Augsburg becomes a home power: “It was a dirty victory”
Four games, four wins – FC Augsburg will score maximum points in their own stadium in 2023. In the hard-fought 2-1 win against Bremen, however, the footballing component fell by the wayside.
Enrico Maaßen celebrated his team as a new home power in the Bundesliga, but also very realistically classified the next success in front of the happy Augsburg fans.
“It was a really dirty win,” said the coach after FC Augsburg’s 2-1 (1-1) win over Werder Bremen. Manager Stefan Reuter said something similar: “We got a lucky threesome. It was a wild game.”
But after the 1-0 victories against Gladbach, Leverkusen and Hoffenheim, the fourth win came in the fourth home game in 2023. “That’s outstanding,” said Maassen proudly. FCA continues to diligently collect their points at home for a 13th year in the Bundesliga. 27 counters are not a cushion in the relegation battle, but they are reassuring.
FCA in both halves as a quick starter
In a game marked by individual dropouts on Saturday, Dion Beljo (5th minute) and Arne Maier (46th) scored in front of 30,660 spectators for the hosts, who proved to be quick starters in both halves. The Dane Jens Stage was successful for the guests (14th). “We didn’t make enough of many opportunities with just one goal,” commented Werder coach Ole Werner, considering his team’s 17:9 shot on goal record.
Everyone was excited about the duel between the German goalscorers. But that was largely canceled because Augsburg’s U21 European champion Mergim Berisha was only used as a substitute after muscular problems during the week. So he couldn’t really compete with Niclas Füllkrug on the pitch. Werder’s World Cup participant was Bremen’s most dangerous player, but didn’t score because Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz was able to parry well several times.
Beljo: “The goal means a lot to me”
Winter access Beljo took over the job of scoring for Berisha. The 21-year-old Croatian demonstrated his class with his first Bundesliga goal. He took a long ball excellently, defended the ball against Werder defenders Amos Pieper and Marco Friedl and finally hit the far corner with his left foot while falling. “Sensationally done,” enthused Reuter. “The goal means a lot to me,” Beljo commented.
But it was also a game of amazing slapstick errors in the first half. The fickle FCA defender Renato Veiga was substituted after 34 minutes after a few misses and also with a yellow card. Gikiewicz blundered when he let a cross pass to make it 1-1. “Rafa has to box that away,” commented Maassen, who admitted: “We didn’t play football well.” He emphasized the positive, the fighting spirit and the mileage of his team of 120 kilometers.
A week before the difficult game in Munich against FC Bayern, however, the pleasant view of the table was decisive for the Augsburgers, who were suddenly so strong at home. The advantage over positions 16 to 18 is eight points. “It’s a good feeling when you’re a bit behind the dangerous zone,” said Maassen. But he immediately added: “Our antennae are clearly sharpened.”