Bayer Leverkusen averts a low mood during the long winter break. The third win in a row was achieved with a 2-0 win over Stuttgart. For the guests, the year comes to an end without an away win.
Poor start to the season, successful finish: Bayer Leverkusen is back on the road to success after a long and worrying downturn. With a 2-0 (1-0) win over VfB Stuttgart, coach Xabi Alonso’s team achieved their third Bundesliga win in a row.
Thanks to goals from Moussa Diaby (30th minute) and Jonathan Tah (82nd), the Werkself were spared another setback in the last game before the long World Cup break in front of a sell-out crowd of 30,210 at the BayArena on Saturday.
Stuttgart extends the series of defeats
In contrast, the Swabians spend the winter near the relegation zone and also remained without a win in the 17th away game in a row in the Bundesliga and thus in the entire calendar year 2022 abroad. With his team’s appearance in Leverkusen, coach Michael Wimmer was only able to collect further arguments for a VfB future as head coach to a limited extent.
Buoyed by the recent wins against Union Berlin (5-0) and in Cologne (2-1), the Werkself took charge from the start. But against the well-staggered guest defense, it was difficult to create scoring chances at first. In addition, the Swabians showed little willingness to limit themselves to defensive tasks and tried to prevent Leverkusen’s feared switching game with a calm and safe build-up.
This tactic by Wimmer, under whose direction VfB had won four out of six competitive games, initially paid off. But as the season progressed, Leverkusen developed more imagination in their search for free space. The lead seemed close when Diaby (28′) and Nadiem Amiri (29′) shot just wide of the goal.
It happened a little later. The fast Diaby made a courageous start past two opponents with a shot from 18 meters, which was unluckily deflected into his own net by Waldemar Anton.
Still unimaginative after half-time
Nevertheless, the guests remained calm, but despite all possession of the ball, they rarely approached the opposing goal. That’s why the half-time lead for Leverkusen was okay. Especially since Kerem Demirbay (44th) hit the side netting with a free kick shortly before.
After the restart, the entertainment value of the game dropped. Although Stuttgart made a real effort to equalize, they were too unimaginative. And because the hosts rarely showed their great offensive potential, a game developed between the penalty areas with only a few goal-area scenes. Only when Jeremie Frimpong (63rd) hit the crossbar from close range after a remarkable counterattack did it get a little louder in the stands.
It was fitting for the dwindling level of the game that a standard set the stage for the second goal. After a corner from Demirbay and a header extension, defender Tah was there from close range and made the decision 2-0. Bayer have thus recorded ten out of twelve possible points and scored 13 goals in the four Bundesliga home games under Xabi Alonso.