Leverkusen (dpa) – Heiko Herrlich actually didn’t want to talk about his feelings when he returned to Leverkusen for the first time.
“The topic is ticked off, that’s cold coffee,” said the FC Augsburg coach after the 1: 3 (0: 1) defeat at the old workplace: “I am now a passionate coach from Augsburg and I am happy here.” He had actually told everything about his unusual leave in 2018 the day before Christmas Eve after two victories.
But then again, the 48-year-old said: “I’m always happy to come here. I’ve seen a lot of people with whom I was very close, who I liked to work with. So it was a nice reunion. It would have been perfect. if we had gotten something else. ”After the temporary equation by Daniel Caligiuri (51.), that was no illusion. “The chance was there”, said Herrlich: “Leverkusen rightly won the match in the back.”
With the 19th Bundesliga game without a defeat to their favorite opponent, Leverkusen made a giant leap to fourth place at the table – not least thanks to Lucas Alario. He is actually only a replacement for the injured Patrick Schick, but was again the match winner with two goals (16th, hand penalty / 74th). “I am always happy when former players of mine score”, said Herrlich, including the Argentinian and his successor Peter Bosz a noble joker. “The only bad thing is that he just did that today.”
Meanwhile, Leon Bailey was very amused by Moussa Diaby’s curious last point to 3-1 (90th + 3). Augsburg goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz had stormed to force the tying run, Bailey played the ball from the center line to the empty goal and Diaby shoved it in. “That was a very funny action,” said the Jamaican. “I don’t know if it was a shot or a pass from me. Moussa and Nadiem (national player Nadiem Amiri, deceased. Red.) Were chasing the ball. But Nadiem had no chance against Moussa’s speed.” Everyone “laughed a lot”. And that benefits the group. “We need something like that,” said Bailey, “that the atmosphere is good throughout the team.”
This is especially true when the physical strain increases. After only two days off, Bayer will face Slavia Prague on Thursday in the Europa League. After two more days in the league, the team will play again at SC Freiburg on Sunday. “We all know the program,” said midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger. “There will be a lot of games by Christmas. But with wins it is always easier.”