Bayer Leverkusen and Augsburg had to settle for a 0-0 draw at the BayArena with neither side able to break the deadlock. Julian Brandt beat Marwin Hitz with a nice move and finish in the 64th minute only for VAR to overrule after the ball brushed off Bailey in an offside position.
The result does little to help both teams who were looking to turn things around after disappointing defeats last time out. A point is better than nothing, particularly for visiting manager Manuel Baum who did little to force the issue away from home.
The home side came out looking to force the issue and looked particularly threatening down their left hand side with Wendell and Leon Bailey combining well. Volland was next to take advantage of a struggling Augsburg right edge with his cross falling for Charles Aranguiz who pulled his shot wide.
Brandt was trying hard to get involved in the game but was getting little support. Wendell drove into the box with his shot deflected for a corner as Leverkusen piled on the pressure. Brandt shot wide and Bailey had an effort blocked but the home side couldn’t manage to trouble Hitz.
The second half began with exciting end to end football with both sides looking eager to score. Despite a flurry of chances at both ends a combination of poor finishing and desperate defending kept the score level. Sergio Cordova replaced Daniel Baier just before the break and was keen to get involved but was looking increasingly isolated up front.
The best chance of the game came Kevin Volland’s way in the 57th minute, the striker breaking free from inside his own half and driving into the box before being thwarted by Martin Hinteregger.
The home side thought they had broken the deadlock in the 64th minute, Brandt evading Jonathan Schmid on the edge of the area before hitting a sweet left footed effort low past Hitz. It wasn’t to be however, with VAR revealing the slightest of touches off Bailey who was just offside. It was a harsh blow but there was plenty of time remaining.
Caiuby began to combine with Philipp Max as Augsburg were content to wait for chances on the counter attack. Caiuby had an effort blocked before Hinteregger shot wide as the home crowd became nervous. Cordova broke free but his lack of pace and was easily handled by Jonathan Tah.
Heiko Herrlich replaced Dominik Kohr with Kai Havertz before Baum countered with Cristoph Janker replacing Michael Gregoritsch. The substitutions confirmed the Augsburg manager was content to keep things tight and head back home with a point.
Herrlich made his final changes with Benjamin Henrichs and Stefan Kießling replacing Panagiotis Retsos and Julian Baumgartlinger. Augsburg’s line retreated deeper with the introduction of Kießling prompting a series of long balls from the home side. Havertz saw a difficult chance go wide but Bayer ran out of ideas as Augsburg closed ranks.
It doesn’t get any easier for these sides with next week with Bayer Leverkusen travelling to RB Leipzig and Augsburg awaiting the visit of Bayern Munich.
By Matthew Marshall.