After a turbulent season that has been full of negativity and even featured a relegation scrap, Bayer Leverkusen ended the campaign in fine style by defeating Hertha Berlin 6-2.

One of the main components of their smashing win was the way they were able to persistently create space in between Hertha’s midfield and defensive line.

The Match Analyst  Image-1-Leverkusen-Passing-Connections

Created with Wyscout “Report” App

Using the Wyscout Playlist and Draw App, we can see the methods Tayfun Korkut’s men used to achieve this in the images below.

The passage below encapsulated so many factors as to why Leverkusen were able to exploit central attacking zones with their movement and ability to augment their opponents’ defensive structure.
Here, you can see Die Werkself’s two forwards playing a key role in manufacturing vacant spaces.
Firstly, Javier Hernandez has dropped deep, which drags his opponent with him, and Stefan Kiessling has drawn his marker, John Brooks, slightly wider and away from the 10 spaces.
Then, the wingers, Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz, have drifted infield to overload this area of the pitch.
And courtesy of their forwards’ clever movement and the wingers’ own intelligent runs, that were instigated on the blindside of their defender, Bayer Leverkusen were in a brilliant position to attack Hertha.

The Match Analyst  Image-2-Space-Creation

Created with Wyscout “Playlist And Draw” App

Other ways they expertly pulled apart Pal Dardai’s side’s setup were by playing fast combinations in this area of the pitch (how their second goal arrived) and by the forwards making runs into depth, which widened the gap between Hertha’s defensive and midfield lines.

The Match Analyst  Image-3-Overload-10-Spaces

The Match Analyst  Image-4-Runs-in-behind

Created with Wyscout “Playlist And Draw” App

Overall, despite Bayer Leverkusen’s overwhelmingly disappointing season, this fixture illustrated just what an exciting and dangerous team they can be, while also giving their fans a performance to enjoy to round out the season.


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Edward Stratmann

Freelance football writer and blogger he writes regularly about the on-field aspects of the game, with a particular focus on tactics and analysis. In addition to featuring on several football websites, including AS Roma’s and Everton’s Official Websites, find his work at Licence to Roam, a football blog he co-founded in 2013.