''After the game and the chances we had, it's very hard to take,'' said captain Marco Reus, while goalscorer Julian Brandt bemoaned: ''There are too many phases in which we drop out of games.'' Here are the match reactions.
Marco Reus: ''That was a brutally open game. We gave Leverkusen a lot of open space, which meant they had a lot of chances to hit us with counter-attacks and we often had to sprint back 40 or 50 metres to cover. However, you have to say that, after making it 1-1, we really had them under pressure. The door was open to us, but we couldn't go through it. That was the problem. We had to take the lead, but we weren't able to. Then, after being hit with another counter-attack in which we weren't well positioned and couldn't get back to cover, we concede to fall 2-1 behind. Of course that makes it difficult. After the game and the chances we had, it's very hard to take. It's a disappointing evening for us, because we wanted to respond to the 1-1 draw with Mainz on Saturday by beating one of our direct competitors. We weren't able to do that.''
Julian Brandt: ''I think we actually started really well in the first few minutes. We were winning the ball and managing to get fairly close to their goal. The rest of the first half wasn't good. We didn't have any real intensity in our play and we let Leverkusen have too much time and possession. They were able to pick their pass every time. That really wasn't good from us. In the second half we played with a lot more intensity and that led to us creating several chances. We could well have taken the lead at this stage of the game. No player out there was on top of their game in the first half. It's been a bit of a recurring theme throughout the season that we've not been able to maintain our level over the full 90 minutes. There are too many phases in which we drop out of games. That often causes our downfall at the moment.''
Transcribed by Timo Lammert