The Bundesliga was having a terrific couple of days in the Champions League, but Bayer Leverkusen dropped three points against an opponent that it should have fared better against.
Lokomotiv Moscow downed Bayer Leverkusen 2-1, behind goals from Grzegorz Krychowiak (16’) and Dmitri Barinov (37’). Krychowiak was Lokomotiv Moscow’s “Player to Watch” in our preview series, so at least he lived up to the billing.
One German did score, however, but it was not exactly how he wanted it to go down. Former Schalke 04 man Benedikt Höwedes had an own goal in the 25th minute that temporarily knotted the game at 1-1 before Barinov hit the game-winner just 12 minutes later.
It was clearly a disappointing result on its home turf for Bayer Leverkusen. Die Werkself had chances, but could not seem to get fully in sync for the day. Bayer Leverkusen will absolutely need a better end product to survive what should be a very difficult group give that Juventus and Atlético Madrid are the other teams in the flight.
Peter Bosz had this to say after the game regarding his squad’s performance (via @bayer04_en):
The loss is a big disappointment. We absolutely wanted to win this home match. Unfortunately we made massive mistakes in the first half, namely with the two conceded goals. We did not see the Leverkusen we normally see out there. Of course mistakes happen, but not as many as today. We absolutely needed to pick up three points today, but all is not lost yet. Now we have to go and pick up points where no one expects us to.
Bosz went on to say a bit more as well regarding how his team had struggled against deep-sitting opponents:
We've struggled against our last three opponents who've just sat back and let us play out the possession game...— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) September 18, 2019
Does this mean we need to alter our plans? Peter Bosz answers in the post-match press conference.#B04FCLM | 1-2 pic.twitter.com/ERXXBcxNhs