League leaders come out on top

Werder lose 3-0 at home to Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Romano Schmid in 1-v-1 with Hincapie.
The second-half was an even game, but the visitors were ultimately the stronger side (Photo: W.DE).
Match Report
Saturday, 25.11.2023 / 17:59

Despite the final score, SV Werder Bremen were not without their chances against top-of-the-table Bayer 04 Leverkusen. While the Green-Whites put in a brave performance and created several opportunities, the visitors were extremely clinical in front of goal. After Olivier Deman’s own goal opened the scoring for Leverkusen (9’), Jeremie Frimpong hit one home just prior to the break (43’). Grimaldo’s goal (76’) secured the victory in what was a fairly even second-half, with the crossbar denying Njinmah in the final phase of the game.

Line-up and formation: Ole Werner once again put his trust in the same starting XI from the past three fixtures after a successful streak without defeat. Zetterer kept his place between the sticks, and the Green-Whites opted not to change their tactics or formation, setting up in their usual 3-5-2 in front of a sold-out wohninvest WESERSTADION.

Werder’s starting XI: Zetterer, Deman, Jung, Stage, Ducksch, Weiser, Bittencourt, Veljkovic, Borré, Schmid and Friedl. 

Bench: Pavlenka, Stark, Pieper, Kownacki, Lynen, Njinmah, Agu, Woltemade and Groß.

Two goals for Leverkusen in the first 45

First-half highlights:

2nd minute: Werder hit the ground running: After gaining possession in midfield, Romano Schmid surges forward with the ball with a two-man overload. He squares it to Borré, but there isn’t enough on the pass, and the Colombian’s shot is caught easily by the Leverkusen goalkeeper.

6th minute: After running onto a pass made from a set-piece, Victor Boniface rounds Zetterer and slots the ball into the goal. The forward doesn’t bother celebrating though, as he’s well aware that he was offside.

9th minute: An unlucky own goal from Olivier Deman gives the visitors their opener. The Belgian’s attempt at clearing a cross doesn’t go to plan, and the ball deflects off his foot towards the bottom corner, leaving Zetterer with no chance.

29th minute: Marvin Ducksch’s corner finds the head of his attacking partner Rafael Borré, who nods it in the direction of the Leverkusen goal. However, he can’t get enough on it, and Hrádecky is able to catch the ball with ease.

36th minute: Another chance for Werder. Ducksch’s free-kick from the right hand side is blocked, but a diligent Bittencourt keeps the ball for the Green-Whites and delivers it into the penalty box. Werder are able to maintain possession, but the whistle is blown for offside.

43rd minute: Jeremie Frimpong scores Leverkusen’s second just before the break. SVW fail to clear a corner, and the ball falls to Hincapie on the left hand side. He spots Frimpong’s forward run and manages to play him in. The Dutchman fires the ball into the top left corner.

Goal for Grimaldo, bad luck for Njinmah

52nd minute: Werder combine nicely from the midfield down the right-hand side before getting a cross off, which finds Borré in the middle. However, referee Pedersen awards a free-kick to the visitors for the Colombian’s foul play.

60th minute: Ducksch brings the ball down and is immediately one-on-one with Kossounou. The German stands his ground and holds onto the ball, but he’s brought down by the Leverkusen defender. Pedersen blows his whistle immediately and awards a free-kick against the striker.

62nd minute: Despite losing the foot race, Romano Schmid wins the ball back on the left corner of the six-yard box. The Austrian squares it to Ducksch, who hits the ball home for Werder. The celebrations are short lived however, as Schmid was in an offside position and the goal is disallowed.

76th minute: Alejandro Grimaldo makes it three for Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The full-back fires the ball into the Werder net from a tight angle to seal all three points for the visitors.

85th minute: Njinmah drives into the right hand side of the penalty area and pulls the trigger. Hrádecky can only watch on, but the ball hits the crossbar and Werder are denied once again.

88th minute: Leverkusen are still persistent in their attack. As the box is completely crowded, Zetterer is unable to get a strong clearance on Adli’s shot, but manages to keep Hofmann’s follow-up attempt out of the back of the net.

90th minute +4: Full-time! SV Werder Bremen are defeated 3-0 at home to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Summary: For periods of the game, Werder looked just as good as Leverkusen and there were points where the Green-Whites were on top. Leverkusen didn’t display the dominance they had done in other games this season, but were ruthless when it mattered. At the end of the day, the Werkself come away from the clash with the three points and keep their place at the top of the table. Despite the defeat, Werder won’t have too many complaints about their performance this Saturday.

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