Thanks Papa! HSV beat Leverkusen 1-0
HSV beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 in a charged atmosphere at the floodlit Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on Friday night. The winning goal came from Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
HSV beat Leverkusen 1-0 in a matchday 19 opener on Friday night in Hamburg (03.02.17). The Rothosen gave their all in front of 45.653 inside the chilly Volksparkstadion to collect three vital points in their annual battle to avoid the dreaded drop for the first time in their history. The first half was an even one, but after the break the home side stuck together and outfought the visitors, creating the better chances. New signing Kyriakos Papadopoulos was the man of the hour, heading the ball home on 76 minutes to give the Rothosen their first home win of 2017.
Tight at the back...
Markus Gisdol made a whopping seven changes top the side which had performed so dismally in the 1-3 defeat at fellow strugglers Ingolstadt last time out. Diekmeier replaced suspended captain Sakai at right back while Ostrzolek got the nod over Douglas Santos. In front of them the defensive midfield duo was made up of Ekdal and Jung. Holtby playedc in place of injured attacking midfielder Gregoritsch opposite fit again Müller. Gisdol also rang the changes in goal, recalling former Leverkusen man Adler to face his former club.
The home side created the opening chance of the game as Mavraj joined in the attack at a set piece (11.). That was about it regarding goalmouth action for the time being as both teams locked horns and cancelled each other out. The first half was fought out between but not inside each others penalty areas. As Gisdol had demanded of his men there was no quarter given . The best chance of the opening half came from a counter attack after around 30 minutes as Müller got involved down the wing. Leverkusen on the other hand failed to create a single chance during the opening 45 minutes as the home defence stood firm. Comeback keeper Adler didn’t have a save to make in the first half.
... persistence up front
Things more or less remained the same after the break. While HSV ground Bayer down before the break they opted for a more attacking approach in the second half and how! The Rothosen created a gluut of chances during a ten minute period with Wood, Müller and Kostic in one on one situations with Bayer stopper Leno. Each time the target was narrowly missed.
The home side screamed on by their amazing fans were not to be denied and while the defence remained solid and tight, the deadlock was finally broken on 76 minutes as Papadopoulos (on loan from RB Leipzig via Leverkusen) nodded home a free kick taken by Holtby for a more than deserved lead. The Rothosen held onto the lead butr only after Bayer substitute Kießling had struck the crossbar. Had that chance gone in it would have been undeserved to say the least. The home side played the remaining minutes outto record their first home win of the new year and celebrated witth the fans after full time. HSV face high flying surprise package of the season RB Leipzig away from home next Saturday (11.02.17, 3.30 PM).
HSV: Adler - Diekmeier , Papadopoulos , Mavraj , Ostrzolek - Jung , Ekdal - N. Müller (87. Waldschmidt), Holtby (87. Djourou) , Kostic (90. Hunt) - Wood
Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Leno - Henrichs , Tah , Toprak , Wendell - Aranguiz , Baumgartlinger (46. Kießling) - Bellarabi (64. Brandt) , Kampl - Mehmedi (82. Bailey), Volland
Goal: 1:0 Papadopoulos (76.)
Referee: Dr. Jochen Drees (Münster-Sarmsheim)
Booked: - / Bellarabi (38.), Kampl (69.), Wendell (79.)