Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 4
(2 - 1)
G. Rutter (22), C. Baumgartner (36)
P. Schick (34), M. Diaby (73), P. Schick (76), L. Alario (90)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Leverkusen actors stoic in spite of UCL qualification: "A season of ups and downs."

Bayer 04 Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes, head-coach Gerardo Seoane, lead-striker Patrik Schick, and German national team defender Jonathan Tah all spoke on their side's Champions' League qualification after the comeback win over Hoffenheim on Saturday. 

Despite the fact that the club had accomplished a very important objective, some of the shortcomings this season seemed to permeate everyone's mood.
How did it feel to be back in the Champions' League after missing out the last two seasons? Bayer sporting director Simon Roles looked more relieved than anything. A hefty summer spending spree ended up paying off in the long-run.

"It was our main goal," Rolfes noted in a post-match interview, "We just had to get into the Champions' League. We lost a lot of offensive players--Wirtz, Bellarabi, Frimpong, Adli--to injuries. I'm very proud of the team that we fought and earned this, even if we didn't always play the best football."

"It's been a season of ups and downs," defender Jonathan Tah (obviously referring to the Cup and Europa League exits) added, "There were moments when others stopped believing in us. We never stopped believing in ourselves."

"This is definitely something big," Tah continued, "Outstanding how we did it despite the obstacles placed in our way."

For his part, B04 head-coach Gerardo Seoane congratulated his crew for a "sensational second half". The first-year trainer was most certainly happy about playing in the UCL in his second season, yet didn't say much about the berth beyond noting an "accomplished goal".

The undisputed man of the match--with two goals and one assist--also seemed a bit subdued afterwards. Patrik Schick has unquestionably had a great season. Twenty-four league goals this season leave him just one short of the Stefan Kießling's club record of 25, set in the 2012/13 season.

Schick had his slumps this year, and also only played 26 league fixtures due to multiple injury setbacks. The 26-year-old Czech target man may aim to make a statement by tying or breaking the record at home against Freiburg next week.

"Of course I'm happy about the two goals," Schick noted, "but, it's the end of the season and some potency seems to be lacking. I know I can still play much better."

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