What did Hložek show? He once again started at the top of Leverkusen’s offensive, as before in the derby against Mönchengladbach (3:2 win) he worked at the back, although coach Xabi Alonso’s team faced the opponent in a slightly different formation.
Already in the 5th minute, Hložek could have scored a goal, but the visitors’ goalkeeper Manuel Riemann made a good save against him. In this action, the ball was hit after Moussa Diaby’s penetration, which was fouled, and Leverkusen kicked a penalty after the intervention of VAR, which was converted by Edmond Tapsoba. He thus banished the curse that hung over the fighters in red and black jerseys, because they did not give the previous six penalty kicks.
The Czech representative was durable in fights, he attacked honestly, once he was unluckily stepped on by Riemann after a slide. He gave and received. In the second half, he charged Florian Wirtz after a quick break, whose shot was caught by the Bochum goalkeeper.
In the 53rd minute, the 20-year-old native of Ivančice scored his second goal in the Bundesliga and his third competitive goal overall for Leverkusen. Wirtz served the ball into the small goal area, Hložek stretched out his leg and, after a light run by Vassilios Lampropoulos, stuffed the ball between Riemann’s legs and into the net.
The Czech representative had an appetite. He stood up to a direct free kick, sent a hard blow and hit the head of Philipp Hofmann, who was standing against the wall and then fell down. In another promising break, he did not find a teammate. Substituted five minutes before the end after a solid performance.
It suits him that he plays the so-called false nine, a striker who pulls back a lot. “I think it suits me best. When I play a false nine, it’s maybe more like an eight when I’m pulled behind two strikers,” Hložek said in Monday’s edition of Gól magazine.
Leverkusen confirms a good mood, won the fifth game in a row in the Bundesliga and is climbing the table. He currently ranks eighth. “We are not yet far enough to think that everything is fine,” warned Bayer midfielder Robert Andrich. “Now we are also lucky,” Andrich added. “We are satisfied with the result and performance. All the players fought,” said coach Xabi Alonso.
Leverkusen are enjoying the return of offensive leader Wirtz. After a serious injury, the great German talent stepped in at the end of the match in Mönchengladbach, he already played in the starting line-up against Bochum. “It’s important for us to have Florian on the pitch and for him to be able to play in front of his own fans again. The team will help him and he will help the team, that’s the right way,” said Xabi Alonso.
In the next match, Leverkusen hosts Dortmund on Sunday.