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Wirtz saves Bayer's super series: Alonso must be loud

2023-12-10T17:28:47.019Z

Highlights: Wirtz saves Bayer's super series: Alonso must be loud. Thanks to a stronger second half, the unbeaten league leaders drew 1-1 (0-1) at VfB on Sunday. In front of 54,500 spectators, Chris Führich had given the Swabians the lead (40th) The Bayer team extended the gap to FC Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga table to four points, but the Munich team have played one game less. After a brilliant first half, surprise third-placed Stuttgart missed out on an even better way to get in the mood for next Sunday's away game at Bayern.



Status: 10.12.2023, 18:15 p.m.

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Stuttgart's Dan-Axel Zagadou (l) in action against Leverkusen's Patrik Schick (r). © Tom Weller/dpa

In a thrilling duel, leaders Leverkusen only got up to speed in the second half. A national player saves the Super Series.

Stuttgart - Xabi Alonso put his arm around the shoulder of his super technician Florian Wirtz. The successful Spanish coach knew who he had to thank for keeping Bayer Leverkusen's super run going after a loud half-time speech. The Germany international, who recovered in time, saved the 1-1 (0-1) draw at surprise team VfB Stuttgart on Sunday for the leaders from the Rhineland, although the Werkself were unable to take full advantage of FC Bayern's blunder. Thanks to a stronger second half, the unbeaten league leaders drew 1-1 (0-1) at VfB on Sunday. In front of 54,500 spectators, Chris Führich had given the Swabians the lead (40th).

Alonso had to be "a bit louder" at half-time, the Spaniard admitted to DAZN: "The first half was not good. The best thing about half-time was the score, only 1-0. It was a good meeting at half-time. The reaction was clear. The second half was totally different. We saw a different team." Bayer international Jonas Hofmann said Alonso's wake-up call was "appropriate".

With the 22nd game in a row without defeat across all competitions, the Bayer team extended the gap to FC Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga table to four points, but the Munich team have played one game less. "To take a point here can be worth its weight in gold at the end. You keep Stuttgart at arm's length, you stay ahead of Bayern," Hofmann said.

After a brilliant first half, surprise third-placed Stuttgart missed out on an even better way to get in the mood for next Sunday's away game at FC Bayern. "Take off Bayern's lederhosen," the VfB fans told the team on their way to Munich. "It's a special game, not only because we're hot on their heels, but because I have a past in Munich and a certain connection," said VfB coach Sebastian Hoeneß, who praised his team: "The boys fought like lions."

Leverkusen's young star Florian Wirtz was fit in time after his ankle problems in the DFB Cup win against SC Paderborn and was able to play from the start. National team colleague Jonas Hofmann was not part of the starting line-up for the first time this Bundesliga season and only came on after just over an hour for Amine Adli, who had started for him. In the hope of a similarly strong performance from VfB as on Wednesday evening in the DFB Cup round of 2 against Borussia Dortmund (0-<>), VfB coach Hoeneß relied on the same starting eleven.

And the hope of the hosts was fulfilled. Right from the start, a fast-paced, entertaining top duel developed, in which the Swabians put the league leaders from the Rhineland under strong pressure and offered courageous football. Stuttgart created a number of high-quality chances early on.

First, Chris Führich tested Bayer keeper Lukas Hradecky (2'). Then the Bayer defence got into a lot of trouble after a free-kick by Serhou Guirassy and had to clear the shots of Deniz Undav and Josha Vagnoman twice on the line (6'). After the previous two games with his front two Guirassy and Undav, VfB coach Hoeneß had warned as slight points of criticism that the conversion of chances could be better. That was true this time as well. Hradecky was just on the spot for Undav's next shot (17'), and Guirassy could have made it 1-0 when he appeared pretty much alone in front of Hradecky (25').

The lead was then deserved and well played: Vagnoman beat Alejandro Grimaldo on the right side, Stuttgart's new international Führich dusted off. Bayer also had their chances in the first half, but not as many as the Swabians. Adli hit the post (8'), Victor Boniface was denied by keeper Alexander Nübel (24') after a mistake by the VfB defence.

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After the change of sides, the picture changed. The guests came out of the dressing room better and with a greater self-image. After an assist from Victor Boniface, Wirtz quickly celebrated the equaliser. Shortly afterwards, Leverkusen were unlucky not to have turned the game around when Granit Xhaka's long-range shot hit the post. Stuttgart didn't get around to imposing their attacking play on Leverkusen like they did in the first half. Shortly before the end, Leverkusen's Jonathan Tah put a shot just wide of the target (87'). Dpa

Source: merkur

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