Weekend Roundup: Bayer Leverkusen back to winning ways

Contributor Tim Lee with the Roundup: Fashionably late here at the Tavern, and that’s on me… allergy season is picking up so what do you know, great time to have stinging itchy eyes. At least here at Tavern Studio Canada, the shitload of snow we got all winter is all melting in a week… which means flooding for our region. On top of them we’ve got a snowstorm in the forecast in the next 48 hours. Canadian problems.

Enough of that, let’s get to the roundup!

Yun Suk Young
QPR
Nottingham Forest
Unused sub in 5-2 win
Koo Ja Cheol
Mainz
Werder Bremen
Unused sub in 3-0 win
Park Joo Ho
Toe injury, 3-0 win
Lee Chung Yong
Bolton
Barnsley
Full game in 1-0 win
Kim Bo Kyung
Cardiff
Southampton
Full game in 1-0 win
Ki Sung Yueng
Sunderland
Everton
Full game in 0-1 loss
Park Ju Young
Watford
Millwall
Toe injury, 2-2 draw
Son Heung Min
Bayer Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin
Full game in 2-1 win
Ryu Seung Woo
Unused sub in 2-1 win
Park Ji Sung
PSV Eindhoven
Feyenoord
Hong Jeong Ho
Augsburg
Hoffenheim
Full game in 0-2 loss
Ji Dong Won
Not in 18 in 0-2 loss
Tavern Studio Canada points for the weekend:
  • The relegation battle is heating up in the Premier League and we find Kim Bo Kyung and Ki Sung Yueng in the middle of the action. First over at St. Mary’s, where Cardiff took on Southampton. Kim Bo Kyung found himself in Solksjaers’ starting XI after not even being in the squad last week and was solid. In the first half he seemed to play much deeper and Southampton had their fair share of chances, but as the game progressed Kimbo found himself in a more attacking role. I couldn’t help but crack a smile when Kim, who I’m used to see not play much of a big role in corners (yet he scored that last-gasp header against my own Manchester United earlier in the season) was given a new task. To be a thorn in the side of Paulo Gazzaniga on corners. The Bluebirds didn’t score on corners, nor was Kim involved in the buildup to Juan Cala’s strike that gave Cardiff the crucial three points, but as we’re used to seeing from our KPA’s, Kim was hard working and usually committed, getting a semi-decent shot away at one point. Despite that, he tends to get muscled around much too often, something we see more in the Championship than in the top flight. Regardless, three points on the road against a solid midtable side was just what Cardiff needed.
  • Sunderland, coming off of a pair of bitter Monday defeats and that 5-1 shellacking at White Hart Lane, were hoping to turn their fortunes around, after five consecutive losses and Man City and Chelsea ahead. They went for a very attacking game against a very good Everton side, who themselves are fighting for Champions League qualification after Arsenal imploded (well what’s new). Ki himself was involved in the attack a good deal, getting 5 shots away. But Sunderland did their own goal shtick again as Wes Brown was the offender (they own the European top flight record for own goals). Despite some great chances, Sunderland were unable to break their point drought and now are facing almost sure relegation.
  • If we take a look at the relegation picture, Sunderland have: Man City, Chelsea, Cardiff at home, United, and West Brom + Swansea at home. Ki will be ineligible for the Swansea game. That means they must win all their home games and maybe snatch a point on the road to get the most they can out of their remaining fixtures.
  • Cardiff only have 4 games left, as they were not involved in a Capital One Cup final appearance unlike the Black Cats, and have two/three winnable games. Stoke at home, Sunderland and Newcastle away, Chelsea at home. Barring any last matchday drama against Chelsea, Cardiff can get 7 points out of these fixtures in my opinion.
  • I’m not going to go through all the permutations but even teams like Villa are only a couple bad results away from relegation. Swansea, West Brom, Norwich and Fulham are also in the mix. Norwich have the worst final games with dates with Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United (not in that order). So there’s some hope yet for our KPA’s and their teams. Going to make for a truly fascinating home stretch, for the title, for the Champions League, Europa League and to avoid relegation. Stay tuned there.
So as they say here in Quebec, “On n’étire pas la sauce”, let’s not make this too long, and head over to Germany for a quick recap.
  • Our Mainz boys weren’t involved in the 3-0 win over Werder Bremen. Koo is unfortunately under-impressing, and according to Bild magazine (who were being overly dramatic), Park Joo Ho’s toe injury could potentially keep him out of the World Cup (providing he even gets in Hong’s plans).
  • Ryu enjoyed a spot on the bench while Son played the whole game in Sasha Lewandowski’s debut as A-Team manager for Bayer Leverkusen. And they won! I kid you not, a vital 2-1 win for Bayer 04 over Hertha Berlin. Leverkusen were at last playing a 4-2-3-1 (they’ve sticked to a 4-3-3 that was semi-effective all year) revealed some “tactical deficiencies” according to the new boss. Son had 49 touches and 3 shots in a great game over all – as he earned an assist on a Julian Brandt goal that put Leverkusen two up! A truly picture-perfect pass with a lovely finish from Brandt. Lovely stuff. Take a look:

Bringing back memories of the pass for Park Ju Young against Greece last month.
  • Augsburg fell two-nil to Hoffenheim. Hong had a solid game while Ji was not in the squad (not sure if he’s still out injured?).
  • Yun nor Park Ju Young made the 18. QPR should make the promotion playoffs while we can pretty much call a close to Park’s Watford career as he’s still a couple weeks away from recovery. What a pity. Hopefully he dazzles in the World Cup and signs for an elite club and actually plays this time. (I’m looking straight at you Wenger)
  • Chungy had a shot on goal in a 1-0 triumph over Barnsley. Bolton look solid mid-to-lower table to end this season, but not relegation fodder. They’ll be happy to start fresh next season – which raises the question – will Chungy still be there? Questions, questions.
  • And last but not least, over to the Eredivisie where Park Ji-Sung did not take the pitch in a 2-0 loss to Feyenoord. As it stands PSV would have to qualify for the Europa League.

If you haven’t fallen asleep because of my rather dull writing and my restricted vocabulary, the Chelsea Ladies kicked off their season this weekend in the FA Cup and there’s nothing like a first minute goal in your first match for your new club in their first match of the season. Quite a debut!

 

And with that, I wish you all good week here from a damp pollen-infested Tavern Studio Canada!
Tim Lee, Tavern Contributor

Tavern Owner interrupting: well there’s some encouraging results from Europe, particularly with Son’s role in Bayer Leverkusen’s victory. Also I was wondering about Ji So-Yun and the start of the Chelsea Ladies’ season, so I was very excited to see that she scored. Thanks for getting the word out Tim!  I’ll try to hunt for a video replay of that goal.

My daughter and then my son got pretty sick so I wasn’t able to update over the weekend as I had originally planned. I’m also behind finishing up taxes, but I promise to get out a midweek kickaround, some interesting stuff to discuss… in the meantime I’ll leave you with the K-League week 8 roundup:

Saturday, April 12
Jeonbuk
1
Final
Ulsan
0
FC Seoul
0
Final
Gyeongnam
0
Steelers
3
Final
Jeju United
0
Sunday, April 13
Dragons
2
Final
Busan IPark
1
Seongnam
0
Final
Sangju Sangmu
0
Incheon
0
Final
Suwon
3

 

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10 Comments

  1. I can’t possibly see Cardiff picking up seven points from their last 4. Cardiff has only won away from home twice all season (against Fulham and last weekend’s Southampton game). I expect Cardiff to get 1-3 points from those four, and sadly be relegated (along with Sunderland and Norwich).

    Park Chu-Young’s Watford season is likely done, he’s back in Korea for treatment, and it hasn’t been determined if he’ll even fly back to England before the end of the season. Watford has been doing pretty well without him, so I don’t think they’re desperate for him to return.

    Ji Dong-Won just resumed training with Augsburg, so he wasn’t fit enough for the bench.

      • It’s possible Cardiff could do it, but from what I’ve seen of them they don’t have the consistency. They’re decent one week and then crap the next three or four.

        • I think Fulham, Sunderland, Fulham, and Norwich will get relegated. I have my reasons but I’ll keep them quiet for now.

          • Because Norwich will likely get 0 points from Liverpool, Chelsea, ManU, and Arsenal (what a brutal stretch)?

            And are you thinking this ( http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1786323/cardiff-city-lodge-complaint-crystal-palace-%E2%80%98spy%E2%80%99-claims?cc=5901 ) will have some bearing on the standings?

            Maybe. But, Cardiff’s final matches are against Stoke, Sunderland, Newcastle, and Chelsea. I can only seem them maybe tying Sunderland, but they need 4 points because of goal differential, like Jae said. I just don’t see where they’d get those 4 points. Are they winnable matches? Sure, but when has Cardiff every risen to the occasion?

          • Fulham has a match with Tottenham and then with Stoke and etc. I think Fulham will get relegated and I kinda hope they do.

          • Cardiff has a shout. If we assume Norwich gets no points in their last four, Cardiff should just need one point to overhaul Fulham (since they have a +6 edge in goal difference).

            Cardiff last 4: Stoke, @Sunderland, @Newcastle, Chelsea
            Fulham last 4: @Spurs, Hull, @Stoke, Crystal Palace

            Just out of curiosity, is there a particular reason why you want Fulham to get relegated (other than the chance of Cardiff staying up)? I’ve always had the feeling that, barring Chelsea fans, Fulham was a relatively well-liked club by all.

          • I want Fulham to go down as well. Mostly because I like new teams coming up or rather older established teams going out. Nothing really rational in terms of explanation on my part. Although, I used to really not like Fulham when they had Zamora with Hodgson as the coach. Don’t know why I didn’t like them… Shrug.

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