Bayer Leverkusen was riding high coming into November, defeating Wolfsburg and Bayern in the Bundesliga, and Atletico Madrid and Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League. And then the floor fell out from under them. A loss to Juventus knocked them out of Champions League. Then Cologne won the derby. And now, Hertha snuck a goal in front of their traveling fans to keep Leverkusen goalless and pointless in their last three games.
That’s not to say that Leverkusen wasn’t trying to score, of course. Bosz ball tactics were clearly in effect. Leverkusen out-possessed Hertha BSC nearly two to one. They fired 14 crosses into the box compared to Hertha’s one. But all that possession, all those opportunities turned to nothing. Meanwhile, Rekik needed a quick opening and put his shot away to give the away side the win.
The pre-match Santa hat and keychain giveaways turned into projectiles 90 minutes later. Some ultras groups wrapped up their banners before the final whistle. Leverkusen players had to come over the barriers to talk with the fans to show that they’re still trying.
Peter Bosz said it was just a “bad week.” Over and over he said it was a bad week. Unfortunately for him, it’s an Englische Woche and the week is not quite done. But just one more match stands between his side and the winter break, a match against lowly Mainz could brighten things up for Leverkusen. But time will tell.
Hertha BSC starting 11: Jarstein, Skjelbred, Rekik, Darida (Maier, 90+1‘), Klünter, Grujic, Dilrosun, Boyata, Plattenhardt (C), Selke (Köpke, 72‘), Lukebakio (Wolf, 65‘)
Unused subs: Smarsch, Stark, Kalou, Mittelstädt, Ibisevic, Torunarigha
Head coach: Jürgen Klinsmann
Bayer Leverkusen starting 11: Hradecky, Tah, S. Bender, L. Bender (C) (Retsos, 46‘), Amiri, Alario, Diaby, Aranguiz, Sinkgraven, Havertz (Paulinho, 72‘), Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Demirbay, Wendell, Stanilewicz, Azhil
Head coach: Peter Bosz
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