Sunday, April 21, 2024

SC Freiburg 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen: Havertz the inspiration for Bayer once again

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Kai Havertz proved the difference once again for Bayer Leverkusen as they edged past SC Freiburg 1-0 on Friday evening.

It was a close-fought affair throughout the game with the decisive moment coming in the 55th minute of the game as Leon Bailey teed up the young German as he became the first 21-year-old in Bundesliga history to reach 35 league goals.

Lacking in quality

The first-half at the Schwarzwald-Stadion was a low-key affair, with both sides effectively cancelling each other out. Vincenzo Grifo and Havertz both had efforts deflected in what were amongst both teams’ best opportunities of the opening 20 minutes of the match.

Despite the lack of quality in the first period, the hosts really should have claimed the lead just before the break. Roland Sallai played an excellent through ball to Lucas Holer, who had a free run at the Leverkusen goal only to inexplicably side-foot wide.

Leverkusen get ahead

There was far more intent from the visitors following the break as Julian Baumgartlinger nodded on towards Charles Aranguiz but the Chilean could not get his effort on target. 

The deadlock was broken soon after as two of the most exciting talents in the Bundesliga, Havertz and Bailey, combined. The Jamaican produced a great run to race through the Freiburg defence before producing a wonderful backheeled reverse pass to his teammate in the penalty area. With the goalkeeper advancing, somehow Havertz managed to prod the ball underneath him for his 11th league goal of the season.

He nearly had another say as he combined with Florian Wirtz, with the latter then curling a great effort just wide.

Hradecky saves Leverkusen

The visitors enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the rest of the game but despite that Freiburg remained extremely dangerous. Christian Streich’s men should really have snatched a late point as Christian Gunter squared the ball to the unmarked Nils Pedersen. The ball was slightly behind the striker, allowing Lukas Hradecky to tip his low effort round the post as Leverkusen sealed the three points.

Final Thoughts

Considering the pattern of the game, it was always going to take something amazing or a mistake to separate both sides. That is exactly what happened as Bailey’s terrific run and pass was matched up by Havertz’s finish. The match will be of frustration for Freiburg whose indifferent period continues. They remain in eighth, whilst Leverkusen go up to third ahead of the rest of this weekend’s fixtures.

Match Report

SC Freiburg: Schwolow (6); Kubler (6) (Guter (5), 66′), Lienhart (6), Heintz (6), Gunter (7); Sallai (6) (Schmid (6), 66′), Koch (7) (Frantz (N/A), 76′), Hofler (6), Grifo (6) (Kwon (N/A), 77′); Holer (6) (Waldschmidt (N/A), 76′), Petersen (6).

Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky (7); Tah (8), S Bender (7), Dragovic (6); Amiri (6), Baumgartlinger (7), Aranguiz (6), Sinkgraven (6) (Alario (6), 62′); Wirtz (6) (Paulinho (N/A), 85′), Havertz (7) (Diaby (), 66′), Bailey (7) (Tapsoba (N/A), 85′).

Goals: Havertz (55′)

Referee: Marco Fritz

Yellow Cards: Alaria (81′), Amari (90+2′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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