On Thursday night, Bayer Leverkusen escaped Norway with a 2-1 win against Molde to top Group H in the Europa League. However, it was far from a vintage performance that has seen Die Werkself capture the hearts and minds of those spectating the Bundesliga in recent weeks.
Despite racing into an early 2-0 lead, Leverkusen failed to get going and found themselves fortunate to walk away with all three points. Die Werkself’s in-form midfielder Granit Xhaka would clarify after the game that it was a “good first half, but bad second half,” before sporting director Simon Rolfes commented that there were “a few lapses in concentration.”
Nevertheless, while Xabi Alonso’s side could not display why they have become one of the most entertaining sides to watch in Germany, they were still able to get over the line. This is a quality that Xhaka noticed and would explain after the final whistle:
“That’s exactly what characterises a top team: that you win games where you might not shine, where everything might not look nice.” An underwhelming performance from Leverkusen, but plenty of positives to take away from the game as they continue their tremendous start to their campaign.
GGFN | Will Shopland