Leverkusen (AP) – Lucas Alario gave Bayer Leverkusen a lackluster win against favorite opponents FC Augsburg and ex-coach Heiko Herrlich as well as the jump to fourth place in the Bundesliga.
The Argentine became the match winner with two goals in the evening in the Werkself’s 3-1 (1-0) win against FC Augsburg. Thus Leverkusen remained undefeated in the 19th Bundesliga duel with the Swabians. The FCA, which started well and bravely countered on Monday, whose coach Herrlich trained Leverkusen from July 2017 to December 2018, is now eleventh after two defeats in a row.
“Of course we would have liked to take something with us. The opportunity was there. But at the back it was deserved for Leverkusen that they won the game,” said Herrlich.
As in previous Bundesliga games, Bayer, who celebrated a 6-2 win against OGC Nice in the Europa League on Thursday, only impressed to a limited extent. Significantly, the Rhinelander needed a lucky, but rule-compliant hand penalty to lead Alario (16.). Ex-Schalke Daniel Caliguiri scored the interim equalizer with his second goal in the FCA jersey (51st), before Alario again headed the decisive goal (74th). Moussa Diaby (90 + 4) made everything clear in stoppage time.
“We got into the game really well and didn’t let anything burn. In the second half the game almost tipped over. After that we did well. In the end, the win was deserved,” said Leverkusen’s Julian Baumgartlinger to the streaming service DAZN. On the other hand, Augsburg captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw was disappointed: “Leverkusen play good football. We held up well, but it wasn’t enough.” The FCA knew how to convince, with early pressing the guests caused Bayer some problems.
However, Raphael Framberger ruined the good initial phase with an indebted hand penalty when he awkwardly deflected a header from Alario with his arm. The Argentine did not let the chance be taken from the point and scored for the first time in three competitive games in his fourth Bayer season.
Otherwise Bayer could not build on the gala against Nice. A long-range shot by Nadiem Amiri was the most likely cause of problems for FCA keeper Rafal Gikiewicz (28th), otherwise there was no way through against the compact Augsburg defense in the first round. The large goal area scenes were also missing on the other side, so that a tough game developed. Unlucky was Lars Bender, who had to go out in the first half after a collision with Iago.
The game picked up speed in the second half. Moussa Diaby missed the big chance to make it 2-0 when he made the wrong choice with a cross pass in front of Gikiewicz (48th). That should take revenge, because Caligiuri managed to equalize shortly afterwards after a fine pass from substitute Ruben Vargas. And Augsburg stayed on the trigger and was closer to the second goal than Leverkusen with quick forwards.
But Leverkusen reported back. First of all, the FCA was very lucky a few times. When the hosts had a double chance, Gikiewicz saved a shot from Florian Wirtz, and Leon Bailey hit the crossbar (66th). Then Alario hit the post with his head (72.). Two minutes later, however, it happened with an Alario header from Amiri’s free kick. In the end, Diaby also met.