07 March 2012

The German press believes the tie is over

The journalists that cover Bayer 04 Leverkusen on a daily basis believe that the Germans are playing for their “reputation and prestige” in tomorrow’s match at the Camp Nou.

The journalists that follow Bayer 04 Leverkusen on a daily basis agree that the German side cannot earn a victory at the Camp Nou that will see them through to the quarter-finals. “The have less than a 1% chance. With a 1-3 from the away leg, any normal conclusion indicates that it’s impossible for Bayer 04 Leverkusen to mount a comeback,” said Frank Lussem, journalist for the magazine Kicker. “A lot of things can happen in football, the objective is to get a good result, the game should serve the Club to gain recognition, reputation and prestige,” said Bild’s Phillip Arens.

Despite what the German press is saying, the fact that Robin Dutt’s team have won three consecutive matches allows for a glimmer of hope. “Ever since the second half against Barça, the team has worked and they beat Augsburg, Cologne and Bayern Munich. That’s three consecutive wins for the first time this year. Bayer 04 was courageous in the second half against Barça. Having courage against teams like Valencia or Chelsea could be enough, but 9 out of 10 times against Barça it won’t be,” said Lussem.

Holger Dahl, from the German television channel WDR, said: “Bayer 04 was very passive in the first half against Barça, they committed a lot of errors in their buildup. The hope is that they’ll be more risky at the Camp Nou, like in the second half. That’s when they gave Barça troubles.”

The three journalists agree that Bayer 04 Leverkusen will not play defensively at the Camp Nou. “There’s a lot of respect, even more so with Barça, but I don’t think they’ll hide,” said Lussem. Dahl praised Guardiola’s Barça: “every team that goes up against Barça thinks they’re playing against the future European champion. In Germany, we’re surprised with the point difference in La Liga, because the perception is that Barça is the best team in the world.” Arens said: “there isn’t a better team in the world. For Bayer 04 Leverkusen it’s a game to learn, to play without fear. If they are afraid, they’ll sink at the Camp Nou.” (via FCBarcelona.com)