October 24, 2017

Bundesliga Match of the Week 4: Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4-0 SC Freiburg

Match: Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Volland x2, Aranguiz, Brandt) 4-0 SC Freiburg

Description:

Bayer Leverkusen came back with a bang after their 3-1 defeat to Mainz. Playing in a packed out BayArena, Leverkusen were in a great situation to bounce back. With the atmosphere bouncing, the scene was set for Leverkusen to register their first win of the Bundesliga season.

Looking to put an identity from the get go, both Leverkusen and Freiburg started the game with intensity. Freiburg had the first attacking opportunity of the game, but unfortunately for the away side they were unable to take advantage of it. Later on in the game they were going to regret that. When Leverkusen had the ball, Freiburg were applying pressure, limiting space and opportunities for the home side going forward. This worked for a short period of the game. As time went on Leverkusen started to gain the upper hand. The home side were starting to gain possession. As play built up, Freiburg had to sit back with their players in their own half, working on defending and limiting the Leverkusen attack. For the home side they were making the most of possession and accurate passing. This was developing into chances created and creativity going forward. Soon it was becoming one way traffic, Leverkusen put their identity on the game and the home side were on the front foot. It was only a matter of time before Leverkusen scored. Up stepped Volland in the 21st minute who had an incredible strike from distance go in the back of Freiburg’s net. It was looking bright for Leverkusen. Deservedly in the lead, Leverkusen gained further confidence from Volland’s goal, they put the pedal to the floor and upped the ante. With the game in their favour, the home side were rewarded with another impressive strike. Aranguiz struck the ball from distance, making it 2-0 to Leverkusen. After their impressive defensive display against Dortmund, Freiburg were struggling to stop Leverkusen. Essentially having a monopoly on the ball, the home side were dictating the game and severely limiting Freiburg’s opportunities. Freiburg were punished further after Volland slotted it into the back of the net to make it 3-0. Half time needed to come quicker for the away side. Leverkusen were dominating the first half.

The whistle blew the start the second half and the home side set out to continue their dominance. On the front foot in the opening stages of the second half, the home side looked impressive. As expected, Christian Streich must have given his team an honest team talk as Freiburg looked slightly rejuvenated in the initial stages of the second half. Starting to see more of the ball, Freiburg looked like they were working their way back into the game. A positive sight for Freiburg fans. But unfortunately for the away side they weren’t able to do too much with the ball when they had it. A few chances created but not enough to challenge Leverkusen. The home side didn’t look as dominant as they did in the first half, despite that they still looked like the dominating side. As time went the home side were building up play and started to regain that dominating style of play that took place in the first half. Plenty of opportunities were coming to Leverkusen to make it 4-0. Yet again it was only a matter of time before Leverkusen were rewarded. That came in the 86th minute when Brandt scored to make it 4-0. The nail had been put in the coffin. Leverkusen bounced back with a dominating win.

Statistics:

Bayer 04 Leverkusen:

  • 64.9% Possession
  • 4 Goals
  • 22 Shots (9 On Target)
  • 51.1% Duels won
  • 659 Passes (578 Short Passes, 63 Long Balls, 1 Through Ball, 17 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 6)
  • 85.4% Pass Accuracy
  • 812 Touches
  • 14 Chances Created
  • 16 Crosses
  • 18 Take Ons
  • 18 Interceptions
  • 12 Clearances
  • 10 Blocks

SC Freiburg:

  • 35.1% Possession
  • 0 Goals
  • 4 Shots (1 On Target)
  • 48.9% Duels Won
  • 355 Passes (288 Short Passes, 61 Long Balls, 6 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 4)
  • 69.8% Pass Accuracy
  • 491 Touches
  • 2 Chances Created
  • 6 Crosses
  • 11 Take Ons
  • 15 Interceptions
  • 18 Clearances
  • 18 Blocks

Kevin Volland has now scored 7 in 8 Bundesliga games against Freiburg

Kevin Volland’s brace against Freiburg was his first since October 2015

Lars and Sven Bender played alongside each other in a competitive club game for the first time in 3061 days

In their previous 6 matches, Leverkusen and Freiburg have beat each other twice each

In their previous 6 matches, Leverkusen and Freiburg have scored 7 goals each

(Statistics provided by Bundesliga.com, DW, Squawka, Onefootball, WhoScored, Opta, etc.)

Analysis:

Both Bayer Leverkusen and SC Freiburg were going into the game looking to register their first win of the Bundesliga season. Leverkusen are going into this game coming away from a 3-1 defeat to Mainz. A bounce back was exactly what they needed. Freiburg came away from their game against Dortmund with a positive draw. An impressive defensive display provided a stepping stone going into their clash against Bayer Leverkusen. The whistle blew and both teams set out put their identity on the game. The away side had the initial attack but that appeared to be it for Freiburg in the second half. Leverkusen sought to take advantage of the boost given by the impressive atmosphere at the BayArena. Working their way into the game, the home side looked to be gaining the upper hand in terms of possession and passing. Passing maps provided by Squawka shows how Leverkusen in the opening 15 minutes of the game were laying down the structure that helped provide the dominating football that saw them blow away Freiburg.

The image above clearly shows Leverkusen’s domination in passing when compared to Freiburg. The away side saw little of the ball, and when they did they had problems making the most of it. This style of play by Leverkusen allowed for them to begin to limit Freiburg’s opportunities and start to dictate the flow of the game. Furthermore, Leverkusen were favouring the right side when attacking, taking advantage of Bellarabi’s pace and ability create opportunities.

A grim picture was starting to be painted for Freiburg. The home side were on the front foot and it was becoming a matter of time before they would score. Leverkusen were rewarded in the 21st minute with a scintillating strike from Kevin Volland. A well worked goal from midfield, Volland was set up with an accurate pass from Aranguiz. Volland carries the ball forward only strike the ball perfectly from distance. The Freiburg keeper didn’t stand a chance.

As you can see from the image above, Volland’s strike was sublime and shows exactly what he can do on the pitch. This was a great piece of individual brilliance. Leading up to the goal, Leverkusen has 4 shots, 3 chances created, 3 take ons, 87 % pass accuracy, and 225 touches in 20 minutes. The game was in Leverkusen’s favour and they made sure to take advantage of that. Full of confidence from Volland’s goal, the home side upped the ante even more. Hungry for more, Leverkusen punished Freiburg who were unable to get into the game. With another scintillating strike, Aranguiz put the home side into the lead in the 29th minute.

Starting from corner, Aranguiz latched onto the ball headed away from the box, there was no stopping him the half-volley from distance. It was yet another strike that shows individual brilliance. Leverkusen were looking unstoppable. Dominating possession and dictating the game, Freiburg were left struggling. Leading up to Aranguiz’s goal, Freiburg in the opening 30 minutes were unable to register a shot or create a chance. Credit has to be given to Leverkusen in this case, they were simply in domination mode and there was no stopping them. Freiburg were punished yet again. The 34th minute saw Volland get his second goal of the game.

It seemed like the game was over already. Leverkusen were in control and dominating the game. The first half saw Leverkusen have a total of 72.1% possession, 12 shots, 87% pass accuracy, 6 chances created, 12 crosses and 6 take ons. When compared to Freiburg it makes it even more impressive. Freiburg had 27.9% possession, 1 shot, 64% pass accuracy, 1 chance created, 2 crosses and 3 take ons. Leverkusen and manager Heiko Herrlich played it perfectly. Favouring the right when attacking and using short and accurate passing, the home side were able to work their way through and around Freiburg. Dominating midfield, the home side were able to dictate the flow of the game and apply their style of play. Breaking down Freiburg appeared to be something of ease when it came to Freiburg in the first half. When spaces opened up, Leverkusen sought to take advantage of that. Having a player such as Bellarabi on the right allows for his pace to be used in getting around and behind the opposing teams defenders. Creating opportunities going forward was on the menu for Leverkusen.

The second half whistle blew and the home side appeared to go on the front foot immediately. Expectedly full of confidence, Leverkusen tried to continue from where they left off. This didn’t exactly go to plan as Freiburg looked to be somewhat refreshed and reenergised in the opening stages of the second half. Seeing more of the ball, the away side were looking to limit the damage caused by Leverkusen. They were rewarded with an opportunity in attack, but unfortunately for Freiburg, Terrazzino’s shot went wide. Freiburg only had 2 more shots for the rest of the game. Something that summarises their struggle in creating opportunities.

As time went on, Leverkusen started to gain back some of the style of play that had been dominating in the first half. Building it back up, the home side were on the front foot yet again. Shots and chances created were in abundance, something Freiburg were beginning to envy. Growing into the second half, Leverkusen were pushing on and appeared to still be looking for yet another goal. Bad news for Freiburg. While being somewhat more defensive in the second half, Leverkusen were looking threatening going forward.

The combination of midfield and attacking proved to be a deadly component. Similar to that of the first half, Leverkusen were rewarded for their efforts. In the 86th minute, Julian Brandt was set up with a long pass from Aranguiz, only for Brandt to be facing the keeper one on one. From there it was easy for Brandt who slotted it into the back of the net.

The nail was in the coffin and the game was over. Leverkusen bounced back with an impressive win and were able to dominate Freiburg. The style of play employed by Herrlich proved too much to handle for the away side. Favouring right side of Bellarabi when attacking (44% of Leverkusen’s attack was down the right), using short and accurate passing (85.4% pass accuracy), Leverkusen were able to create a total of 14 chances and have 22 shots on goal.

The domination seen by Leverkusen was enough to blow away Freiburg and register their first win of the season. After that performance, Leverkusen should be full confidence going into their next game against Hertha Berlin.

Honourable Mention:

FC Bayern München 4-0 1. FSV Mainz 05

Borussia Dortmund 5-0 1. FC Kӧln

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From Yorkshire, Callum fell for the beautiful game at an early age. The Bundesliga first caught his attention in 2014. Since then, his admiration and interest for the Bundesliga has developed greatly. Falling in love with what the Bundesliga and Germany has to offer was easy. So Callum, decided to put his passion into words. You can find him on Twitter @CallumSeniuk

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