Bayer Leverkusen thrash Schalke in Xabi Alonso’s Bundesliga managerial debut

Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby led the way in a dominant performance at the BayArena that showed Alonso may be up to the task on his return to the Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen received the immediate bump they were hoping for at the BayArena earlier today when they trashed FC Schalke 04 by a 4-0 scoreline in what was a dominant display perpetrated by former Spanish international midfielder Xabi Alonso on his managerial debut in the Bundesliga.

A brace from Dutch starlet Jeremie Frimpong and a return to normal service from French international sparkplug Moussa Diaby saw Die Werkself gave Alonso the start to life that both he and the club would have been hoping for after he jumped at the chance to come back to Germany after first cutting his teeth with Real Sociedad B to learn his craft.

Alonso became just the second Spanish manager in the history of the Bundesliga as he followed in the footsteps of his former manager at Bayern Munich and now Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and it was a debut that Pep would have been proud of.

Leverkusen boasted 60% of the ball while managing to craft 13 chances across the 90-minute display while Schalke remained helpless in their attempts to get out of the starting gate with just 2 shots on record come full-time.

Unlike Guardiola, however, Alonso relied on a back three deployment but deserves credit in his ability to already get the best out of Diaby after the Frenchman was struggling mightily under former boss Gerardo Seoane this season but may have been jump-started in the early doors of the Spaniard’s reign.

With Frimpong in support behind him, the wide pair were dominant throughout while utilizing their pace and technical craft to carve open a Schalke outfit that looked to struggle this season but have managed a cadre of decent results on record despite now sitting sixteenth while embarking on a three-match losing run.

There is always cause for joyous praise in the wake of a managerial debut of this magnitude, but Alonso will still have his work cut out for him if he is to put right a Leverkusen outfit who - on paper - are incredibly talented and far better than what was their worst start to a domestic season in over forty years.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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