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Posts Tagged ‘Stefan Keißling’

SOCCER-GERMANY/

[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

Bummer. I was away in DC doing the geeky thing and marathoning the Smithsonian Museums so I could not watch the match. And I came home late from school and missed the repeat so you’re left with me doing the boring thing and linking to match reports about the Werkself’s 2 – 1 victory over the Royal Blues. It sounded like a great match for all intents and purposes – first half goals by Kießling and Helmes, a sending off for Castro, a late goal by Kevin Kuranyi and a disallowed one by Gerald Asamoah. Helmes now also holds a club record of sorts – he’s the only Bayer striker to have struck the net 10 times by this stage of the season since the beginning of the Bundesliga. And oh, the Werkself are still at the top of the table for now. Booyah.

However, Mark from BundesligaTalk has linked to Auswärtssieg! (away win), a Schalke 04 blog which has great pictures of the Bayer – Schalke game. I am jealous, yes I am.

I don’t follow the Swiss Super League at all but if rumours are to be believed, Eren Derdiyok, a striker  from FC Basel is poised to move to Bayer in January. Or maybe not, since Napoli are apparently eager to get ahold of him too. Which is all well and good if it’s true as I think it’s not wrong to say Bayer has a good record at sniffing out talented youngsters (who inevitably move off to richer pastures later) but can we please look at some defenders too? Half the backline aren’t ours and I rather pity Adler, he must feel like he’s running a one-man defensive show at times.

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bruno-labbadia-contrruction

[ credit: Bild.de ]

Apropos of nothing, I am very tickled at the fact that this blog apparently appears in searches for “unfamous sports games”. How fitting is that? That is Bayer’s lot in life in the English-speaking football world after all. Nothing screams un-hip and unfashionable like a club with ties to a pharma company. But at least the football the Werkself is playing is sexy. And yes, I chose that picture for this entry as I find Big Bruno’s (Bild’s moniker for our boss) 70’s-inspired look very amusing. Did he sing YMCA after that photoshoot? Inquiring minds wants to know.

Meanwhile, Joachim Löw has selected Adler, Rolfes and Helmes for the upcoming friendly against England at the Berlin Olympiastadion. The Bundestrainer called for only four strikers, so Stefan Kießling misses out on that expected fifth spot, which is a pity. The door opened for him after Kevin Kuranyi’s infamous strop, but it looks like he’ll just have to work harder at it.

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[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

The yo-yo situation between Bayer and Hoffenheim continues, with Bayer again moving to top spot temporarily (again) after their win over Wolfsburg. Barnetta (57′) marked a successful return to the team with a goal and Keißling (65′) added icing to the cake just a few minutes later.

Overall, Bayer played better, with greater possession, attacking intent and more shots on goal. They also spent large segments of the game camped out in the Wolfsburg half of the pitch, underlying their superiority. The first half was frustrating as Kadlec, Keißling, Helmes and Rolfes all testing Benaglio at various points but none managed to get their names on the scoresheet. The latter three had especially good chances but a last-ditch goal line clearance by Benaglio ensured that neither Keißling nor Helmes converted their chances and Rolfes wasted another gilt-edged opportunity later.

Bayer’s patience paid off when Barnetta scored on his return, his happiness evident as he raced across the pitch to celebrate with one of the substitutes (I couldn’t catch the face due to the poor stream (it’s either Haggui or Schwegler) and Keißling made up for his earlier miss when he scored soon after. The team took the foot off the pedal after that, with Wolfsburg creeping into the game somewhat but it still was not good enough and the Werkself can now enjoy the weekend after a frenetic seven days.

You can read a more comprehensive report from ESPN Soccernet and Goal.com has some comments from the boss and Felix Magath.  This victory also means that Bruno Labbadia has overcome teams managed by former Bundesliga-winning managers – Armin Veh (Stuttgart 2006/2007), Felix Magath (Bayern Munich 2004/2005, 2005/2006). Cristoph Daum (Stuttgart, 1991/1992) and Thomas Schaaf (Werder Bremen 2003/2004). Not bad at all. But he needs to do it again in the second half of the season.

This is unrelated to the match but if you check the official website under “Termine”, the section is now updated with matches from the Frauenschaft, Bayer II and youth teams. If I recall correctly, it used to contain match dates only for the first team, so this is definitely a step in the right direction to acknowledging the efforts of the other teams in the football club.

In other news, Rafael Honigstein writes about how mediocrity beckons for Werder Bremen. Excellent piece as usual, but as I mentioned elsewhere, I’m still waiting for the day he feels Bayer warrants a write-up. Maybe the team needs to dress in drag and do the hula. It is Halloween after all.

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