Bayer 04 Leverkusen – TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Static structures and stale mechanisms result in stalemate (0-0)
A game completely dictated by Peter Bosz’s Leverkusen hinged, for them at least, on what they could produce through their own attacking approach. The result: very little. Short and predictable plays were at the forefront of their frustrations as Hoffenheim’s Alfred Schreuder looked to be more direct in his offensive approach.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
Bosz’s time at Bayer seems to be going from strength to strength with a perfect start to the new Bundesliga season. In contrast, Alfred Schreuder had big boots to fill to succeed one Julian Nagelsmann. Having been his assistant for three years, as well as Erik ten Hag’s assistant for a season, he has stepped up into the role in good stead. In any case, there is always bound to be a level of apprehension behind whether or not the Dutchman could make the cut and maintain the club’s new high-level expectations.
The home side were clearly content with their 4-3-3 setup that beat Fortuna Düsseldorf away from home last weekend, as Bosz named the exact same lineup for this match.
On the other side of the fence, Schreuder made some changes of his own, bringing in Ishak Belfodil up front for Robert Skov, as well as replacing Christoph Baumgartner with Florian Grillitsch, as he shifted to a 4-2-3-1 system.
Bayer test the water early on
Rather than a haywire pressing battle, there was definitely a settling in period as Hoffenheim afforded Bayer’s center-backs some room with the ball. Their 4-2-3-1 setup was quite reserved in their pressing – only looking to move to . . .