Bayer Leverkusen finished the last friendly of the pre-season with a sense of achievement. In Zell am See, Austria, the Werkself beat Italian first division side Udinese Calcio 2-1 (0-0). VfL Bochum, on the other hand, clearly lost their penultimate test match.
In the 1: 4 (0: 0) against the Spanish first division club Athletic Bilbao, the team of coach Thomas Reis in Gütersloh had no chance despite being in the lead for long stretches.
After a goalless first half, Bochum’s coach brought in four new players, including winger Gerrit Holtmann. The 27-year-old had extended his contract with VfL on Thursday by two years until 2025.
With new momentum, Bochum then surprisingly took the lead through Simon Zoller (58th). Only a little later, however, Raul Garcia (65th) equalized. In the closing minutes, Asier Villalibre (83′, 88′) and Inaki Williams (84′) boosted Bilbao’s score.
At the end of the pre-season, Bochum is testing against the Turkish club Antalyaspor on Saturday. The first competitive game follows on July 30 in the first round of the DFB Cup against the regional league team Viktoria Berlin.
Test matches: Leverkusen beats Udinese
Bayer had the better finishes in a sometimes rough first half, in which new signing Adam Hlozek made his starting XI debut, but failed to score. Joker Edmond Tapsoba (55′) did better after the break and gave the Werkself the lead after a corner by Kerem Demirbay. Paulinho (76′) increased with a remarkable lob, Roberto Pereyra’s goal from the penalty spot (82′) came too late for Udinese.
Before that, coach Gerardo Seoane’s side had drawn 0-0 against Greek first division side Panathinaikos Athens on Sunday.
Leverkusen will play their first competitive game of the season on July 30 in the first round of the DFB Cup against third division side SV Elversberg. Seoane’s team will face runners-up Borussia Dortmund at the start of the Bundesliga on August 6th.