Germany: Bundesliga
3 - 0
(2 - 0)
P. Förster (19), T. Asano (34), K. Stöger (86)
A. Adli (8)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Adli apologizes for straight red, Xabi declares himself "100% Leipzig Fan" for Pokal Final

Bayer 04 Leverkusen starter Amine Adli has issued a public apology to his club and its fans for an early red card that left die Werkself decimated in the 9th minute of Saturday's 0-3 loss to Bochum. 

Germany's red company team have technically still qualified for the Europa League after securing sixth place in the 2022/23 Bundesliga standings. The last word, however, is actually not spoken. 

Seventh-placed Eintracht Frankfurt can still take Leverkusen's Europa League away and bump the club down to the UEFA Europa Conference League with a win over Leipzig in next Saturday's DFB Pokal Final. 

Speaking at his post-match presser, Xabi commented on the team's loss and made it clear where his allegiances next week would lie. 
Bayer 04 Leverkusen stood little chance in Saturday's season finale away at Bochum when Amine Adli incurred an early red card. There would be no revocation of Adli's red this time. In point of fact, VAR would work to the 23-year-old's disadvantage. Match official Tobias Welz was forced to turn Adli's yellow into a red after replays confirmed the Frenchman fouled Bochum's Heintz in the most reckless of fashions.

Bochum went on to win 3-0.

"Today, I'd like to apologize to my teammates, the fans, and the club," Adli noted in a statement released on his instagram feed, "this afternoon I made a gesture that has no place in a match. I'm the first to blame myself."

"The red card was fully justified," head-coach Xabi Alonso added at his post-match presser, "Bochum had one more player than us for some 85 minutes. Of course, I'm a little angry today. Last week's result against Gladbach is also still with me. But we've got to move on as there's nothing more we can do about it."

Xabi went on to reference the team's remarkable turnaround this season. The Spanish trainer noted that European qualification was an achievement considering the state the team was in when he inherited it from previous trainer Gerardo Seoane last October. Whether Leverkusen end up playing in the Europa League or entering the Conference League playoffs, however, depends on whether Frankfurt or Leipzig win next Saturday's Pokal.

"It's clear that next week, for one evening, I'm behind Leipzig 100 percent as a fan," Alonso also said.

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