Martin Schmidt has fallen to his first defeat as FC Augsburg head coach. In his third match in charge of the Fuggerstädter, Schmidt’s side fell to a 4-1 home defeat against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Despite taking a 12th minute lead through Kevin Danso, FCA’s wait for a win against Leverkusen goes on.
Schmidt was able to recall goalkeeper Gregor Kobel for the match against Leverkusen after the Swiss goalkeeper missed last weekend’s 6-0 home victory against Stuttgart with a mild concussion. Andreas Luthe, who stepped in for Kobel last weekend, dropped to the bench as FCA were otherwise unchanged.
Augsburg were looking to build upon two consecutive victories and started the match on the front foot. As the Fuggerstädter pressed Leverkusen back, captain Daniel Baier created the first clear chance of the match, forcing Leverkusen goalkeeper Lucas Hradecky into a fine fingertip save over his own bar from long distance (4’). Just eight minutes later, FCA took the lead as Kevin Danso got on the end of a Jonathan Schmid corner. The Austrian defender powered home his first goal of the season to put FCA on their way to Bundesliga safety (12’).
Volland equalizes – Alario denied by the bar
Leverkusen responded almost instantly with an equaliser as Kevin Volland was played in on the left side of the penalty area and he fired the ball beyond the helpless Kobel into the roof of the Augsburg net (15’). Just a few moments later, the visitors thought they had turned the match around completely as Mitchell Weiser was played through and he fed Lucas Alario to tap home. However, after a check with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), referee Frank Willenborg disallowed the goal as Weiser was in an offside position (19’).
As the first half progressed, the visitors enjoyed more possession and were able to dominate midfield. However, despite their dominance, Leverkusen failed to create many clear-cut chances to take the lead. FCA were forced to defend deep in their own half and fought well to prevent the Werkself from further chances. At the other end, Hradecky was rarely tested as Augsburg failed to threaten a second goal. The hosts were also fortunate not to fall behind with the last chance of the first half as Alario broke through the defence and fired the ball against the crossbar (45+2’).
Havertz gives Leverkusen the lead – Tah denied once but not the second time
Leverkusen made the stronger start to the second half, taking the lead just three minutes after the restart. Volland broke clear down the left wing and played in Kai Havertz. The young Germany international then cleverly toe-poked the ball over the diving Kobel to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. The Werkself continued to put Augsburg under pressure and were denied by VAR once more in the 57th minute. Danso thought he had scored for the second time, this time in his own net, but Jonathan Tah was stood in an offside position. Moments later, Tah was celebrating his fourth goal of the season as he fired home a rebound to give Leverkusen a seemingly unassailable lead (60’).
In the closing stages, the match became less intense with fewer chances for both sides. Leverkusen dominated the ball and territory as they pressed for a fourth goal. At the other end, despite a strong effort, Augsburg failed to carve out any clear-cut chances to equalise. In the final minute of regulation, Julian Brandt tapped home at the end of a counter attack to rub salt into Augsburg wounds and seal a 4-1 win (89’). Martin Schmidt has fallen to his first defeat as FCA head coach.
FCA’s wait for a first win against Bayer Leverkusen continues while Bundesliga safety is yet to be confirmed. Augsburg return to action next Sunday (4th May, 13:30 CEST) away against FC Schalke 04.