(Apologies for getting this up late. Parenting / kids not sleeping well threw off my routine a bit.)
So the good way of spinning the game yesterday is that we got a draw in what was always going to be the toughest match of the group stage. We’re now second in the group halfway through despite the fact that we haven’t really played our best in any of the games so far.
The bad way of looking at it, of course, is to note that we were completely hammered by Leverkusen, particularly in that second half:
But in the second half, the Baumgartlinger sub both evened up physical battle and freed Kampl to boss the game. It was a battering. pic.twitter.com/T7ORLwdCoU— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) October 18, 2016
The game probably also highlighted one of the biggest problems with the 4-1-4-1: Wanyama is extremely limited as a passer. When he’s the base of our midfield, it’s easier for opponents to isolate him, cut off passing lanes into the attacking third, and swarm our defense.
Moussa Dembele can help with this problem. According to Caley, 1.1 of Bayer’s expected goal chances came without Dembele and .5 came with him. Once Dembele is fully fit again, I think we should expect to see him back in the match day XI on a regular basis.
What did you all think of the game? Any surprises? Things you were disappointed with? I think the second half was bad, but we can’t complain too much about the result.