Sami Hyypia’s first Bundesliga game as the sole manager of the club (The club was managed by Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia together last season after the departure of Robin Dutt) saw a great performance by Leverkusen.
Stefan Kiessling was very good, got the first goal of the game, and the way he’s playing (7 goals in the last 6 games), he might just end up getting the cannon for a second successive season. Sidney Sam gave a man-of-the-match performance, by torturing the Freiburg defence with brilliant runs off the ball as he managed to get an assist and a goal. Heung Min Son was brilliant as well, with great off-the-ball runs and a goal to his name.
Bernd Leno was good, having saved a penalty given by the captain, Lars Bender and taken by Jonathan Schmid of Freiburg, preventing a goal by reacting quickly after the save. He just missed out on a clean sheet.
Sebastian Boenisch and Giulio Donati were both great with their forward runs. Boenisch’s cross to Gonzalo Castro was one of the hgihlights of the match. The way they were playing, the score should have been 4-1, but sadly it wasn’t so. Emir Spahic and Omer Toprak had a decent game as well. Spahic got a yellow card in his first league game for Leverkusen, but his performance was good so that hardly even mattered.
Another player making his league debut for Leverkusen was 17-year-old, Levin Oztunali, grandson of German legend Uwe Seeler. Apparently, he had been playing for Hamburger SV since he was 10, and they forgot to give him a contract, so Leverkusen told him that he could play for them and that’s how they signed him. He’s supposed to be extremely talented, and he wasn’t bad even though he played only for 4 minutes.
So, even with the departure of Andre Schurrle, Daniel Schwaab, Manuel Friedrich, Hajime Hosogai, Daniel Carvajal and Michal Kadlec, Leverkusen managed to get 3 points in the bag.
The only thing of concern is that Freiburg were missing 5 players from their main starting line-up of last season, and the players on the field were quite young, so even though it was a great performance, nothing can be said about the future position of the club just yet!
But if things do go well, and if the team keeps playing the way it’s playing so far (unbeaten in the last 15 games – including friendly matches), who knows?
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-1 SC Freiburg
Stefan Kiessling 1-1 Mike Hanke
Heung-Min Son 2-1
Sidney Sam 3-1