REACTION | Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen tenure off to a winning start

Bayer Leverkusen soundly beat Schalke 4-0 on Saturday afternoon as Xabi Alonso’s tenure as coach got off to a winning start. Moussa Diaby opened the scoring before a brace from Jeremie Frimpong, Paulinho then added a fourth for Die Werkself as they picked up their second league win of the season.

Moussa Diaby and Jeremie Frimpong are dangerous

After a 2-0 defeat against Porto on Tuesday night in the Champions League, Gerardo Seoane was gone the following day and bosses moved quickly to appoint Alonso as a successor until 2024. With a short turnaround, we didn’t expect Alonso to change too much but the Spaniard did switch to a 3-4-3, Mitchell Bakker and Jeremie Frimpong acting as wing-backs. The relationship that Frimpong has struck up with Moussa Diaby of late has been magnificent.

Diaby opened the scoring, scoring a screamer past Alexander Schwolow from outside the area. For Bayer’s second, the Frenchman cut inside on his favoured left foot allowing Frimpong to overlap, Diaby found the Dutchman who slotted the ball past Schwolow for B04’s second. The duo then combined for Leverkusen’s third, Diaby finding Frimpong before Paulinho heaped more misery on Schalke.

Alonso was described by Simon Rolfes as “an intelligent strategist,” and with players wanting to impress, his first 90 minutes as B04 coach certainly showcase that.

Schalke in trouble?

With just one Bundesliga win in nine games this season, Schalke are in real trouble. Should Stuttgart avoid defeat against Union Berlin tomorrow, S04 will end the weekend in 17th. In truth, their football hasn’t been good enough. Against Bayer Leverkusen, they registered just one shot on target but failed to test Lukas Hradecky.

With key injuries to Sepp van den Berg and Rodrigo Zalazar, Simon Terodde and Sebastian Polter misfiring up front, it could get dangerous for the Royal Blues. Up next they have Hoffenheim, Hertha Berlin and Freiburg, and questions are already been asked by fans regarding the future of Frank Kramer.


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