You are here: Home » Tag Archives: Bayer Leverkusen

Tag Archives: Bayer Leverkusen

Feed Subscription

Can Bayer Leverkusen progress after exodus of key players?

First Omer Toprak left Leverkusen, then Hakan Calhanoglu, now Chicharito. With other key men likely to follow them out, is there any hope that a club that's become a fixture in the top four can stop the rot next term? “It was not a difficult decision." Those were the words of Javier Hernandez (aka Chicharito) as he pulled on a West Ham shirt for the first time after completing his move back to England on Monday. He seemed to be referring mainly to the decision to join the London club rather than the one to leave the Werkself, but the sentiment seems applicable to both cases. The Mexican striker endured a difficult end to an otherwise prolific Bundesliga career, as the service dried up in a team desperately struggling to keep their heads above water. Leverkusen suffered through a desperate second half of the season, winning just four league games after the winter break until a cathartic 6-2 defeat of Hertha Berlin on the last day of the season, after safety was assured, gave them a measure of relief. That win also meant they finished 12th, a position that flattered a side that looked woeful under Roger Schmidt and even worse during the short-lived reign of Tayfun Korkut. It was all a far cry from Chicharito's debut campaign for the club, when he scored 17 times in 28 appearances and was the league's Player of the Month three times, as Leverkusen picked up the 'best of the rest' trophy behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – about the best the other Bundesliga clubs can hope for these days. Where will the goals come from? But thoughts of challenging for even that dubious crown seem fanciful at this point. Chicharito may well have wanted out whatever happened but the departures of Calhanoglu, who provided a goal or assist every 110 minutes last term in an interrupted Bundesliga campaign, and Toprak – a defender good enough to step up a level to BVB - must have made him question the club's ambition. Of course, there's still plenty of time in the transfer window (though Leverkusen's first German Cup game is in a little over a fortnight) but Sven Bender and Dominik Kohr don't feel like upgrades. Bender may offer some defensive stability, which would be further enhanced if Jonathan Tah can regain fitness, but it's going forward that Leverkusen look set to struggle. No-one but Hernandez even reached double figures for goals in all competitions last term and removing Calhangolu from the equation as well means only Kevin Volland (9) and Joel Pohjanpalo (6) scored more than 4. It's no wonder new coach Heiko Herrlich, the club's eighth boss in nine years, has been preaching the virtues of teamwork over individuals. Teamwork the key for new boss "Hakan of course has huge quality, as do Kevin [Kampl, who has also asked to leave] and Chicharito," he told the Bundesliga website before the Chicharito deal went through. "But ultimately it’s important that the players that you have available identify 100 per cent with the club. Things will soon be clear - then we'll see more. "I think a club like Bayer Leverkusen will never find themselves depending on just one player. Chicharito has given great performances in his two years here, but so have many others. You can only achieve success as a team." Perhaps Herrlich will forge the collective identity that the side lacked last year, but even the hardest working sides need matchwinners. Leverkusen have become a fixture at the top end in recent years, never failing to finish outside the top 5 in the seven years before last. But with the emergence of Leipzig and Hoffenheim and even Hertha Berlin and Cologne starting to make small but significant strides, it's becoming more and more difficult to see a way back to the Champions League for a club who famously reached the final in 2002. Perhaps that's not the expectation anymore and perhaps they can hang on to a small but talented crop of youngsters – Tah, Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz chief among them – and make progress that way. But, as Dortmund found out last term, losing three key players in one stroke is a difficult trick to pull.

First Omer Toprak left Leverkusen, then Hakan Calhanoglu, now Chicharito. With other key men likely to follow them out, is there any hope that a club that’s become a fixture in the top four can stop the rot next term? “It was not a difficult decision.” Those were the words of Javier Hernandez (aka Chicharito) as he pulled on a ... Read More »

Atletico Madrid present stern challenge to Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten European run

Bayer Leverkusen will be out for revenge after the Spanish side knocked them out of the competition two years ago. Following an undefeated run in the group stage they may be in luck. European football has been a welcome respite from the inconsistent, chaotic world of the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen fans this season. Roger Schmidt's (pictured above) side currently sit eighth in the German top flight with four wins and four defeats in their last 10 games, yet their Champions League form has looked far more impressive: with an undefeated run over the entire stretch of their campaign thus far. With somewhat unexpected wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Monaco and four draws from the remaining games the German side finished second in Group E behind Monaco. And after showing an uncharacteristically pragmatic approach to the competition and an appetite for upsetting the odds, there is plenty to suggest they're up for a fight. "Why not win against them?" said Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno. "If we show our Champions League face, then everything is possible. "You can see the team really wants it. We are fighting, we are fighting for each other and that was not necessarily the case a couple of weeks ago." Yet on Tuesday night the German side comes up against what will undoubtedly be their toughest opponents yet in Atletico Madrid. The 2014 finalists topped their own group with just one defeat and five wins in six matches, finishing above Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Indeed Leverkusen fans will need no reminder of what the Spanish side are capable of as both sides met at this exact stage two years ago, with Atletico going through on penalties after each claimed a 1-0 in front of their own fans. "Atletico has strengthened further since our duel two years ago," lamented senior striker Stefan Kiessling, referring to the club's signings of continental stars such as Jackson Martinez, Nico Gaitan and Kevin Gameiro in the past two seasons. Yet Schmidt will be able to call upon stars of his own. Karim Bellarabi's goal in Friday's 3-1 win over Augsburg complimented the two assists he claimed the week before, as starts to rediscover his form after recently returning from a long-term injury, while young stars Julian Brandt, Benjamin Henrichs and Kai Harvetz have repeatedly excelled. Leverkusen will be without Jonathan Tah and Lars Bender through injury, but can rely upon a relatively clean bill of health throughout the rest of the squad. Atletico's Diego Godin has been ruled out with a thigh injury but the Spanish side will have Jan Oblak back from a shoulder injury.

Bayer Leverkusen will be out for revenge after the Spanish side knocked them out of the competition two years ago. Following an undefeated run in the group stage they may be in luck. European football has been a welcome respite from the inconsistent, chaotic world of the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen fans this season. Roger Schmidt’s (pictured above) side currently ... Read More »

Champions League: Marco Reus in line for Dortmund return, Leverkusen travel to Moscow

Marco Reus could return to action in Borussia Dortmund's group-stage match against Legia Warsaw. Bayer Leverkusen have injury concerns ahead of their match in Moscow, and unlike BVB, they really need the points. Borussia Dortmund vs. Legia Warsaw Marco Reus is in line to make his long-awaited return from injury as Borussia Dortmund host Legia Warsaw in the Champions League on Tuesday. Reus has been sidelined for six months and suffered a heel injury on Friday that kept him out of Der Klassiker, but the striker is fit again and available for selection. "If everything goes perfectly, I hope that I can be part of Tuesday's squad," Reus was quoted as saying on Dortmund's official website. "I had heel problems in training on Wednesday, and you need your heel to run," he said. "I will be delighted when I return to the pitch, and can perform again." Fresh off the back of their biggest win of the season, against Bayern Munich on Saturday, Dortmund will be hoping they can carry that momentum into their Group F clash at Signal Iduna Park. Thomas Tuchel's side thrashed Legia Warsaw 6-0 in the reverse fixture in September, which was the Polish club's heaviest European loss and Dortmund's biggest continental away win. At the top of the group with 10 points, Dortmund have already qualified for the knockout stage. However, the visitors, who are bottom of the group with just one point, come into the game with some form, having won their last four domestic matches. They also played Real Madrid to a 3-3 draw on the last Champions League matchday, after having been 2-0 down. But Dortmund will be confident that they can take all three points against a side that have so far failed to win a game, and the Bundesliga side will clinch first place in Group F if they win and Real Madrid fail to be Sporting Lisbon. Legia have never beaten German opposition in nine previous attempts, so the odds are most definitely stacked against them. CSKA Moscow vs. Bayer Leverkusen Bayer Leverkusen could seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with victory in Russia against CSKA Moscow - but the Bundesliga side will be without some key players. Stefan Kiessling has a thigh problem and has not traveled to Moscow and club captain Lars Bender, who is suffering from a heel problem, will also not feature. Roger Schmidt's side took a huge step towards the knockout stage when they beat Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on the last matchday, and the German side now have a big advantage over their English rivals. Leverkusen will go through if they get a better result than Tottenham, who have a difficult game at group leaders Monaco. Theoretically, CSKA could still finish in the top two, but must beat Leverkusen to keep their hopes alive. In the reverse fixture in September, the teams' first-ever competitive meeting, Leverkusen led 2-0 through Admir Mehmedi and Hakan Calhanoglu, but CSKA came back strongly when Alan Dzagoev scored and Roman Eremenko levelled two minutes later.

Marco Reus could return to action in Borussia Dortmund’s group-stage match against Legia Warsaw. Bayer Leverkusen have injury concerns ahead of their match in Moscow, and unlike BVB, they really need the points. Borussia Dortmund vs. Legia Warsaw Marco Reus is in line to make his long-awaited return from injury as Borussia Dortmund host Legia Warsaw in the Champions League ... Read More »

Champions League: Leverkusen, Dortmund look to Europe to restore winning ways

Bayer Leverkusen will be playing their 100th Champions League game on Tuesday, a match they will need to win if they hope to survive a competitive group. Meanwhile, Dortmund take an injury-plagued squad to Portugal. As the Champions League reaches the midway point of the group stage, one cannot ask for a better set of matches than Leverkusen's two-game series against Tottenham Hotspur. The Bundesliga club sit just a point behind their English opponents in a very tight Group E, and their clashes could determine who moves on to the knockout stage. Leverkusen do not boast an impressive league form this season either. Their loss to Werder Bremen over the weekend dropped them to 10th in the table. The struggle for consistency will be even tougher against Tottenham, who are still unbeaten in the English top flight this season. "We tend to do well against teams like that," said Rudi Völler, the club's sporting director. "We will put in a good fight and the fans will see a great game, hopefully a win for us." Leverkusen have not closed out matches effectively in the Champions League this season. They drew their first two fixtures with CSKA Moscow and Monaco after letting leads slip away. Fortunately for them, the group remains wide open with just three points separating first and last place. "Not much has happened yet in the group, so you get the feeling that it'll really kick off against Tottenham," Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt said in a press conference Monday. Dinged-up Dortmund head to Lisbon Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, sit atop their Champions League group, but an injury crisis may prevent them from staying there. Thomas Tuchel's side traveled with a banged up squad to Lisbon as they begin their two-game set against Sporting CP. Their back line has the worst case of the injury bug. With Marcel Schmelzer and Raphael Guerreiro both unfit and Park Joo-Ho left off the Champions League squad, coach Tuchel has to get extremely creative with the left side of his defense. It does not help either that Sokratis and Lukasz Piszczek are doubtful to play, although both were able to make the trip to Lisbon. "We have to try to manage the task as such," said sporting director Michael Zorc said Monday. Dortmund's last road trip was extremely successful, battering Legia Warsaw 6-0 in September. This one will be a little tougher as Sporting nearly shocked Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on matchday one. Dortmund are also winless in their last three games, most recently dropping points to Hertha Berlin. "We are first in the group," said Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki. "We want to remain so and get back to our winning ways."

Bayer Leverkusen will be playing their 100th Champions League game on Tuesday, a match they will need to win if they hope to survive a competitive group. Meanwhile, Dortmund take an injury-plagued squad to Portugal. As the Champions League reaches the midway point of the group stage, one cannot ask for a better set of matches than Leverkusen’s two-game series ... Read More »

Bundesliga: Bayern beat Hertha, Schalke and Bremen in shock

Franck Ribery and poor Hertha defending helped Bayern to a 3-0 win while pointless Schalke lost at home to Cologne and Bremen were also beaten. RB Leipzig were pegged back to 1-1 by Gladbach and Leverkusen drew a blank. Bayern Munich 3-0 Hertha Berlin (Ribery 16', Thiago 68', Robben 72') The terrible pitch at the Allianz Arena was far from fitting for the top-of-the-table clash but Franck Ribery's first-half opener was worthy of winning any contest. The Frenchman turned Hertha's defense inside out in the area before finishing expertly. Robert Lewandowski had a couple of other good chances and Thomas Müller missed a sitter as the hosts dominated the first half. They grabbed a second in comical circumstances. Hertha's Allan haplessly dithered on the ball in the box and Thiago nipped in to score with an easy finish. Returning from injury, Arjen Robben made it 3-0 with a trademark strike, meaning after four games Bayern have the best Bundesliga record ever with 12 points and a goal difference of +13. Bayern also welcomed back the fit again Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm and David Alaba to their starting line-up and their superiority showed as they didn't need to get out of second gear. Hertha, on the other hand, struggled to even get started. Schalke 1-3 Cologne (Huntelaar 36' - Osako 38', Modeste 77', Zoller 84') Shell-shocked Schalke were looking to get their season off the ground after three straight defeats but ended up suffering a painful fourth despite taking the lead. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted after a superb pass from Nabil Bentaleb, but before the home fans could stop cheering their first goal of the league season (and the first conceded by Cologne), the visitors hit back through a powerful strike from Yuya Osako. Anthony Modeste and Simon Zoller then struck from close range to leave new Schalke coach Markus Weinzierl under increasing pressure with zero points. In the meantime, Cologne are enjoying the heady heights of second spot with a healthy 10 points to their name. Werder Bremen 1-2 Mainz (Hajrovic 12' - Malli 87', De Blasis 90+2') Bremen fell apart in a similar way to Schalke and in more dramatic fashion as they too failed to record their first points of the season. The home side took the lead via an absolute cracker from Izet Hajrovic. The Bosnian let fly from 20 metres with an unstoppable drive to hand interim coach Alexander Nouri an immediate boost in his first game in charge since Viktor Skripnik's sacking. But the win was not to be. Yunus Malli snatched an equalizer three minutes from time before Pablo De Blasis netted Mainz's winner in injury time with the ball going in off keeper Jaroslav Drobny's face, the latest indignation for bottom-placed Bremen. RB Leipzig 1-1 Gladbach (Werner 6' - Johnson 84') United States international Fabian Johnson salvaged a point for a ragged Gladbach side, and it could have been more had Johnson not hit the bar earlier in the game. Unbeaten upstarts RB Leipzig looked to be heading for a third win in their Bundesliga debut campaign when Timo Werner netted early on after dreadful Gladbach defending. But Johnson snatched a point late on with a low drive to provide some consolation to Gladbach head coach Andre Schubert who was appointed exactly a year ago. Visiting Gladbach fans protested against the Red-Bull backed hosts being in the top flight, but the energy drinks firm will not care a jot if the team keeps on impressing. Leverkusen 0-0 Augsburg Charles Aranguiz screwed a penalty wide after 72 minutes, the second missed spot-kick in two matches for misfiring Leverkusen. It was perhaps justice for Augsburg, with the foul on Kevin Volland by Jeffrey Gouweleeuw debateable at best. Stefan Kießling had a glorious chance to score in the final minutes, but not for the first time in this fixture Marwin Hitz performed heroics to save a point.

Franck Ribery and poor Hertha defending helped Bayern to a 3-0 win while pointless Schalke lost at home to Cologne and Bremen were also beaten. RB Leipzig were pegged back to 1-1 by Gladbach and Leverkusen drew a blank. Bayern Munich 3-0 Hertha Berlin (Ribery 16′, Thiago 68′, Robben 72′) The terrible pitch at the Allianz Arena was far from ... Read More »

Bundesliga: Game-stopping goal gives Borussia Dortmund the win

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 21st goal of the season was his most dramatic, sparking a match-stopping protest from Bayer Leverkusen. In the end, Thomas Tuchel came out the victor despite a series of daring tactics. Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (Aubameyang 65') There was only one goal to talk about in Dortmund's 1-0 win over Leverkusen, but what a back story that goal had. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's simple strike in the second half resulted in a dramatic chain of events that forced referee Felix Zwayer to halt the game. The goal was the result of an astute counter-attack from Dortmund. Stefan Kiessling lost out to Sven Bender outside Dortmund's penalty area. Matthias Ginter stopped the ball and passed quickly to free Marco Reus with space ahead of him, before he seemlessly threaded a ball through to Erik Durm. In acres of space, Durm crossed the ball to an onside Aubameyang, who tapped home for his 21st goal of the season. The chain of events sparked a major protest from the Leverkusen dugout, one that resulted in Zwayer sending Roger Schmidt to the stands. Schmidt, though, refused to leave, using Stefan Kiessling as intermediary to relay a message to Zwayer. Upon delivery of Kiessling's message, Zwayer forced the players to leave the pitch, and kept them in their respective locker rooms to allow the situation to cool down. The players emerged from the locker room nine minutes later, with Schmidt not part of the Leverkusen party that return to the field. Dortmund was able to see out the result, though Chicharito nearly equalized for Leverkusen in stoppage time. Daring Tuchel Tactics The match was a physical contest throughout, and Karim Bellarabi was close to getting sent off after a skirmish he had with Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the second half that resulted in a face-off. The high tempers were the result of a chanceless, physical game where both sides decided to field physical players to try and grind out a result. Thomas Tuchel's choices were the most daring, resting several key players before Dortmund's important second-leg clash with Porto. Ginter and Bender were a physical tandem in midfield - both matching the physicality of Christoph Kramer and a deep-lying Kiessling - while Moritz Leitner and Christian Pulisic got their first Bundesliga starts of the season. Schmidt tried to counter Tuchel's physical approach by bringing on Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Andre Ramahlo at half time. In all, five of the six substitions from both teams were defensive ones, a byproduct of a very physical match. Tuchel's bold tactics payed off in spades, collecting three points without having to play Marco Reus, Ilkay Gündogan, or Julian Weigl for a full 90 minutes. Dortmund were able to do what Bayern Munich couldn't - come out of Leverkusen with three points - and that allowed the yellow and blacks to remain eight-points behind the Bundesliga leaders in the table.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 21st goal of the season was his most dramatic, sparking a match-stopping protest from Bayer Leverkusen. In the end, Thomas Tuchel came out the victor despite a series of daring tactics. Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (Aubameyang 65′) There was only one goal to talk about in Dortmund’s 1-0 win over Leverkusen, but what a back story that goal ... Read More »

Europa League: Augsburg hold Liverpool, Leverkusen and Schalke earn strong away results

Just one goal was scored in the three games involving German teams in the late Europa League matches. However each team will be happy with their results as Bundesliga clubs remained unbeaten in the last 32. Augsburg 0-0 Liverpool Having watched a stunning choreography take center stage at the WWK Arena, Augsburg were dealt a horrible blow to their chances of victory early in their first European knockout match, as top goalscorer Raul Bobadilla, who had six goals in the group stage - pulled up with a strained hamstring in the opening four minutes. Augsburg's only center forward didn't make his way off the pitch until the 22nd minute just after the first real chance of the game. Bobadilla's opposite, Daniel Sturridge, almost broke free inside the Augsburg area, but a superb tackle from Ragnar Klavan allowed to ball to be collected harmlessly by Marwin Hitz. The tempo of the game dropped off after the opening exchanges, but Alexander Esswein had a glorious chance to give Augsburg the lead just before the break. The winger broke down the right-hand side and despite Tobias Werner being free in the box, he chose to go for goal, with Simon Mignolet equal to Esswein's effort. The match's sluggish pace continued into the second half, but Liverpool were inches away from taking the lead just before the hour-mark, as a free-kick came swinging into the box. Kolo Toure forced Caiuby to block the ball, and an a touch from Paul Verhaegh almost took the ball over his own line before Hitz came to the rescue while layed across the ground. Alberto Moreno stung the hands of Hitz with a shot after 75 minutes as Liverpool kept pressing forward to earn what could have been a crucial away goal. With just a few minutes to play, it was the home side which had a real chance to clinch an historic victory. Ji Dong-Won connecting with a volley which beat Mignolet, but not the post. Augsburg will be pleased with the result, despite not taking a lead into the second leg, which will be played at Anfield in Liverpool next week. Sporting CP 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Bellarabi 26') It was an end-to-end first half in Sporting, with both sides playing a counterattacking and pressing style. Julian Brandt and Stefan Kießling had the opening opportunites of the game, but neither could trouble Rui Patricio in the Sporting goal. Ömer Toprak was handed a great chance to give Leverkusen the lead, but he sent his header over the crossbar from a corner with 24 minutes played. It was the best chance from either side in the early going, but Roger Schmidt's squad took a deserved and vital lead not long after. Kiessling played a neat pass out wide to Tin Jedvaj and the fullback curled a superb cross to the back-post where Karim Bellarabi was waiting to put the ball home off his knee. Bellarabi's goal was his first in 2016 and just his seventh in all competitions this season. Sporting only produced one shot on Bernd Leno's goal in the entire game, which gave the German goalkeeper no problems. Leverkusen's crucial lead was also given a huge boost of remaining intact until full-time as Ruben Semedo was sent off for a second bookable offence after 74 minutes. Bellarabi almost had the last laugh in the game after he hit a fantastic curling shot onto the post with Rui Patricio scrambling to save it. But 0-1 it finished, and Leverkusen will return to Germany with a crucial away goal. Sporting also won only one of their three away games in the group stages of the Europa League, providing Leverkusen with confidence they can advance out of a knockout stage match after failing to do so the previous five seasons. Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Schalke After Andre Breitenreiter stuck to his plan of rotating his squad in the Europa League this season, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar a surprise to see on the bench, a tight and tense first half followed, with both sides having chances to open the scoring, the best of which fell to the travelling Germans. With just 14 minutes played, Younes Belhanda streaked into the Shakhtar box, cutting inside and out of three defenders without even looking up, before seeing his goal-bound effort cleared off the line. Birthday-boy Roman Neustädter almost broke the deadlock just before the break, but his header was too close to Andriy Pyatov. Leroy Sane looked certain to give Schalke an early second half lead as the away side continued to creat opportunities. The young star got on the end of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting's cross, but his light header drifted past the far-post. With 15 minutes to play Schalke were handed a fantastic opportunity to score a crucial away goal, with the home side conceding an indirect-free-kick after a back-pass. Choupo-Moting touched the ball for Johannes Geis, but his effort was blocked on the line, which had been covered by at least eight Donetsk players. Before the end, it was Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann who was forced to save the game for his side, making a superb double stop after efforts from Taras Stepanenko and Olexandr Gladkiy. Schalke's good away result was assured with just a couple of minutes to play, after Olexandr Kucher saw red for a second bookable offence. Schalke fans may still be nervous about their sides chances of qualifying, with the Royal Blues losing two of their three home matches so far in 2015, but Shakhtar have struggled away from home in Europe this season, having lost all three of their games on the round in the Champions League group stages.

Just one goal was scored in the three games involving German teams in the late Europa League matches. However each team will be happy with their results as Bundesliga clubs remained unbeaten in the last 32. Augsburg 0-0 Liverpool Having watched a stunning choreography take center stage at the WWK Arena, Augsburg were dealt a horrible blow to their chances ... Read More »

Champions League: Leverkusen advances to group stages with win over Lazio

Strikes either side of the break from Hakan Calhanoglu, Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi sends Leverkusen into the Champions League group stages for the ninth time in the club's history. Bayer Leverkusen ensured a fourth German club will be represented in Thursday's Champions League group stage draw after overturning a one-goal deficit to beat Lazio 3-1 on aggregate. Out to make up for Keita's late goal in Rome last week, Leverkusen scored before the break through Hakan Calhanoglu and ran out comfortable winners in the end with strikes from Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi. The pre-match narrative was centered on South Korean attacker Son Heung-Min who was left out of the squad ahead of his expected transfer to Tottenham. The 23-year-old missed Saturday's match in Hannover and has completed his medical with the North London club, according to sporting director Rudi Völler. Bellarabi and Kyriakos Papadopoulos were reinstated to the starting line-up after missing out of the weekend's 1-0 win at Hannover. Goalie Bernd Leno didn't have much to do over the 90 minutes, but was forced to make an important intervention in the fourth minute after a mistake from Jonathan Tah. Leverkusen resorted to long-range efforts with Calhanoglu - at times, frustratingly - opting for the more ambitious option on the counterattack. But Calhanoglu rammed home the opening goal to the delight of the home supporters with five minutes of the first-half remaining. The free-kick specialist netted from open play, slotting home a loose ball from 10 yards out after good work from Kiessling and Bellarabi on the right-hand side. Hakan fires Leverkusen to win Despite leading, Leverkusen's performance had room for improvement. And Schmidt's half-time team talk paid dividends as the Bundesliga side took the initiative. On 48 minutes, Mehmedi scored the second - the Swiss international striker's first goal for Leverkusen - thumping the ball past Berisha with his right-foot in the inside-right channel. Two minutes later, Calhanoglu and Kiessling combined wonderfully on the edge of the penalty box, the Turkish international shooting directly at the keeper. Midfielder Lars Bender then tried his best to add a third to the score sheet, but his shot was tipped over the crossbar. Without the leadership of captain Lucas Biglia or former German international striker Miroslav Klose, Lazio showed very limited signs of a fightback. Instead, the Italians spent their energy chasing back from a high defensive line, which saw center-back Mauricio dismissed for his second bookable offence on 68 minutes. Bellarabi scored the third late on, assisted by Julian Brandt, as Leverkusen secures a vital financial boost by reaching the group phase of the Champions League. In three of the last four seasons, Leverkusen has reached the Last 16 of Europe's premier club competition. Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick for Manchester United as Louis van Gaal's men comfortably secured a return to the Champions League group stages. Rooney scored his second Champions League hat-trick for the Red Devils, his three goals falling either side of the half-time break. Ander Herrera made it four, latching on to a pass from Bastian Schweinsteiger who came off the bench. Elsewhere, Astana are the first team from Kazakhstan to reach the lucrative group phase following a late strike to secure a win over APOEL Nicosia. After the Kazakh side won 1-0 in the first-leg, the pressure was on the Cypriots to deliver the goods. Bosnian Semir Stilic scored on the hour mark, a deserved strike for all their dominance. But with four minutes left, Nemanja Maksimovic scored to send the away side into the group stages. Full results: Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Lazio (3-1 on aggregate) Club Brugge 0-4 Manchester United (1-7 on aggregate) CSKA Moscow 3-1 Sporting Club (4-3 on aggregate) Partizan Belgrade 2-1 BATE Borisov (2-2 on aggregate) APOEL 1-1 Astana (1-2 on aggregate)

Strikes either side of the break from Hakan Calhanoglu, Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi sends Leverkusen into the Champions League group stages for the ninth time in the club’s history. Bayer Leverkusen ensured a fourth German club will be represented in Thursday’s Champions League group stage draw after overturning a one-goal deficit to beat Lazio 3-1 on aggregate. Out to ... Read More »

Rummenigge confirms Vidal signing is close

It looks like Bayern Munich's summer spending spree will continue after club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed on Thursday another player is on the verge of arriving. The fee remains unknown. Bayern Munich is on the verge of signing Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Thursday. "I can confirm in principle that we have reached a deal with both parties, Juventus and the player," Rummenigge told a press conference in Guangzhou, as Bayern conclude their tour of China. "Only the medical and the signature on the contract are missing," added the Bayern chairman. Rummenigge also confirmed that there was no offer made for Mario Götze and that the World Cup winner wanted to stay in Munich. Vidal's contract is reported to run until 2020, with the fee somewhere around the 36 million-euro-mark ($39.5 million). If the move is completed as expected, the midfielder could join Bayern's training next week. Vidal in, Draxler out? Even before Bayern's trip to China, Rummenigge confirmed the club was interested in Vidal's services. A few days later, Juventus' Sporting Director Beppe Marotta released a statement saying the 28-year-old would be leaving the club. Vidal has 69 caps for Chile and was part of the squad that won the Copa America this summer. He previously played in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen before moving to Juventus in 2011, where he won four consecutive Serie A titles. This news would also increase the likelihood of Schalke's attacking midfielder Julian Draxler joining Juventus, with Schalke's sporting director Horst Heldt later confirming that the attacking midfielder was flattered by the interest but no concrete offer had yet been made.

It looks like Bayern Munich’s summer spending spree will continue after club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed on Thursday another player is on the verge of arriving. The fee remains unknown. Bayern Munich is on the verge of signing Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Thursday. “I can confirm in principle that we have reached a deal with ... Read More »

Gladbach beat Leverkusen, Bayern lose, Dortmund win

Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Leverkusen 3-0 to all but secure a Champions League place. Bayern suffer a fourth defeat in a row, Borussia Dortmund win at home, and Stuttgart get three points in their relegation fight. Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen (Kruse 50‘, Herrmann 81', Traore 88') Just two points separated Mönchengladbach and Leverkusen in third and fourth before the game. The Foals were looking to virtually seal a top-three finish with a win. And the tightness between the two in the league table was evident in the opening half hour, with no efforts of note on either goal. Just after the half-hour mark, Leverkusen had the ball in the net. Stefan Kiessling headed past Yann Sommer, who attempted to collect from an inswinging free-kick. However, the striker was inches offside. Before half-time Gladbach were unlucky to not have a spot-kick. Patrick Herrmann raced into the penalty area and was brought down by Lars Bender who didn't appear to get much of the ball. But Peter Gagelmann's whistle remained silent. The second half sparked to life immediately as the Foals took an early lead. Herrmann was sent on his way down the right, before playing a pass that Max Kruse couldn't refuse. Gladbach's top scorer placed his effort calmly into the top corner. Kiessling almost had the visitors level with 25 minutes to play. Hakan Calhanoglu stole the ball from Granit Xhaka and crossed to the back post, but Kiessling couldn't tap home. With 10 minutes to play, the Foals secured the home win. After a failed Christoph Kramer free kick, Raffael forced a save from Bernd Leno, but the ball fell straight to Herrmann to convert. Gladbach added some icing on the cake just before the end. Substitute Ibrahima Traoré scored an almost identical goal to last week's winner at Hertha, curling into the top corner on his favored left foot. The Foals are now 10 games unbeaten in the Bundesliga and five points ahead of Leverkusen. The Champions League beckons. Bayern Munich 0-1 Augsburg (Bobadilla 71') Wearing their new 2015/16 kit, Bayern Munich were trying to stop the rot of after three defeats in a row. Augsburg, looking to maintain a Europa League place, had the better start – Raul Bobadilla bent a free-kick at Pepe Reina within the first two minutes. And the two would meet again soon after. Bobadilla was played in behind, touching the ball under the oncoming Reina, who wiped-out the striker. The result: a penalty for Augsburg and an early shower for Reina. Bayern's ‘back-up' Manuel Neuer replaced Philipp Lahm and up stepped captain Paul Verhaegh. The full-back sent the penalty off the post – his first miss from twelve yards for the club. Augsburg continued to look the better side, though, and had Halil Altintop connected with his effort just before half-time, they could have led. Robert Lewandowski hit the crossbar just before the break with Bayern's best first-half effort. Bayern dominated possession, but producing little heat on Marwin Hitz in the Augsburg goal. And the underdogs made their one-man advantage count with 20 minutes to play. Bayern loanee Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg flew forward down the left before finding Bobadilla in the middle. The Paraguayan scored his tenth goal of the season, beating Neuer with a cheeky back-heel. It was Bayern Munich's fourth defeat in a row - the first time that's happened since 1991. Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hertha Berlin (Subotic 9' Durm 47') Dortmund were looking to maintain their position in the league ahead of the German Cup final - both avenues for qualification to the Europa League. And they enjoyed a perfect start. Inside ten minutes, Henrikh Mkhitaryan's inswinging corner found an unmarked Neven Subotic who nodded past Thomas Kraft. Mkhitaryan should have had a goal of his own after 15 minutes. Cutting in and out of John-Anthony Brooks, the Armenian dragged shot inside the box past the post. Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the first half, as Hertha began to grow into the game despite the deficit. Dortmund doubled their lead with their first attack of the second half, with Mkhitaryan finding Erik Durm on the run. The fullback cut inside from the right onto his left foot and curled past Kraft into the far bottom corner for his first goal in the Bundesliga. 2-0 was how it ended in Dortmund, with BVB climbing above Werder Bremen into seventh and Hertha staying on the cusp of the relegation battle. Hannover winless in 16 games, Frankfurt overcome Hoffenheim In an opening quarter with few efforts on goal, it was home side Frankfurt who broke the ice. Bastian Oczipka curled his shot in for Eintracht's first goal in four games at the perfect time. Like London buses, when you wait a while for one, two come along at once – the same for Frankfurt goals. Haris Seferovic sprinted in behind the Hoffenheim defence, with a hint of offside about his run, finished past Oliver Baumann at the near-post to double the home lead. Two became three soon after – Timothy Chandler nodding on an Oczipka scoring his first goal of the season to give Frankfurt a 3-0 half-time lead. Kevin Volland made the second-half interesting by curling in a stunning free-kick five minutes after the break, but that'it finished 3-1 in Frankfurt. Hannover's long winless run must come to an end soon for them to keep up hope of staying in the Bundesliga. Captain Lars Stindl, Mönchengladbach bound come the summer, sent the HDI-Arena into raptures inside 25 minutes. Jimmy Briand rose highest to flick the ball over the Werder defence for Stindl who finished with composure past Koen Casteels. But in the 78th minute, home fans' hopes were dashed, as one of the Bundesliga's best with a free-kick, Zlatko Junuzovic, curled an effort into the only spot Ron-Robert Zieler couldn't quite reach. It was Junuzovic's fifth goal from a free kick this season. The 1-1 draw left Hannover level on points with Paderborn in 16th place. Bundesliga Matchday 32 results: Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich 0-1 Augsburg, Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hertha Berlin, Frankfurt 3-1 Hoffenheim, Hannover 1-1 Werder Bremen, Stuttgart 2-0 Mainz.

Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Leverkusen 3-0 to all but secure a Champions League place. Bayern suffer a fourth defeat in a row, Borussia Dortmund win at home, and Stuttgart get three points in their relegation fight. Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen (Kruse 50‘, Herrmann 81′, Traore 88′) Just two points separated Mönchengladbach and Leverkusen in third and fourth before the game. ... Read More »

Scroll To Top