Bayer Leverkusen made the early qualification for the Champions League perfect. Despite falling behind twice, the Werkself won 4-2 (1-2) at TSG Hoffenheim on the penultimate day of the Bundesliga match and can no longer be pushed out of the top four in the table.
Rudi Völler could see the joy and pride: The sports director of Bayer Leverkusen hugged the professionals and head coach Gerardo Seoane warmly, the 4: 2 (1: 2) win at TSG Hoffenheim gave the factory club the farewell to the world champion of 1990 from Bayer’s operative business to get back into the Champions League.
Even before the final whistle, the Bayer fans had chanted “Oh, how nice that is”, there were T-shirts from the Rhinelanders for the players with the inscription: “Back again – premier class, the 13th.” A club goal record was also set with 78 goals.
“It was the big goal this year. It was a young team with a lot of potential. The team fought in the last few games,” said sporting director Simon Rolfes sky-Microphone. Top scorer Patrik Schick, with 24 goals this season one of the guarantors of entering the Champions League, added: “We’re at the end of the season and didn’t have that much strength left. There’s no reason to complain.” Jonathan Tah said: “I’m very proud of the team, a lot of people didn’t believe in us anymore.”
Double packer Schick (34th/76th), Moussa Diaby (73rd) and Lucas Alario (90th + 1) scored for the Leverkusen team, who last made it into the premier class in the 2019/20 season. Hoffenheim have been waiting for a win for eight games and no longer have a chance of the European Cup. The goals from Georginio Rutter (22nd) and Christoph Baumgartner (36th) didn’t change that.
Patrik Schick scores an equalizer worth seeing
The 20,000 spectators in Sinsheim saw committed hosts at the beginning. Rutter caused danger early on in front of the Leverkusen goal (4th). It was only after almost 20 minutes that the guests, who were missing Kerem Demirbay from Hoffenheim, Florian Wirtz, Amine Adli, Karim Bellarabi and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, were able to improve a little and were better in the game.
However, Seoane’s team couldn’t create chances – quite the opposite. After a failure by full-back Piero Hincapie, Rutter scored for TSG after strong preliminary work from Baumgartner.
Only after falling behind did Leverkusen increase the number of strokes. The increased efforts were quickly rewarded. After a cross from Diaby, striker Schick equalized with a remarkable direct acceptance.
Hoffenheim, who had to do without Florian Grillitsch, Havard Nordtveit, Chris Richards (all will leave TSG at the end of the season), Benjamin Hübner, Ermin Bicakcic and Marco John, were only briefly shocked. Baumgartner put TSG back in front after a cross from Pavel Kaderabek.
Alario follows up in stoppage time
Seoane’s break speech, who brought in Mitchel Bakker for Hincapie, must have been tough. At the beginning of the second half, Bayer put pressure on Schick to equalize (51′).
Hoffenheim were very busy on the defensive, but remained dangerous on the counterattack. Munas Dabbur missed a cross from international David Raum with a header (54′), and Andrej Kramaric also had a good chance (63′).
Two minutes later, Diaby was very close to equalizing at the other end. Shortly thereafter he did better, Schick followed suit. In the 79th minute, Jacob Bruun Larsen and Kramaric missed a double chance to equalize. Alario made everything clear in stoppage time.
TSG Hoffenheim – Bayer Leverkusen: The voices of the game
Sebastian Hoeneß (Hoffenheim coach): “We can be very satisfied with the first half, we were very brave there. The game was much more open in the second half. From our point of view, it was very bitter at the end.”
Gerardo Seoane (Leverkusen coach): “We saw the handbrake on in the first half. The second half was sensational. We looked for a much more direct path forward.”
TSG Hoffenheim – Bayer Leverkusen: The data of the game