Werder Bremen – Bayer Leverkusen: Three Timely Goals ‘Gift’ Xabi Alonso Three Points (0-3)
Leverkusen beat Bremen 3-0 to gift their manager the perfect birthday present. In a comfortable victory, the away side showcased their qualities across all phases. Two timely goals, both from second phases of corner kicks, were the reward for a controlled first half performance. And in the second half, Leverkusen demonstrated their threat in transition to seal the win and reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga.
Tactical analysis and match report by Nick Smoothy.
Going into the November international break, Bayer Leverkusen sat atop of the Bundlesliga table having made their best ever start to a top-flight season. However, going into this fixture against Weder Bremen, the visitors had been ousted from first place following Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win at Cologne the evening prior.
Xabi Alonso, who was celebrating his 42nd birthday, named one change to his previous starting line-up. Ahead of Lukáš Hrádecký in goal, Robert Andrich came into the back three, sandwiched in between Odilon Kossonou and Piero Hincapié. Granit Xhaka and Exequiel Palacios operated as a double pivot, with Jonas Hofmann and Florian Wirtz advanced more centrally, supporting Victor Boniface in attack, and Jeremie Frimpong and Álex Grimaldo provided the team width as wing-backs.
For Bremen, the hosts had endured a less successful start to their 2023/24 campaign compared to their opponents. Prior to kick-off, the home side sat in 12th position, with a record of three wins, two draws and six defeats. Offering some solace to the Bremen faithful was that ten of their eleven points so far had been won at the Weserstadion.
Manager Ole Werner named an unchanged starting team . . .