Euro 2012 finals after Friday night’s game. The Czech Republic beat Montenegro 2-0 in the first leg of the play-off in Prague. Kadlec, who has established himself as one of the Czech Republic’s leading performers in the Euro qualifiers, played the full 90 minutes. A situation completely different for Ömer Toprak. The Bayer 04 central defender had to look on from the bench as Turkey suffered a 3-0 reverse in the Euro play-off against Croatia.

Bayer 04 keeper Bernd Leno was able to watch an extremely unusual encounter. Bernd did not play in the Germany U-21 Euro qualifier away to Greece but was able to witness his team register a 5-4 win. The score was 3-3 after 87 minutes before a sensational finale. The Germany U-19s, with Bayer 04 defender Danny da Costa in their ranks, secured a 2-1 narrow win in a friendly against Egypt at Pirmasens. It was also a good night for Nicolai Jörgensen who came on in the second half of Denmark’s 2-0 win against Sweden. Eren Derdiyok was sidelined as Switzerland earned a respectable 0-0 draw in Holland. The Werkself striker was suffering from a flu.

15/11/2011: Michal Kadlec and the Czech Republic have made it: The Bayer 04 defender was in the Czech side that beat Montenegro 1-0 in last night’s play-off following the 2-0 win in the first leg. The Czech Republic can count themselves lucky to come away from Podgorica with a win as the hosts were on top for much of the game. The Czech back four around Kadlec, who played the full 90 minutes, and the outstanding keeper Petr Cech kept the Montenegro attack at bay and Jiracek scored the winning goal against the run of play on 81 minutes. They now join the other 15 teams at next summer’s finals in Poland and Ukraine. The group draw is on 2 December.

As expected, Turkey had to throw in the towel against Croatia after the 3-0 home defeat in the first leg. The Turkish side did manage to secure a 0-0 draw in Zagreb. Ömer Toprak made his full international debut for his country and he produced a good performance over 90 minutes, but it was not enough.

Simon Rolfes and Lars Bender played in the friendly between Germany and Holland in Hamburg. The Werkself midfield duo both came off the bench in the closing stages of the impressive 3-0 win in the Hanseatic city. André Schürrle missed out after going down with the flu.

The Germany U-21s, with keeper Bernd Leno on the bench, notched up a 3-0 victory in their Euro qualifier against Cyprus to extend their impressive run of seven wins in seven games.

Bayer 04 strikers Eren Derdiyok and Nicolai Jörgensen were involved in friendlies. Derdiyok, having recovered from the flu, played the whole game as the lone striker for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team that secured a 1-0 win in Luxembourg. Denmark beat Finland 2-1 with Jörgensen coming on at the hour mark to earn his second full international cap.

Source: (12/11) // (16/11)

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Ukraine vs Germany 3-3 (Iarmolenko, Konoplyanka, Kroos, Nazarenko, Rolfes, Müller)

Czech Republic vs Montenegro 2-0 (Pilař, Sivok)

Turkey vs Croatia 0-3 (Olić, Mandžukić, Čorluka)

Greece U21 vs Germany U21 4-5 (Petsos, Mlapa, Mlapa, Fortounis, Esswein, Petsos, Bell, Vlachodimos, Mlapa)

Denmark vs Sweden 2-0 (Bendtner, Krohn-Dehli)

Montenegro vs Czech Republic 0-1 (Jiráček)

Croatia vs Turkey 0-0

Germany vs Holland 3-0 (Müller, Klose, Özil)


Poll result: How will the Hinrunde (1st half of the season) end for Bayer 04?

  • Top of the table 0% (0 votes)
  • Champions League Spot 23.08% (3 votes)
  • Europa League Spot 53.85% (7 votes)
  • Above 10th position 23.08% (3 votes)
  • 10th to 15th place 0% (0 votes)
  • Relegation positions 0% (0 votes)

Good to see that some still believe in a Champions League spot (Position 1 to 4) by winter. Anything below Europa League would be a huge deception, I think we all agree on that.


Suggestion for future polls are always welcomed.  Just comment on this post.

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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or here>>

Brian the Lion

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

Postgame frustration

More photos>>

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)

New Poll: How will the Hinrunde end for Bayer 04?

10 Fixtures have been played, time to gather opinions on how the Hinrunde will end for the Werkself:

  • Top of the table
  • Champions League Spot
  • Europa League Spot
  • Above 10th position
  • 10th to 15th place
  • Relegation positions

Apart from voting on the right side of the blog, you can leave a comment here and discuss with other fans the outlook till the winter-break.

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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or here>>

A Twist of Leno

by SchnixB04 (follow on Twitter)

Heeeyyy, a twist of Leno,
Yeah, it drives my brain-o,
Yeah, a twist of Leno,
Makes me come alive!

At the conclusion of Leverkusen’s match against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, fans of goalkeeping, and goalkeepers in general, must have flicked off the television immensely satisfied by the performances of two of Germany’s most talented, young keepers. Marc-André ter Stegen, the man between the sticks for Mönchengladbach, held Leverkusen to an early goal and looked to be in line for a win until Bayer’s own André (Schürrle) scored his first goal for the Werkself in typical fashion. Taking the ball wide on the left, he cut inside and unleashed a devastating right-footed shot that ter Stegen had no chance to save. The Borussians had one final chance to win the match outright, but the hero of the day and the inspiration behind the twisted Danzig lyrics above, Bernd Leno, denied Marco Reus for what seemed like the 100th time at the final whistle. Particularly noteworthy was that the new face of young goalkeepers in Germany actually used his face to stop the shot, knocking himself unconscious in the process. After he came to Leno had to be told by a trainer that he had stopped the shot. How’s that for heroics?!

Saturday’s hero has inspired a lot of praise from football pundits, fans, and players alike during his short tenure at Levkerkusen. His journey to the BayArena and Champion’s League football (what you got, VfB?) hasn’t necessarily taken the most traditional route, but his current destination seems to be one that suits him. Leno played his first game for the Werkself on match day 2, replacing promising young Bayer keeper Fabian Giefer, who had suffered a concussion the week before. Geifer himself had replaced an ineffective David Yelldell, who had been brought from 2. Bundesliga club MSV Duisburg to replace the injured Rene Adler, whose knee injury ensured that he would be out until the new year. Leverkusen brass moved quickly to sign Leno, who was on the bench behind Sven Ulreich at VfB Stuttgart, on-loan until the end of the year. From his first start he looked like the answer to Leverkusen’s goalkeeping woes. Three clean sheets in his first three matches attested to his ability, and it must have been particularly satisfying for the 19-year old to come back to Stuttgart in his second match for Leverkusen and walk out of the Mercedes-Benz Arena a 1-0 winner.

Since then, Leno has been nothing short of “Lenomenal!” Showing a maturity beyond his years, the young man has been a wall for Bayer 04 since his arrival. Furthermore, he has also shown that the bright lights of the big stage do not frighten him, as his performances in both of Leverkusen’s Champion’s League matches have made clear. His most recent performance against ‘Gladbach was so impressive that you would have been hard pressed on Monday to find a newspaper that did not name Leno as their goalkeeper of the week. Naturally, his performance has fans and team brass swooning like 13-year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert, and last week Bayer’s CEO, Wolfgang Holzhäuser, even suggested holding on to Leno when Adler returns from injury. That is not likely to happen as neither keeper would be satisfied in a supporting role. How this situation will be resolved still remains to be seen, but until then Leverkusen fans should continue to enjoy the ride. After all, so far it’s been Lenomenal!

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