Bayer Leverkusen suffered a serious setback in its race to catch up in the race for a place in the European Cup. Coach Xabi Alonso’s team lost 2-3 (1-2) against FSV Mainz 05 and are now eleven points behind sixth place in tenth place. Mainz, victorious for the first time in four away games, climbed past the Werkself to ninth place.
Anthony Caci (26′) and Leandro Barreiro (45’+4′) gave the visitors the lead twice. Nadiem Amiri (32nd) and returnee Patrik Schick (58th) each equalized for Leverkusen. Mainz goalkeeper Finn Dahmen (23rd) saved a penalty after video evidence against Edmond Tapsoba. In the closing stages, substitute Marcus Ingvartsen (82′, penalty kick) scored for the 05er after Leverkusen’s Amine Adli saw red for an emergency brake (80′).
Overall, Alonso made six changes to his starting XI on Sunday evening compared to the 3-2 defeat on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League against AS Monaco. Among others, national players Florian Wirtz and Joker Schick were on the bench until the 55th minute. Winger Moussa Diaby was missing.
The 27,002 spectators in the BayArena saw a slow start. Although Leverkusen had more time in the game, FSV goalkeeper Dahmen had no problems with the only shots by Amiri (7th) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (11th).
A foul play by Anton Stach on Bayer’s Sardar Azmoun caused the first excitement in the middle of the first half. Referee Robert Schröder pointed straight to the point and stuck to his decision even after looking at the television pictures again. Tapsoba, who is usually a reliable penalty taker, shot the ball into Dahmen’s arms.
Only moments later, the guests from Mainz also got into the game offensively: Barreiro tested Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky (24th). Thanks to a misguided pass from Odilon Kossounou in his own penalty area, Caci scored the opener in the following attack to take the lead.
Not at all shocked, Leverkusen hit back: After a counterattack, Amiri outwitted Dahmen, who was running out, with a powerful shot from the turn. Shortly before the break things got hectic again. First Barreiro scored after a remarkable combination. Then referee Schröder took back a penalty kick after a foul on Mainz’s Karim Onisiwo and awarded Leverkusen a free kick in a previous action.
Alonso reacted and brought on Wirtz and returnee Schick ten minutes after the restart, who was the beneficiary after a save by Dahmen and a shot by Azmoun. Then Ingvartsen stayed ice cold from the point.
Bayer Leverkusen – FSV Mainz 05: The data for the game