Leverkusen (dpa) – football for connoisseurs, extraordinary goals – and a lot of potential: Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have almost forgotten the departure of the exceptional players Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in a direct duel.
“It was an interesting game with a lot of speed, sometimes too much”, Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said after the 1-1 (1-1). “It’s no shame to sign here.”
Hardly anyone spoke of ex-Leverkusen-based Havertz or former RB striker Werner, who both moved to Chelsea in the summer. Only Bayer coach Peter Bosz said in the positive analysis: “Well, Werner was not there. That’s a big difference.” Nevertheless, his team’s good play was “the next step”.
The 6,042 spectators admitted, who were evenly distributed in the BayArena, had a good time at the debut of the Leipzig successor Alexander Sörloth. “Our aggressiveness today was insulting, we wanted to score goals and keep trying,” said Kerem Demirbay, Leverkusen midfield pivot.
The oft-criticized 27-year-old mentioned his potential that afternoon, scoring one of two dream goals. In the 20th minute he cut the ball from 17 meters under the bar to equalize. With this, Demirbay also stopped the fast early phase of the Saxons, which Emil Forsberg had crowned. The Swedish playmaker cheated on Lars Bender with a feint and hit the ball from eleven meters with his left hand into the short corner (14th minute). “We came in well, but then we had no access, hardly any possession and we were too low. It was not really a good game for us,” said Forsberg at Sky.
Nagelsmann took Forsberg, who excelled in the 3-1 win against Mainz at the start of the competition, after just over an hour. Yussuf Poulsen (27th) was caught way too early and was replaced by Sörloth due to an injury. “Actually, it’s not entirely fair to include him in a game like this. The actions he had with the ball were good,” said Nagelsmann, emphasizing that you also had to be “patient” to “take small development steps”. .
As it was clear that day, the Leipzig coach promised the competitor from Leverkusen “a lot of fun” with his former player Patrik Schick. The newcomer from the Czech Republic was on the field for the first time in his third league game for Bayer and almost became the match winner. But his supposed goal from a beautiful 16-meter long corner shot was not recognized due to offside (77th). “He’s incredibly dangerous with standards and crosses. His goal was his parade left shot,” Nagelsmann told the Czech, who reportedly cost Leverkusen € 26.5 million and with whom Leipzig was also negotiating a return.
So the question why not Schick, but Sörloth fills the big gap after the departure of Timo Werner (28 goals / 9 assists 2019/2020) was easy for Nagelsmann to answer – with a wink: “An expensive one, that’s why we don’t have it. Lake.”