After a hard-fought defensively strong performance, FC Augsburg travel back home with an away point against a Bayer Leverkusen side with Champions League aspirations. The game ended goalless.
FCA head coach Manuel Baum made two changes to the side that lost to Werder Bremen 3-1 at home. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw returned to the team after his knee injury and Jan Moravek came in for Marco Richter, who was suffering from a slight knock.
The initial stages took a while get going, with the majority of the play taking place in midfield. Nevertheless, Leverkusen steadily started to take the initiative in front of their home fans as the game carried on, but the Augsburg defense remained resilient and didn’t allow many chances on their goal. Leverkusen’s first good chance came after about 15 minutes played, when Kevin Volland crossed the ball in from the left-hand-side. Martin Hinteregger managed to stop it from getting to the middle, but in doing so his clearance fell tamely into the path of Charles Aránguiz. The Chilean dragged his shot narrowly wide, however. Following that, former FCA player Dominik Kohr attempted to catch Marwin Hitz out with a chipped shot, but it was fortunately off target.
Leverkusen continued to be the more active side, while FCA struggled to create much of note going forward. The hosts built up the pressure more and more. Julian Brandt tried his luck from range, but Hitz handled the threat well (38’). Then followed some tough news: captain Daniel Baier was forced off due to an injury picked up earlier in the game and was replaced by Sergio Cordova (39’). The score stayed at 0-0 heading into the break.
Game opens up in second half
Augsburg started the second half much better. Cordova started things off by playing in Michael Gregoritsch, who attempted to chip Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen net, but it sailed slightly over (46’). Then after a counter-attack the Venezuelan had a go from 17 metres out, but his shot went into the arms of Leno (53’). The game had become a lot more open and free-flowing, with both teams pushing forward with more ambition.
FCA almost shot themselves in the foot in the 60th minute, however. Volland roared towards the FCA goal seemingly unopposed after Augsburg lost possession, but Martin Hinteregger put in a heroic tackle at the final moment to snuff out the danger (57’). It wasn’t long before the goal did end up in the FCA net, though (65’). Brandt thought he had scored, although it was ruled out by referee Frank Willenborg after the ball was seen to have struck Leon Bailey in an offside position on its way in.
Leverkusen kept pushing for the winner as the game wound down, while Augsburg continued to put in a gritty defensive display in their own fight for a point. Kai Havertz had a big chance two minutes before the end of the game, but his shot went narrowly wide to the right of the goal. The hosts were ultimately unsuccessful in their search for a winner, and so FCA travel back home to Augsburg with a very hard-fought point in tow.