‘Leverkusen forced their luck’

Simon Rolfes believes that Bayer Leverkusen’s ability to have picked up the win against Real Sociedad was more down to skill than luck.

The Germans looked set to be held to a 1-1 draw at home to La Real in the second matchday of the Champions League group phase, only for Jens Hegeler to steal the win with a late free-kick.

“Bringing on Jens Hegeler breathed fresh wind into our game. He came on and was present right away,” Rolfes reflected of his substitue colleague.

“That's not luck, that has something to do with having the right attitude. For the ball to go in like that, that's a little bit of luck surely.

“But sometimes you have to force luck. Having lost the first game it was important to get three points today. It was really hard work to get there.

“We did well at the beginning, had lots of pace and were aggressive. After the break we had 20, 25 minutes where we lost our way a bit, we played too fast, tried to force it and that did not serve us well.”

Rolfes had opened the scoring for Leverkusen in a more dominant first-half display.

“Of course I was happy to have scored, that is the best thing there is in football. It is well known that the Spaniards are not at their strongest in the air and we already thought before the match that we might have chances there.

“Then the free-kick came into the box perfectly and I was lucky enough to put the ball into the net. We now have a home game against Shakhtar coming up and today will give us a boost.

“Things would have been very difficult had we not won today.”

Tags Bayer Leverkusen Rolfes