Bayer Leverkusen – Match Report vs Freiburg 01/11/20

Leverkusen continued their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season with a 4-2 win over Freiburg. They are sitting in 4th after 6 games and are looking to fight for a top 4 position this year, building on last year despite losing Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland in the summer. They played a 4-3-3 with Lucas Alario continuing his fine form. They made a very poor start, conceding in the 3rd minute as Freiburg broke through far too easily. Freiburg nearly repeated it just 2 minutes later but fortunately for Bosz’s side it was ruled offside.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Florian Wirtz

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 03/05/2003
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: 1.FC Köln (Y), Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Wirtz played on the right side of the midfield three which was quite a different role from the times I’ve seen him before. He received the ball very well in midfield, checking his shoulders, finding pockets of space and quickly turning to face goal and play forwards. He was good under pressure with good feet in tight space to protect the ball. The German youth international carried the ball well into space. His positioning in midfield was odd at times and at times too static, being too close to teammates and restricting their space without reacting and adjusting his position. Although he was playing an unfamiliar role so is still learning the position potentially.

He was direct and wanted to play forwards, he showed good passing progress the ball into the final third. He looked to play into the striker and players between the lines, or if he was between the lines he looked to spread play. He played a good throughball into the box and also got a hockey assist for the 2nd goal with a pass into the box which was cutback for the goal. One or two needed to be slightly cleaner and more accurate around the box however. On the ball he also showed a good change of pace and direction but I didn’t see much from him defensively, but in Leverkusen’s system, he wasn’t tasked with it and they dominated possession in this game.

Overall, the young player has a slim build but is very good technically and a good athlete with okay pace. He showed good press resistance, received the ball very well, operated in tight spaces fairly well and had some good passing in the opposition half. He did lack physicality though, didn’t show much defensively, didn’t help in the buildup and had some positioning errors, however he was playing a different role.

Rating – A2

Edmond Tapsoba

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Burkinese
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 02/02/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Salitas (Y), US Ouagadougou (Y), Leixões SC (Y), Vitória Guimarães SC, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Tapsoba played as the left sided centre back, with smooth passing and was the main player in buildup for a lot of the game. He checked his shoulders well when collecting loose balls and was comfortable playing with both feet, taking his first touch out in front of his body quite often. He played simple passes in midfield when possible but struggled to progress the ball at times. He made a few wayward passes which could have been better and his more expansive passing didn’t have the right weight a few times but did make some good forward passes.

The 6’4″ defender has broad shoulders but could fill out a bit. He showed good pace on his recovery runs and showed good strength. However, I thought he was quite rash at times and needed to be better at composed aggression and using his strength effectively. He did well in the air but at times relied on his strength rather than his leap, which could get him in trouble.

He played well in Leverkusen’s high line, he liked to press out and did well, getting into the back of attackers and reading play. In the box though he was less effective. He was calm but his body positioning wasn’t good enough and he didn’t work hard enough to close down players at times and should have done more to block the cross which assisted their second goal.

Overall, a solid game for the young defender but showed some signs of complacency in defence and a few areas to strengthen but was very strong in others. On the ball he did well but could have cut out the few mistakes he did make.

Rating – A2

Leon Bailey

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 09/08/1997
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: AS Trencin (Y), KRC Genk, Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Bailey played as the right winger in this game, taking six shots but unable to score. He is quite left footed, so wanted to play fairly narrow and then cut onto his left foot when possible. He took several shots from range but these failed to challenge the goalkeeper really even if he could get very good power on them. He was more dangerous however at cutting onto his left and looking to put ball into the box. He showed good vision able to float a few balls into the box.

His crossing was dangerous, as were his set pieces. He also showed good pace to take on and beat defenders down his wing. He had very quick feet and good reactions, able to retain and manoeuvre the ball very well. Able to drive at the defence with good agility to then cut in and create space. Out of possession he worked hard and made some tackles in good areas but was also beaten too easily at times. Overall, I thought he did fairly well but was quite rushed in his play and predictable. He wasted possession a bit with long shots and although he did create some good chances.

Rating – B1

Moussa Diaby

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 07/07/1999
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: PSG, Crotone (L), Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Before being subbed off in the 79th minute, Diaby played on the left wing. He had a fairly quiet game, taking half the amount of touches as Bailey. Diaby often kept a very wide position, drifting inside at times. I would have liked to of seen him be more involved in play though and try to run the attack. When he did get the ball, he showed great pace with good agility and quick changes of direction. He played some good quality crosses without success, able to curl the ball around the first defend very well and made the right decisions with his crossing. He worked hard to press high and made a few okay, simple passes but overall failed to impact the game enough.

Rating – B2

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