Bayer Triumph: Boniface’s Brace in DFB Cup Victory

Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen Advances to DFB Cup Quarter-Finals with 3-1 Win Over Paderborn

In a compelling DFB Cup clash, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen emerged triumphant with a 3-1 victory over Paderborn. The match, which took place at the BayArena, featured another stellar performance from Victor Boniface, who found the net yet again. Despite their success, Leverkusen faced a setback with Florian Wirtz limping off due to injury.

The opening stages saw Bundesliga 2 side Paderborn showing ambition, aiming to cause an upset at the BayArena. However, Alonso’s team quickly shifted momentum in their favor. Leverkusen took the lead with a goal from Victor Boniface in the 12th minute, courtesy of a precise assist from Josip Stanišić. The attacking prowess of Alonso’s charges was further evident as they doubled their lead to 2-0 before the half-hour mark. Exequiel Palacios capitalized on Jeremie Frimpong’s delivery to find the back of the net.

As Leverkusen threatened to dominate, Amine Adli had a goal disallowed, and the first half ended on a sour note for the home side with Florian Wirtz exiting the field due to injury, a result of a robust tackle on his ankle.

The second half continued to see Leverkusen in control, with Jonas Hofmann having a goal disallowed early on due to offside. Despite Frimpong missing a shot, the hosts seemed poised for a comfortable victory. Paderborn, however, injected late drama into the match when substitute Sebastian Klaas scored from inside the box in the 82nd minute. This goal created some nervous moments for Leverkusen, but any hopes of a Paderborn comeback were extinguished by Patrik Schick, who sealed the win with a poacher’s finish in the 88th minute.

The match statistics provided additional insights into the encounter. Victor Boniface maintained his prolific form, leading the Leverkusen scoring chart with 14 goals across all competitions. Left wing-back Alejandro Grimaldo closely followed with nine goals. Amine Adli and Adam Hložek topped the cup goals chart for Leverkusen, both having scored three apiece.

Leverkusen’s dominance over Paderborn in recent encounters was evident, with the team winning all four meetings since their 2-2 draw in 2014. This includes a victory in the DFB Cup during the 2019/20 season. Notably, the 2019/20 campaign marked the last time Leverkusen reached the quarter-finals, ultimately losing the final to Bayern Munich.

Flipping to Xabi Alonso’s playing career, the coach reached the DFB Cup final once and secured victory in the 2015/16 season. Paderborn’s Filip Bilbija emerged as the top scorer in the current DFB Cup season with four goals.

Paderborn, despite the loss, showcased resilience in recent DFB Cup encounters against Bundesliga clubs. They have won three of their last six, with notable performances like taking Dortmund to extra time in 2020/21 and narrowly losing 2-1 to Stuttgart at the same stage last season.

In terms of historical progression, Paderborn advanced beyond this stage to the quarter-finals twice before, achieving this feat under Steffen Baumgart in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.

In the end, Bayer Leverkusen’s 3-1 triumph over Paderborn demonstrated their prowess in the DFB Cup and their determination to progress further in the competition. While the injury to Florian Wirtz is a concern, Leverkusen’s attacking depth and resilient performance secured their place in the quarter-finals, setting the stage for further exciting clashes in the tournament.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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