From: 23/04/2022 17:19
Bayer Leverkusen celebrated an important victory in the battle for the Champions League ranks at SpVgg Greuther Fürth, thus sealing the Franks’ relegation from the Bundesliga on the 31st match day.
The Werkself narrowly won 4-1 (2-1) in Fürth on Saturday (23.04.2022) and thus defended the fourth place. With three games left, Fürth have no chance of relegation. “It hurts brutally,” Fürth sports director Raschid Azzouzi said after the final whistle in an interview with the sports show.
Due to the tense midfield situation, Bayer started this season for the first time this season with attacking duo Sardar Azmoun and Patrik Schick, who scored four goals in the 7-1 victory in the first match. Fürth coach Stefan Leitl had only 15 fielders available due to injuries and Corona. In front, Jessic Ngankam was allowed to play alongside Branimir Hrgota.
Schick and Azmoun run early deficits
The game started with a Fürther dream start. With the first attack, the hosts took the lead through Jetro Willems. The Dutchman was there when a Ngankam shot was blocked by Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky and pushed the ball over the line (5 ‘). “Fürth were miles better than in the first game,” Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky said in an interview with Sportschau after the final whistle. The first meeting between the two teams this season ended in a 7-1 victory for Werkself.
Leverkusen’s response to the early goal did not wait: After a corner kick, Schick scored artistically with a heel from close range to equalize (8 ‘). It remained an open match, with Bayer gratefully accepting a gift from Fürth in the 18th minute. Fürth’s goalkeeper Andreas Linde shot Azmoun, who then easily made it 2-1 for Bayer, after a failed clearing attempt. The bottom of the table held up well in the ensuing period, making the game much more balanced than in the first game. However, little happened in the two penalty areas for a long time, until Schick forced Linde to make a good save in the 41st minute.
Paulinho’s second goal counts
Even after the switch, both teams initially met at eye level. Paulinho’s counterattack was impressive and was only stopped by a shocking foul. Four minutes later, however, the Brazilian struck again, and this time it was the goal that counted. After strong preparation by Azmoun, Paulinho scored to make it 3-1 (58 ‘). Ngankam scored almost immediately with the goal from Fürth, but the Fürth striker did not hit the ball properly with his volley (60 ‘).
Fürth’s Stefan Leitl and a “fucking” emotional state
Bayer now gave Fürth more freedom. Tobias Raschl tried it from distance, but shot well over goal (65th). On the other hand, Schick missed a great chance to make it 4-1 (68th). The home team continued to play energetically and created many problems for Leverkusen’s defense team. After another missed opportunity by Schick (79 ‘) for Bayer, Timothy Tillmann (82’) and Raschl (84 ‘) also missed for Greuther Fürth. Substitute Exequiel Palacios scored with a long shot for 4-1 (85 ‘).
Fürth on Friday, Bayer on Monday
While Greuther Fürth will be challenged in Union Berlin next Friday (April 29 at 20.30), Leverkusen has three more days to prepare for the 32nd match day. Due to the semi-finals of the Europa League from next opponent Eintracht Frankfurt and the holiday on May 1, Bayer 04 will not welcome the Hessians until Monday, May 2 (20.30).