Roger Schmidt and Bayer Leverkusen’s hopes to winning ways Wednesday night were ended by a stout FC Augsburg who defended very well to earn a scoreless draw.
The Werkself controlled the play from early on, but couldn’t find the goal to take three points.
Stefan Kießling made his return after being injured in preseason, coming on for Chicharito as part of a double-change made by Schmidt in the 66th minute. Hakan Çalhanoglu was the other to exit, being replaced by Julian Brandt. With Çalhanoglu on one wing, and Kevin Kampl on the other, Leverkusen severely lacked pace.
Jan Morávek probably had the best chance of the night for the visitors, ripping a half-volley towards goal, but Bernd Leno reacted in time to tip it over the bar for a corner.
Kevin Volland got on the end of a chipped ball into the area, and was brought down to draw a penalty with 72 minutes gone. Charles Aránguiz stepped up to take, and missed for the first time in his last 21 penalty attempts.
The lack of goals meant Schmidt had to make another attacking change, bringing on ‘Danger’ Joel Pohjanpalo for Lars Bender with a quarter of an hour to go.
However, it was in vain, as the attacking replacements weren’t able to get it done. Marwin Hitz made a fantastic save deep into stoppage time to deny Kießling a goal in his return.
Bayer 04 (4-2-3-1):
Bernd Leno; Benjamin Henrichs, Jonathan Tah, Aleksandar Dragović, Wendell; Lars Bender (Joel Pohjanpalo 76′), Charles Aránguiz; Hakan Çalhanoglu (Julian Brandt 66′), Kevin Volland, Kevin Kampl; Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández (Stefan Kießling 66′).
FC Augsburg (4-2-3-1):
Marwin Hitz; Paul Verhaegh, Martin Hinteregger, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Konstantinos Stafylidis; Gojko Kačar (Christoph Janker 85′), Daniel Baier; Ja-Cheol Koo (Philipp Max 46′), Jan Morávek (Halil Altintop 83′), Ji Dong Won; Alfred Finnbogason.