Caligiuri had scored an equaliser
FCA were defeated for the second time in the Bundesliga this season, losing 3-1 at Bayer 04 Leverkusen despite holding their own for long periods of the game. The Werkself’s pressure proved too much in the end, however.
After losing 2-0 against RB Leipzig, the first defeat of the season, Heiko Herrlich made three changes to the starting eleven. Iago returned after recovering from a cold, as well as Carlos Gruezo and Florian Niederlechner. Mads Pedersen, Tobias Strobl and Fredrik Jensen were on the bench.
FCA pressed the Werkself higher than they did Leipzig, causing them problems deep in their own half. The hosts were having some difficulties dealing with the away side, until referee Sören Storks pointed to the spot after a quarter of an hour. A Lucas Alario header from a corner had struck the arm of Raphael Framberger. Alario took the penalty himself and converted it, making it 1-0 to the Werkself. Birthday boy Rafał Gikiewicz went the right way, but he couldn’t prevent Alario scoring the opener (16’).
Leverkusen were more assured after taking the lead. Leon Bailey fired narrowly wide in the 20th minute, and Nadiem Amiri’s effort troubled Gikiewicz shortly afterwards (28’). FCA had to gather themselves after going behind, setting up more defensively. They offered little going forward. Niederlechner had the only really dangerous chance of the half, testing Lukas Hradecky from a tight angle in the 27th minute.
Herrlich made changes at the break, introducing attackers Ruben Vargas and Fredrik Jensen for André Harn and Michael Gregoritsch; they brought new momentum to the side instantly. Framberger did well to stop Moussa Diaby (48’), before Daniel Caligiuri was put through on goal by Vargas. He fired the ball into the near post and made it 1-1 (51’) – his second goal of the season.
The equaliser briefly spurred Augsburg on, but Leverkusen retook control of the game. FCA were forced to work hard defensively, and they were lucky when Gikiewicz saved Florian Wirtz’s effort and Leon Bailey’s subsequent shot hit the crossbar (66’). The away side had little to shout about in this period, with Caligiuri’s 70th minute effort the only chance to relieve some of the pressure.
Following the interval, the hosts’ pressure finally succeeded in overwhelming FCA. Just two minutes after seeing a headed effort rebound off the post in the 72nd minute, the Argentinian finally found the back of the net as he nodded in a Nadiem Amiri free kick to put Leverkusen in the lead for the second time (74’). The closing minutes of the match saw Robert Gumny make his Bundesliga debut, however Augsburg were unable to break down the hosts and it was Leverkusen who were able to strike late to put the game to bed. Just one goal behind in injury time, Gikiewicz joined his outfield teammates for one last chance from a corner but had to watch as Moussa Diaby poked the ball home into the empty net at the other end of the pitch (90+4’) following a swift counterattack.
The Fuggerstädter fell to their second defeat of the season and must continue the wait for a Bundesliga victory against the Werkself following six draws and 13 defeats. Focus now turns to Saturday 31st October, when FCA welcome 1. FSV Mainz 05, who are still yet to register a point this season.