Defeated by the Bundesliga champions

Match report from the 5-0 loss to Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Mitchell Weiser battled hard on the right wing (Photo: nordphoto).
Match Report
Sunday, 14.04.2024 / 14:00

While Bayer 04 Leverkusen were able to celebrate winning the Bundesliga title, it was heartbreak for Werder on Sunday afternoon after they fell to a heavy 5-0 defeat against the undefeated side at the BayArena. SVW battled hard in the first half and went into the break just 1-0 down after Boniface found the net from the spot (25’). The Werkself piled on the pressure and bagged four more, first through Xhaka (60’), before Florian Wirtz joined in on the action with a hat-trick (68’, 84’, 90’) to round off Leverkusen's title-winning game.

Line-up and formation: With a number of his players absent, head coach Ole Werner was forced to come up with some creative solutions for his starting XI in the clash against Bayer 04. Christian Groß, Julian Malatini and Nick Woltemade were all listed in the line-up, replacing Jens Stage and Marco Friedl, who are currently suspended, as well as an injured Amos Pieper. The Green-Whites set up in a 3-5-2 formation to take on the Werkself.

Werder’s bench was also low on numbers, with Eduardo Dos Santos Haesler switching in for Jiri Pavlenka, who missed the fixture due to muscle problems. However, the high number of absentees allowed youngsters Cimo Röcker and Joel Imasuen the opportunity to occupy a spot on the bench for SVW.

Werder’s starting XI: Zetterer - Veljkovic, Groß, Malatini - Agu, Schmid, Lynen, Bittencourt, Weiser – Ducksch, Woltemade.

Bench: Dos Santos Haesler, Deman, Kownacki, Hansen-Aarøen, Opitz, Imasuen, Röcker.

Boniface converts from the spot

First-half highlights:

8th minute: Tella drives forward from deep and finds Hincapie in the middle, who fires a lot shot towards the bottom corner. Luckily for Werder, Zetterer gets down quickly to deny Leverkusen their opener.

24th minute: Hofmann gets on the end of a Leverkusen cross, but is brought down on his touch by Malatini. Osmers decides to check with VAR, and awards the hosts a penalty. Victor Boniface selects the bottom right corner and slots home the opener for Bayer 04, inches away from the fingertips of Zetterer.

28th minute: A Leverkusen corner reaches Tah at the back post, who nods it towards the Werder net, but Zetterer reacts well and punches it away. Boniface pounces on the rebound, but the SVW keeper is able to clear the danger.

39th minute: The hosts turn things up a notch. Hofmann plays a diagonal ball over the top into Adli, who’s waiting on the opposite edge of the box. The forward takes a touch and pulls the trigger, but his left-footed effort ricochets off the crossbar. Phew.

Wirtz hat-trick puts game to bed

60th minute: Granit Xhaka hammers the ball into the bottom left corner on his first touch from 20 metres out to double Leverkusen's lead. Hofmann is obstructing Zetterer’s view and is standing in an offside position at the time of the shot, but the goal stands nonetheless.

68th minute: Wirtz finds the back of the net to make it three for Leverkusen. The midfielder receives the ball just outside the box, turns to face goal, and powers it down the middle above Zetterer into the roof of the net.

84th minute: Florian Wirtz storms towards Zetterer and holds his nerve, firing the ball into the bottom left and upping his goal tally to two.

90th minute: It’s bitter for Werder. Wirtz sprints into the box and slots the ball into the bottom corner once again to complete his hat-trick and make it five for the hosts.

90th minute +1: Full-time. The whistle blows and Leverkusen fans flood onto the pitch to celebrate B04’s first-ever Bundesliga title.

Summary: SV Werder Bremen were beaten fair and square by the league champions, who went undefeated for over 40 games. The Green-Whites will need to brush this one off, and move onto the next challenge.


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