There is no shame attached to losing to Bayern at the Allianz Arena as it happens to so many teams, but Bayer Leverkusen were ruthlessly put to the sword on Friday by a Munich side supposedly in crisis and struggling to create and convert chances.
The Werkself themselves are in a crisis of confidence and poor league position, but did they do enough to stop Bayern on Friday or as Kerem Demirbay seems to think, did they roll over and let the Rekordmeister dominate them?
“Everyone has to ask themselves whether they have given everything and whether they can still do more” midfielder Demirbay said after the final whistle. “I hope that everyone is honest with themselves. Regardless of that, we as a team have to do a lot more.
“There’s a lot of quality in the squad, but football is everyday business, and we don’t have any quality at the moment. We’re losing games in a way that’s brutal. We can’t let our heads hang. We have to lead the way and stay positive.”
Coach Gerardo Seoane, who is coming under increasing pressure with Leverkusen in the bottom three, was also critical of his players. “It’s a question of will. We have to ask ourselves whether we’re ready to go the extra mile. We didn’t have the necessary aggressiveness today.
“This virtue has to be on the pitch, and it is a basic in almost every sport. We have to work on the duel toughness and the willingness to fight”
Bayern’s intensity right from the very start was at full blast and their high counter-press hardly allowed Leverkusen out of their own final third. Two goals in the first twenty minutes from Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala put the visitors to the sword and the result was a foregone conclusion when Sadio Mané stroked home a third before the break.
There will be criticism of the visitor’s lack of any sort of counter to Bayern’s dominance and to a point both Demirbay and Seoane have some justification in their critique. However, in this mood few teams would have had an answer to Bayern and damage limitation was perhaps the best they could have hoped for.
The fact that Thomas Müller was still pressing high up the pitch as late as the 84th minute for the fourth goal shows the hosts just didn’t let up. The joke doing the rounds is that the Allianz Arena set a new attendance record that broke the usual 75,000 sell-out- with Friday seeing 75,011 watching the Rekordmeister do their thing.
Harsh? Or did the Werkself simply roll over and let Bayern steamroller them?