Football, DFB Cup: Leverkusen Express only running for one half

As of: December 6th, 2023 7:56 p.m

Bayer Leverkusen can continue to dream of a double. In the round of 16 there was a pretty confident 3:1 (2:0) home win against second division team SC Paderborn. However, Bayer only played well for one half.

Only in the first 45 minutes did the Leverkusen team play their offensive football as they had seen in the Bundesliga in recent weeks. In the second round, the title aspirant slowed down and had to accept the goal in the final phase, but quickly had an answer ready.

Victor Boniface (12th), world champion Exequiel Palacios (28th) and Patrik Schick (87th) scored the goals for the Bundesliga table leaders. Sebastian Klaas (83rd) managed to catch up.

Wirtz probably wasn’t hurt any worse

Shocking moment for Bayer: Shortly before half-time, national player Florian Wirtz limped off the pitch in pain after being kicked in the heels. However, the all-clear came from the club during the second half: Wirtz had only suffered one blow, with no serious injury.

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Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso had, as expected, made five changes compared to Sunday’s Bundesliga game against BVB. The Basque brought in a completely new defense including a new keeper – Matěj Kovář for Lukas Hradecky. Only Amine Adli came in for Jonas Hofmann on offense.

Early Leverkusen leadership

However, this should not initially slow down the fast-paced football that Bayer has shown so far this season. In front of 29,000 spectators, Leverkusen took the lead early on. Josip Stanišić, who had recently joined the team, was wonderfully released on the right side and then crossed straight to the foot of Boniface, who skillfully converted it into the far corner – his second cup goal.

It continued to go mostly in one direction. Leverkusen’s second goal came again from the right side, this time via Jeremie Frimpong, whose pass Palacios immediately exploited with a low shot from distance. The Argentine goalscorer also had far too much space.

The East Westphalians now strengthened their defense even more, standing with ten men deep in their own half in order to prevent any major disaster. Significantly: there were no shots on goal from Paderborn apart from a Kai-Klefisch attempt in the early stages.

Paderborn stronger after the break

Even after the break, Bayer dictated what happened on the pitch, but the guests were now more united and no longer allowed as many spaces as in the first half. However, the Werkself were no longer as greedy as at the beginning and were initially content to manage their lead.

The reduction in speed should take revenge. Paderborn became braver and more equal in the final phase. In the 83rd minute it was all over. Bayer didn’t get a ball cleared well, the beneficiary was Sebastian Klaas, who scored from the turn to make it 2-1. Now things even got exciting again for a little moment in the Bayarena.

Until three minutes later, substitute Patrik Schick had the answer ready and eliminated all doubts with a final score of 3-1. This is also the hallmark of a top team.