Maier scores his first Bundesliga goal
FC Augsburg suffered a heavy loss on Saturday afternoon in the Bundesliga. The Fuggerstädter were beaten 5-1 away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Head coach Markus Weinzierl made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt last time out. Felix Uduokhai and Mads Pedersen replaced Iago (injured) and Andi Zeqiri (benched) in the team.
Leverkusen took control of the game right away, although it was FCA who had the first potential opportunity – Ricardo Pepi couldn’t quite get on the end of Jeffrey Gouweleeuw’s ball, who began the game in central midfield (6’). At the other end, the ‘Werkself’ took the lead with their first chance. Mitchel Bakker crossed to the back post and Karim Bellarabi found the back of the net (9’).
FCA reacted well to going behind and had their first dangerous shot through Arne Maier shortly afterwards (14’). The hosts, however, remained the more dangerous of the two teams, putting Augsburg under a lot of pressure. Rafał Gikiewicz denied Amine Adli (16’) and Jeremie Frimpong (18’), but he was beaten again after 24 minutes. Adli played in Moussa Diaby, who converted to make it 2-0.
Following that second goal, Weinzierl switched to a 5-3-2 formation. Leverkusen took their foot off the gas somewhat, though Gikiewicz had to keep out a Patrik Schick effort just before the break (41’).
Weinzierl brought on Lasse Günther and Zeqiri for the second half, as well Florian Niederlechner soon after the action returned. FCA played higher up the pitch and looked to get at Bayer Leverkusen more often. The first two opportunities of the second half belonged to the home side: Adli volleyed narrowly wide (52’) and Bellarabi had a shot saved by Gikiewicz (57’).
FCA continued to press high up the pitch and had a great chance to pull one back after an hour. Niederlechner saw his shot blocked by Piero Hincapie at the last second. The Fuggerstädter would find a goal right after that though. Michael Gregoritsch’s powerful free-kick was too hot to handle for Lukas Hradecky in goal, and Arne Maier was in the right place to reduce the deficit – his first goal in his 91st Bundesliga game (62’).
Augsburg’s celebrations were short-lived at the BayArena, however. Gikiewicz parried Adli’s header, with Diaby scoring the rebound (65’). The French winger then made it 4-1 four minutes later after being assisted by Frimpong. Although FCA never gave up, a further goal came in the closing stages. After André Hahn couldn’t get the better of Hradecky (80’), Lucas Alario’s back-heel rounded off the afternoon for Leverkusen (81’).
FC Augsburg’s next match is at home to 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday, 5th February (15:30 CET) after the upcoming international break.