Bayer Leverkusen had to accept the next severe setback in its race to catch up in the Bundesliga. The Werkself lost 1-0 (0-0) at FC Augsburg after a poor showing and lost sight of the European Cup for the time being. FCA celebrated an important three-pointer in the fight to remain in the league and, on the twelfth attempt, their first home win against their feared opponents Leverkusen.
Mergim Berisha (55th) rewarded an at least combatively convincing performance with his sixth goal of the season. Moussa Diaby (30th) hit the post for Leverkusen five days after the bitter defeat against Borussia Dortmund (0:2).
“In the second half we let ourselves be fooled. We didn’t do enough up front,” said Bayer midfielder Robert Andrich DAZN: “That was a step backwards, very annoying, it pisses me off.”
At first, the 27,318 spectators in the WWK Arena experienced football backwards: FCA, the team with the least possession of the ball in the league, dictated what was happening. Leverkusen let Augsburg come, but usually intercepted the attacks in the newly formed back three before they entered the penalty area.
There were hardly any chances to score. After a corner, Bayer defender Piero Hincapie tested goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz (9′), on the other side keeper Lukas Hradecky cleared before Mergim Berisha (24′). Only after half an hour did the guests give up their reluctance – and were almost rewarded: winger Diaby hit aluminum from an acute angle.
Bayer had to do without the offensive players Nadiem Amiri (muscular problems) and Sardar Azmoun (ill) for a short time, Patrik Schick was still missing after his injury and Florian Wirtz, like Jonathan Tah, was initially on the bench. Without this attack power not much went forward in the second half. For their part, FCA sorely missed their most accurate shooter, Ermedin Demirovic (suspended).
But its representatives finally showed that they too can be relied on. Dion Beljo, one of Augsburg’s seven (!) winter signings, tested Hradecky, who struggled to clear the corner. The following cross was used by Berisha to take the lead.
FC Augsburg: Berisha leaves the preliminary decision
Bayer coach Xabi Alonso reacted to the deficit and brought on Wirtz and Kerem Demirbay (62nd). Augsburg was literally constricted at times, but the angry attacks were far too rare.
Instead, Berisha had the 2-0 on the foot in counterattacks (71./80.). Once he couldn’t control the ball, then he acted a little too hastily.
FC Augsburg – Bayer Leverkusen: The data for the game