Bayer Leverkusen and SC Freiburg were both looking to get their first win of the Bundesliga season Sunday. The home side desired a bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to Mainz, while Freiburg looked to improve on their impressive defensive display against Dortmund that saw them come away with a point. With both teams hungry to get their first win of the season, the clash at the BayArena was going to be interesting.
The scene was set at the BayArena, the atmosphere was surely going to help boost Leverkusen. It did just that. The whistle blew and both teams set out to stamp their influence on the game. The opening attack came from Freiburg which led to a corner. Initially the away side were closing down and pressuring Leverkusen on the the ball, resulting in limited spaces being created.
But this didn’t last long. The home side were soon able to break it down and work around Freiburg. Accurate passing proved to be Leverkusen’s forte going forward. Lining up with Julian Brandt on the left and Karim Bellarabi on the right, Leverkusen have some talented creators in attack. Favouring Bellarabi going forward in the initial stages, the home side were looking to take the upper hand. Passing around in Freiburg’s half, Leverkusen were able to control the game and essentially dictate the flow. It was starting to become a matter of time before Leverkusen scored. Up stepped Kevin Volland. A brilliant strike from range gave Die Werkself the advantage.
Full of confidence, Leverkusen shifted up a gear. In a game that was already looking like one way traffic, Leverkusen sought to make the most of the situation. If you enjoy a game of impressive strikes then this filled the bill. Charles Aránguiz’ brilliant strike deservedly increased the lead for the home side. It was all Leverkusen. Controlling the ball, Leverkusen are able to limit any threat Freiburg would pose going forward. Leverkusen weren’t finished yet in the second half, the home side made it 3-0 after Volland slotted it into the back of the net. The home side were clearly enjoying themselves. For Freiburg they were hoping half time would provide an opportunity to refresh and come out with new ideas. Advantage Leverkusen.
Full of confidence, everything was in favour of Leverkusen for the second half. The opening stages of the second half saw Heiko Herrlich’s side continue on the front foot. Leading 3-0, the Leverkusen fans were singing with pride, pushing their team forward. Christian Streich must have given his team a solid team talk as Freiburg were looking better than they were in the second half. Starting to see more of the ball, Freiburg were looking to do what they could in order to dig into Leverkusen’s lead. Slightly more positive going forward for the away side, there was now a bit of optimism going forward for Freiburg. Leverkusen didn’t look as dominating and overpowering as they did in the first half. As the second half continued the home side started to build up the style of play which proved to be dominating in the first half. Volland put the ball in the back of the net for what would have been his hat-trick but VAR ruled that a foul took place. Freiburg will be happy that VAR ruled in their favour. A few minutes later saw another chance fell to Leverkusen, only for Schwolow to save Mehmedi’s shot. Freiburg were having some bright sparks but were unable to create damage going forward, until the nail in the coffin came when Brandt caught Freiburg’s defence sleeping. Leverkusen brushed Freiburg aside to become the dominating forward in their clash at the BayArena.
Kevin Volland – The scintillating strike from Kevin Volland set Leverkusen on the front. Full of confidence they were able to dominate and control the game, especially in the first half. Volland’s second goal came in the 34th minute where he slotted it into the back of the net from close range. If it wasn’t for VAR (foul ruled), Volland would have come away with a hat-trick.
Man of the Match
Charles Aránguiz (1 goal, 2 assists, 3 key passes, 89% passing success on 80 attempts, 3 tackles, 6 interceptions, 2 clearances)
- Leverkusen – 65%
- Freiburg –35%
- Leverkusen – 22 (9 On Target)
- Freiburg – 4 (1 On Target)
- Leverkusen – 14
- Freiburg – 2
The statistics tell the story of the game. Domination from Leverkusen and disappointment from Freiburg. The first half saw Leverkusen take control and dictate the flow of the game. 72.1% possession, 87% pass accuracy, 12 shots, 6 chances created, Leverkusen dominated Freiburg in the first. The second was less dominating from Leverkusen, but they were able to put the nail in the coffin when Brandt scored to make it 4-0. Impressive performance from Leverkusen, and the first Bundesliga win for Herrlich.
Talking Points Leverkusen
- Control – Leverkusen controlled the game. The first half is prime example of a team dictating the flow of the game and limiting chances of the opposing team. From the get go Leverkusen controlled the game and essentially had a monopoly on the ball. 4-0 in some cases doesn’t give Leverkusen’s display justice. It could have been more.
- Creativity – The home side were able to create a total of 14 chance against Freiburg. It was evident in their style of play that this was going to be the case. Dominating possession and passing around the opposing team, Leverkusen had the players needed to create chances and put them in the lead. The only issue for Leverkusen coming away from this performance is that they could have scored more. Freiburg will be thankful they didn’t.
- Strikes – If you want to watch a game of impressive strikes then this is the one. Volland and Aránguiz had two beautiful strikes to help Leverkusen beat Freiburg.
Talking Points Freiburg
- Struggle – Freiburg struggled against Leverkusen. The first half especially painted a grim picture for the away side. Yet to win a game in the Bundesliga this season, Freiburg will be hoping they can bounce back from this performance.
- Possession – In the first half Leverkusen basically had a monopoly of the ball. Freiburg only had 27.7% possession in the first half. Struggling to get the ball, Freiburg were limited going forward.
- Creativity – Yet again, creativity appears to be an issue for Freiburg. Creating only 2 chances and having 4 shots, it’s clear that Freiburg are lacking the creativity and spark going forward. The loss of Max Philipp (who scored twice for BvB later Sunday) to Dortmund and Vincenzo Grifo to Gladbach has left a void in Freiburg’s creativity.
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