Leno: "The team reacted well"
This weekend went to plan for Bayer Leverkusen and Bernd Leno: Their 1-0 victory over FC Schalke 04 on matchday 26 means Bayer 04 are on course for the Champions League spots. They are third and haven’t conceded in their last four league games.
Leno has been responsible for this. After the game DFB.de spoke to the 23-year-old about Champions League elimination, his remarkable save from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and the Germany national team.
DFB.de: Bernd Leno, congratulations on beating Schalke. Was that the ideal reaction after being knocked out of the Champions League in Madrid?
Bernd Leno: We were all disappointed after the defeat and yesterday we reacted well. We gave it our all from start to finish, played well and deserved the three points. It was a hard fought game, we performed well and deserved to win. We were the better side.
DFB.de: What was the foundation for the win and your fourth clean sheet in a row?
Leno: We defended well as a team and remained compact. It worked against Schalke and we need to continue to play like this for the rest of the season. If we keep a clean sheet I’m confident that we’ll win the game. We are a creative side and always look like we could score. It’s a shame we didn’t grab another as the ending would have been easier.
DFB.de: What did you make of the game?
Leno: We obviously had to make life tough for Schalke as they are a good attacking side. We kept another clean sheet. Everyone played their part in the victory. We’re all delighted with the result.
DFB.de: Were you surprised that you had a quiet evening?
Leno: What do you mean by surprised? Schalke were dangerous. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Christian Fuchs both had chances. We’ve defended strongly as a team recently, including in the game against Athletico. This all shows that we have a strong defence.
DFB.de: The save from Huntelaar was excellent.
Leno: I was delighted to have kept it out. Sometimes you also need a bit of luck as a goalkeeper and I certainly had that. It ensured that we didn’t fall behind early on.
DFB.de: At one point you caught Kyriakos Papadopoulos on the chin. What happened? Leno: He was a bit dazed and said some strange things. He’s a tough cookie though; he’s fine.
DFB.de: What did you make of the potential back pass situation with Ömer Toprak?
Leno: I didn’t think it was a back pass. The ball from Kevin-Prince Boateng came quickly. If Toprak meant to play it to me he would have controlled it first. The referee made the right decision in my opinion but in the future I can make sure I don’t get caught up in such situations by smacking the ball into the stand.
DFB.de: Have you thought about a potential call-up to the Germany senior squad yet?
Leno: Obviously it’s a dream of mine but I don’t think about it too much at the moment. I want to let my performances do the talking. Being selected one day would be excellent. I’ll keep working hard.