Between them, Stefan Kießling (l.) and Chicharito (r.) scored all five goals for Leverkusen against Gladbach. - © © gettyimages / Sascha Steinbach
Between them, Stefan Kießling (l.) and Chicharito (r.) scored all five goals for Leverkusen against Gladbach. - © © gettyimages / Sascha Steinbach
Bundesliga

Chicharito and Kießling: a budding strike partnership?

A strange thing happened at Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s BayArena on Matchday 16: coach Roger Schmidt fielded two forwards, instead of just one, and the change paid off instantly.

Click here for our exclusive post-match video interview with Chicharito

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has occupied the lone striker’s role in a 4-2-3-1 formation since his arrival at the end of August, but against Borussia Mönchengladbach he was joined up front by Stefan Kießling.

The latter has struggled for form this term, but playing alongside Chicharito he was sensational, scoring two goals himself and setting up another two for his Mexican strike partner in a 5-0 victory. “We played really well today,” said Chicharito afterwards, having taken his personal goal tally for the season to 17 in 20 competitive games with a hat-trick against the Foals.

Leverkusen’s No.7 has scored ten in the Bundesliga, five in the UEFA Champions League and two in the DFB Cup, a return that has forced Schmidt’s hand when choosing his starting XI. Collectively, however, Leverkusen have not been as clinical in the final third this term and went into the fixture with Gladbach having only hit the net 19 times in 15 league games.

Hard-working Kießling

- © imago / Huebner
- © gettyimages / Sascha Steinbach