Leverkusen and Leipzig shine even without Havertz and Werner

Leverkusen (dpa) – football for connoisseurs, extraordinary goals – and a lot of potential: Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have almost forgotten the departures of the exceptional players Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in a direct duel.

“It was an interesting game with a lot of speed, sometimes too much,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann after the 1-1 (1-1). “There’s no shame in drawing here.”

Hardly anyone spoke about the ex-Leverkusen-based Havertz or the former RB striker Werner, who both switched to Chelsea in the summer. Only Bayer coach Peter Bosz mentioned in the positive analysis: “Good, Werner wasn’t there. That’s a big difference.” Nevertheless, his team’s good game was “a further step”.

The 6042 admitted spectators, who were evenly distributed in the BayArena, were well entertained at the debut of the Leipzig successor Alexander Sörloth. “Our aggressiveness today was offensive, wanting to score goals and keep trying,” said Kerem Demirbay, the linchpin in the Leverkusen midfield.

The often criticized 27-year-old called his potential that afternoon and scored one of two dream goals. In the 20th minute, he snipped the ball from 17 meters under the crossbar to equalize. With this, Demirbay also stopped the rapid early phase of the Saxons, which Emil Forsberg had crowned. The Swedish playmaker duped Lars Bender with a feint and slammed the ball from eleven meters with his left into the short corner (14th minute). “We got in well, but then we had no access, hardly any possession and were standing too low. It wasn’t a really good game from us,” said Forsberg at Sky.

Nagelsmann took Forsberg, who excelled in the 3-1 win against Mainz at the start of the league, after a little more than an hour. Yussuf Poulsen (27th) was caught far too early and was replaced by Sörloth due to an injury. “Actually, it is not entirely fair to bring him into a game like this. The actions he had with the ball were good,” said Nagelsmann and emphasized that one also had to be “patient” to “take small steps in development.” .

Because it was obvious that day, the Leipzig coach promised the competitor from Leverkusen “a lot of fun” with his former player Patrik Schick. The newcomer from the Czech Republic was on the field for the first time in his third competitive game for Bayer and almost became the match winner. But his presumed goal by a wonderful flick from 16 meters into the long corner was not recognized because of offside (77th). “He is incredibly dangerous with standards and crosses. His goal, that was his parade shot with the left,” said Nagelsmann to the Czech, who allegedly cost Leverkusen 26.5 million euros and with whom Leipzig also negotiated a return.

So the question of why not Schick but Sörloth fills the big gap after the departure of Timo Werner (28 goals / 9 assists 2019/2020) was easily answered for Nagelsmann – with a wink: “An expensive one, that’s why we don’t have him more.”

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