After struggling in a 2-0 defeat away at Villarreal CF in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Bayer 04 Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno was relieved to be back at his best in helping Die Werkself to an important 1-0 victory over Hamburger SV on Sunday.
Goals: 1-0 Ekdal (o.g. 19')
Bernd Leno (Leverkusen goalkeeper): "You saw how much we wanted the game. Hamburg were fresh and they caused us problems but we fought very well. On Thursday there were a couple that I could have saved, so I’m happy I was able to save a few today and help the team. I can’t really remember the collision with Cleber but it’s not as bad it looked. We had our backs to the wall after the Europa game and it was important we won today with other teams losing."
Julian Brandt (Leverkusen midfielder): "I’m pretty exhausted like the rest of the team. Leno is the hero of the afternoon, he saved everything. We’ve lost some important games recently and we’ve dropped down the table, so it’s normal that you get criticism. But we’re working hard to turn it around and we did that today. We need to recover well for the Villarreal game."
Jonathan Tah (Leverkusen defender): "We just tried as hard as possible to keep a clean sheet and we had a bit of luck. It wasn’t the greatest game today but for the way we fought and competed, I think we deserved it. Our target is still to climb the table as much as we can so it’s a very important win. It’s nice to play against Hamburg - it’s a special game for me. We have a chance to beat Villarreal but we need a top performance."
Rene Adler (Hamburg goalkeeper): "We were much the better team in the second half and really deserved something. We had loads of chances and should have got something from the game. That’s been the case in a few games this season. We’ve lost by one goal away from home to a top-class team, but we still should have got at least a point and that’s frustrating."
Aaron Hunt (Hamburg midfielder): "We had a lot of chances, especially at the end of the game, and we’re obviously disappointed not to have taken any of them. If we’d got something here, we’d have been in a great position, but we didn’t so we need to keep working and focus on the next game."