Both at home and in Europe there has been precious little to cheer for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in recent weeks.
Schmidt: 'Hertha deserved it'
Likely needing a win against the holders FC Barcelona to stay in the UEFA Champions League, Die Werkself continue to toil on the home front as well, with Matchday 15’s 2-1 reverse at Hertha Berlin their sixth league defeat of the season and third in five games.
With just one victory from those five, Bayer have slipped to eighth in the standings and trail league leaders FC Bayern München by a hefty 19 points. The gap to fourth-placed Hertha is much less – – but with almost half the season played, Leverkusen are yet to put together a consistent run of form and concern is slowly building that a return to the Champions League will elude them come the end of the season.
Their latest defeat at the Olympiastadion could in part be put down to an early red card shown to Sebastian Boenisch, but head coach Roger Schmidt admitted post-match that Leverkusen could have no complaints about losing. “We didn’t start the game at all well and weren’t prepared for Hertha’s aggression,” he surmised.
Chicharito streak continues
That his team stood a chance of taking something from the game was down to their Mr. Reliable in front of goal, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who proved his undoubted class once more with another expertly-taken finish after some clever movement. But for the concession of a headed goal from a corner, the Mexican's effort may have salvaged his side a point from the game.