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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Champions League: Leverkusen hopes for Europe effect

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It wasn’t convincing, but Leverkusen will play internationally after the winter break. In the Bundesliga, Bayer is now challenged against the leaders. A Bayer leader knows the team well.

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Robert Andrich objectively classified the positive experience in the last Champions League group game and was already looking to the coming weekend.

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“I think that each of us is aware that we have something completely different in front of us on Sunday,” said the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder after the 0-0 draw against FC Brugge, which at least secured the Rhinelander the international consolation prize. After the premier class was already certain, the point was enough to continue playing in the intermediate round of the Europa League in February. At the weekend it’s against Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin – Andrich’s ex-club.

“Now we’ve reached our goal. We still have three games before the World Cup break and we want to get as many points as possible,” said the 28-year-old. Bayer 04 urgently need them to avoid being relegated at Christmas. Leverkusen is currently in relegation rank 16.

A messed-up season so far

In terms of football, the home game against Bruges gave little reason to hope for a quick turnaround in the so far messed up season. Coach Xabi Alonso rightly stated three days after the 0: 2 against RB Leipzig: “From a defensive point of view, it was an improvement.” Offensively, where Bayer’s strengths lay in the past, little worked against the Belgians either.

Bayer somehow lost the creativity, speed and goal threat of the past – although the responsible players like Moussa Diaby, Patrik Schick or Kerem Demirbay are still there. “Playing accurately in the spaces: We often lack that in order to become dangerous,” Andrich mentioned as an explanation for the lack of attacking power.

Carro: Getting ahead is a positive experience

Players and officials are now hoping for a positive effect of the international winter, which was also possible thanks to the help of FC Porto, which defeated Atlético Madrid 2-1. “Even though we didn’t win the game, getting through is a positive experience,” said manager Fernando Carro. “I think that’s extremely important for morale.”

According to Andrich, the team knows how serious the situation is and the attitude is right. “It’s always about giving everything, doing, doing. You can see that in the team in the last few games,” he said. “And then we’ll work out our luck again.”

Source: Stern

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