1st matchday

Wolfsburg (AP) – The players of Bayer Leverkusen dragged themselves into the cabin after the final whistle.

In the first Bundesliga match without their previous top star Kai Havertz, they scored 0-0 at VfL Wolfsburg. The performance and especially the harmlessness in the heavily weakened offensive did not meet the high demands of the club.

“We had proposed it differently. We came here to win. But when you see the game, the 0-0 is okay,” said coach Peter Bosz. Goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky said: “Unfortunately that was not enough.” It takes some getting used to that not only Havertz, but also Kevin Volland, who has also migrated, is missing. “We still have room for improvement, we will show that and we will certainly score many goals soon,” said Hradecky.

De Wolfsburg, however, mourned for a moment after the missed opportunity. “Considering the whole match, that is a reasonable result for both teams,” said captain Koen Casteels. “But it could have been a win for us too.” Renato Steffen stated: “With a little more luck we could have left the field as winners.”

Coach Oliver Glasner paid his team a “big compliment”. He was “very satisfied with the performance, especially as it was only three days after our race in Albania”. At FK Kukesi, Lower Saxony won 4-0 on Thursday.

National player Havertz did not notice the discussions in Leverkusen, as he and his new club Chelsea lost the top match of the English Premier League against Liverpool 2-0 at the same time. Bayer 04 sold the 21-year-old to the London club for a lot of money this summer.

The match in Wolfsburg showed the gap left by the attacking midfielder in the Leverkusen game – and how coach Bosz wants to close that in the long run. In midfield, the Dutchman trusts 17-year-old Florian Wirtz, who has been the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history since the beginning of June and who also got the first chance of the game in the 25th minute after a one-two with Moussa Diaby. .

Wirtz had already been in the starting line-up a week earlier in the DFB Cup against Eintracht Norderstedt (7: 0) and pushed two players to the bench with Nadiem Amiri and the Argentinian Exequil Palacios, who sat together in anticipation of a Havertz sale there last season. nearly 30 million euros had been committed. But as striking as the 17-year-old played on Sunday: with Havertz and Volland (AS Monaco), the offensive of the fifth of last year lost much of its effect. In any case, VfL had the better chances.

As the national uniform rules for fans returning to the stadiums in Lower Saxony only apply a week later, there were only 500 spectators in the Volkswagen Arena against Leverkusen. They saw a visually superior Bayer team again in the second half. But the “wolves” were spicier, even if they didn’t win in the end.

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