Ten-man Leverkusen hold on for first UCL win

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 7, 2019
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Sven Bender (top, front) of Leverkusen vies with Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid during a UEFA Champions League group D soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, in Leverkusen, Germany, Nov. 6, 2019. (Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/Xinhua)

Ten-man Bayer Leverkusen wrapped up their first points in Group D after beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League's group stage on Wednesday.

The "Werkself" assumed control against surprisingly defensively orientated visitors from Spain, who tried to keep the hosts on the distance.

Hence, the spectators had to wait until the 21st minute to see the first note-worthy chance of the game as Kevin Volland's shot from central position called Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak into action.

The visitors showed no intentions to dictate the proceedings on the pitch, and Leverkusen needed some time to pose threat. Nadiem Amiri unleashed a dangerous corner kick and forced Felipe to head the clearance to the woodwork in the 38th minute.

Leverkusen's efforts paid off moments later when Thomas cleared Charles Aranguiz' cross into the wrong goal to make it 1-0 in the 41st minute.

Atletico Madrid came out highly motivated but still the goals were scored at the other end of the pitch as Karim Bellarabi's square pass into the box found Volland, who made no mistake to tap home on 55 minutes.

As the match progressed, Atletico were unable to overcome Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who was on guard twice at the hour mark.

The visitors took over control especially after Amiri received his marching orders for a rude foul play to Santiago Arias with six minutes remaining until the final whistle.

Alvaro Morata eventually cut the deficit in the injury time before he squandered the golden chance, due to a foot parry from Hradecky.

"We desperately needed the win. The luck was on our side but we secured a deserved victory," Leverkusen's Kevin Volland said.

With the result, Bayer Leverkusen occupy the fourth place with three points from four games in Group D while Atletico Madrid sit on the second place with seven points. 

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