Petah Tikva (dpa) – Peter Bosz stood in the pouring rain from Israel and took a deep breath. Bayer Leverkusen’s coach was able to celebrate an important victory in the Europa League on his return to Israel.
But the Bundesliga team’s 4: 2 (2: 2) at Hapoel Be’er Sheva was by no means brilliant. A strange own goal, luck and a strong final sprint ultimately led to the mandatory victory.
And especially Leon Bailey. The Jamaican was the star, scoring the 1-0 (5th) and despite only being 1.78m tall after moving to the center of the storm, he also made the decisive 3-2 (75th) header. “I said before the game that he was improving from week to week,” Bosz said: “It helps us a lot that he can also play a center forward. I knew he was a very good header, even though he wasn’t very much. “Good. is great. And it’s nice that he now scores goals.”
With this success, the Werkself took a big step towards the knockout round of the Europa League. With six points halfway through the group stage and two more home games for the three outstanding tasks, Bayer is clearly on track for wintering in the European Cup. A week after the 0: 1 at Slavia Prague, the Leverkusen could only convince in phases.
After Bailey’s early opening goal (5th), Bosz’s Dutch compatriot Elton Acolatse initially turned the game in favor of the Israeli cup winner with two remarkable goals (11th / 25th). An own goal by Or Dadia (39.), who got the ball to the head after a save by his goalkeeper, gave Bayer the 3-2. For the 4: 2 of the younger Florian Wirtz (17), the bar prevented Itamar Shviro (87.) from making it 3: 3. “After the break we dominated the game, moved forward and rightly scored two more goals,” said Lverkusens Kerem Demirbay.
Bosz had trained Maccabi Tel Aviv for six months in 2016 and came second after 22 league games without a defeat, behind Be’er Sheva. The high stress basically sent the 56-year-old his Europa League team onto the field. Compared to the 4: 2 in Freiburg, he changed six players and thus more than half, including the entire defense. Nonetheless, Bailey met soon after Wirtz’s Lupfer pass, which is worth checking out.
Bayer could have played an easy game in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva, where the game had been rescheduled due to construction work at the Be’er Sheva stadium, 100 kilometers away. But Wendell played the ball into the foot of the opponent, Tin Jedvaj and Jonathan Tah, who this time even became captain, showed the lack of practice in the duel with Acolatse and the Dutchman already scored his third goal in the current competition. He succeeded the fourth after a remarkable individual performance.
As a result, guests ran headless against the closely spaced five-man chain of Israelis. And accordingly an Israeli accident needed to compensate. Bosz took Lucas Alario, his “last real striker” at half time from the field and ordered Bailey forward. And that hit in the style of a striker.