17 December 2019 08:53
Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger headed into his own net as Bayer Leverkusen scored six before half-time. Bayer Leverkusen hit six goals in the first 36 minutes to thrash Bundesliga top-four rivals Eintracht Frankfurt and boost their Champions League hopes. Lucas Alario scored twice for Leverkusen, one either side of team-mate Charles Aranguiz's strike. Peter Bosz' side had a sixth before half-time as Martin Hinteregger headed into his own goal. The result sees fifth-placed Leverkusen move level on points with Frankfurt, in fourth, ahead of the final two games of the season.
Bayer Leverkusen blew away Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1 in a rip-roaring finale to Matchday 32 on Sunday, scoring six times in an astonishing first half to throw the race for fourth place wide open. Just as it looked like Leverkusen would run away with the game, Filip Kostic pulled a goal back for Frankfurt a minute later, his deflected shot from distance wrong-footing Lukas Hradecky. Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter brought on Luka Jovic and Mijat Gacinovic in a bid to give his side more energy in the final third, but it was Leverkusen who scored again when Martin Hinteregger inadvertently headed Brandt's cross into his own net, giving Peter Bosz's charges a 6-1 lead at the interval. Kai Havertz hit his 15th goal of the season to pave the way for Bayer Leverkusen's win. This was the first time in Bundesliga history that Leverkusen scored four goals and Frankfurt conceded six before half-time.
Leverkusen's manager Peter Bosz is famous for his high-pressing, while Leipzig's manager Ralf Rangnick reliably plays reactive football by counter-pressing. In this match, both teams lost their key players; Karim Bellarabi for Leverkusen and Yussuf Poulsen for Leipzig. In addition to the final result, there are several reasons why the Leverkusen match against Leipzig's was more tactically interesting than Bayern against Dortmund. Even before the kick-off, on paper, this match has promised us to have a lot of goal scoring opportunities. Based on Wyscout, Leipzig are the team with the most defensive duels in the Bundesliga with 1903 times, and also the side with the third most fouls committed (362).
Unlike Leipzig who looked more patient, Leverkusen applied high-pressing with the aim of winning the ball in the most advanced position possible in the opponent's half. However, because in this match Leipzig did not have a lot of ball possession, we rarely saw Leverkusen able to put pressure on the opponent's build up in Leipzig's defensive third. This meant Leverkusen's high-pressing styles were shown time and time again in the situation after they lost the ball when they're attacking. When the opponent stole the ball, Leverkusen immediately applied high-pressing (as shown below). For the match that very promising on paper, the goals of Leverkusen and Leipzig didn't result directly from their tactical choices. Only Sabitzer's free-kick goal originated from Leverkusen's tactics and Leipzig's response. Throughout the 27 gameweeks of the Bundesliga, Leipzig recorded 1903 passes to the final third (second-most among all teams in the league) and 50.55% aerial duels won (the best among all teams in the league). But in this match, Leverkusen took 11 shots (four on target) because Leipzig showed weakness in their full-back area. The difference is, all the shots on target Leipzig had resulted in four goals. Leverkusen attacks that are too free-flowing combined with their high-pressing often lead to Leverkusen being hit by a counter-attack when the majority of their players were still in the opponent's half.