Comeback kings Werder Bremen seal late draw at Bayer Leverkusen


Bayer Leverkusen were denied what would have been only their second Bundesliga victory of the campaign as Werder Bremen rescued a late 1-1 draw at the BayArena on Saturday.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Werder Bremen
Goals: 1-0 
Demirbay 57' (assist: Kossounou), 1-1 Veljkovic (82')

Leverkusen paid tribute to former skipper Lars Bender ahead of kick-off, as Die Werkself and their supporters welcomed the ex-Germany international into their circle of "honorary captains". Gerardo Seoane’s side could have done with Bender's leadership on the pitch this season, coming into this game second-bottom. Visitors Werder, meanwhile, had double the amount of points as their hosts going into Matchday 7, thanks largely to an excellent away record. An uneventful first half burst into life in the closing stages, with Robert Andrich heading onto the bar before Jeremie Frimpong somehow put wide from 12 yards out, with the goal at his mercy. It suddenly saw the game open up and Lukas Hradecky had to race from his line to deny Niclas Füllkrug at close range as the teams remained goalless at the break.

Füllkrug was bearing down on goal again shortly after the interval, but Edmond Tapsoba poked the ball out from underneath the striker just as he was pulling the trigger. Moments later, the hosts were in front thanks to the left foot of Kerem Demirbay. Odilon Kossounou's cut-back from the right found Dermibay on the edge of the box, where he opened up his body and planted a sumptuous finish into the far top corner. It looked like that goal would be a worthy winner and deliver a much-needed second league win of the season for Leverkusen - but Bremen, who have developed a habit of scoring late goals this term, were quite literally handed a way back into the game as Hradecky flapped a clearance at the feet of Milos Veljkovic. The Serbia international prodded through the legs of the home goalkeeper and into the back of the net with just eight minutes remaining to salvage a point for the visitors.

Match stats

  • Demirbay has scored in each of his last three Bundesliga matches.
  • Leverkusen are yet to win at home in the top-flight in 2022/23 (P4, D1, L3).
  • Werder remain unbeaten on the road this season (W2, D3), and on their last four trips to Leverkusen (W1, D3).
  • Veljkovic scored just the third Bundesliga goal of his career and first since 25 September 2018.
  • Bremen have scored nine of their 13 league goals this season after the 80th minute.

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Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapie (Bakker 84') - Andrich, Demirbay (Aranguiz 61') - Frimpong (Hlozek 69'), Hudson-Odoi (Azmoun 84'), Diaby - Schick
Unused subs: Lomb, Sinkgraven, Fosu-Mensah, Amiri, Sertdemir
Out: Adli (collarbone), Bellarabi (knee), Lunev (thigh), Palacios (hamstring), Wirtz (cruciate ligament)
Gerardo Seoane

Bremen: Pavlenka - Pieper, Veljkovic, Friedl (c) - Weiser, Schmid, Groß (Burke 70'), Gruev (Rapp 79'), Jung (Buchanan 70') - Füllkrug, Ducksch (Stark 90'+4)
Unused subs: Zetterer, Agu, Stage, Schmidt, Dinkci
Out: Bittencourt (ribs), Mbom (Achilles), Salifou (abductor)
Ole Werner