In the Round of 16 first leg, Bayer Leverkusen defeated Ferencvaros 2-0.

Goals:Bayer Leverkusen – Ferencvaros – Played on 03/09/ 2023

In the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 matches at home against Ferencváros, The Werkself prevailed. By the tenth-minute mark, Kerem Demirbay’s squad took the lead 1-0 with an impressive goal. After a chaotic second half, Edmond Tapsoba increased the advantage to 2-0 (86′) with a header off of a free kick from Adam Hlozek.

Just two changes were made by head coach Xabi Alonso in another 3-4-2-1 lineup: Nadiem Amiri and Kerem Demirbay played in midfield alongside Piero Hincapie on the left and Jeremie Frimpong on the right due to the absence of Robert Andrich and Exequiel Palacios. Odilon Kossounou, Jonathan Tah, and Edmond Tapsoba were the back three once more in front of goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. In the comfortable 4-1 home victory over Hertha Berlin, the combination of Moussa Diaby, Florian Wirtz, and striker Sardar Azmoun led the offense.


The Werkself got the game off in a disciplined manner and quickly took control, largely through extended periods of possession in the opposing half. A strategy for the game that was successful right away: The first shot of the game was stopped by the Ferencváros defense with 10 minutes remaining and came from Hincapie. The Leverkusen players received the ball back, and Wirtz assisted Demirbay. The latter made a stunning rifled right-foot shot into the top corner from the edge of the box. Denes Dibusz, the goalkeeper for Ferencváros, was helpless as the hosts won 1-0.

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After gaining the lead, the hosts stayed steadfast and focused on pressing down the right flank with crosses from Diaby (20′, 22′), but he was unable to find a teammate to extend the lead. Then, when more and more guests entered the game, it suddenly become dangerous: Kristoffer Zachariassen, a playmaker for Ferencváros, received a chipped ball and moved into a central position in front of Hradecky. He narrowly missed tying the score with a shot against the crossbar (27′). The remainder of the first half’s minutes seemed to see the game settle down. Two minutes before the first half’s finish, Demirbay attempted another goal, but his low effort missed the target to the right. At the break, The Werkself had a 1-0 advantage.


Diaby had the first opportunity for the Black and Reds in the second half after Wirtz won possession of the ball in the Ferencváros half and played it into the penalty area for a teammate, but the pass was too wide. As a result, the Frenchman was unable to successfully strike the mark at a close range (57′).

The first two substitutions of the game were made by Xabi Alonso with 20 minutes remaining in the second half. Amine Adli took the position of Sardar Azmoun at the front (66′). The introduction of Adam Hlozek, who replaced Diaby, occurred next (70′). Tah and company played strong defense, preventing the club led by head coach Stanislav Cherchesov from mounting a challenge.

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A free kick by substitute Hlozek from 25 yards out nearly resulted in a goal when it hit the crossbar, but defender Tapsoba was able to head in the rebound to make it 2-0 (86′).


Within the next seven days, The Werkself have two away games: On Sunday, March 12, the Alonso squad travels to Werder Bremen for Bundesliga gameday 24. At the wohninvest Weserstadion, play will begin at 17.30 CET. After a day off on Monday, there will be two private sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday before the competition returns to the European stage: On Thursday, March 16, Lukas Hradecky and the company will compete in Budapest for the second leg of the Europa League Round of 16 match. At the Puskás Aréna, the match against Ferencváros will begin at 21.00 CET.

Match statistics

Bayer 04: Hincapie – Diaby (Hlozek 70′), Azmoun (Adli 66′), Wirtz (Schick 89′), Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba, Frimpong, Amiri, Demirbay

Ferencváros: Knoester, Abena, Civic – Vecsei, Dibusz – Botka (Wingo 88′), Esiti – Zachariassen – Traoré, Mmaee, and Marquinhos (Gojak 78′), (Frederiksen 87′).

1-0 Demirbay (10′) and 2-0 Tapsoba (86′)

Demirbay, Alonso (coach), Wirtz, Kossounou – Marquinhos, Zachariassen, Botka, and Knoester were all listed as being booked.

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