Atletico’s Round Of 16 Qualification Delayed After Loss To Leverkusen

(L-R) Atletico Madrid’s French midfielder Thomas Lemar, Atletico Madrid’s Spanish forward Alvaro Morata and Atletico Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Vitolo react after the UEFA Champions League Group D football match Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid in Leverkusen, western Germany on November 6, 2019.
INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

Bayer Leverkusen belatedly breathed life into their Champions League campaign by recording their first points of the group stage with a 2-1 victory at home to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

A bizarre Thomas Partey own goal gave Leverkusen the lead on 41 minutes at the BayArena before Germany international Kevin Volland bagged a second shortly after the break.

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Nadiem Amiri was sent off for a reckless challenge on Santiago Arias in the closing minutes with Alvaro Morata grabbing a consolation goal for Atletico in stoppage time.

Diego Simeone’s side fall three points behind Group D leaders Juventus after missing a chance to sew up qualification for the last 16 with two rounds to spare.

Leverkusen, who lost their opening three matches in Europe, are level on three points with Lokomotiv Moscow as both sides likely face the prospect of battling for a spot in the Europa League.

AFP

Eintracht Frankfurt Deny Leverkusen Chance To Top League With 3-0 Win

File: Leverkusen’s German forward Kevin Volland (L) and Leverkusen’s Jamaican midfielder Leon Bailey 
Rolf Vennenbernd / DPA / AFP

 

Goncalo Paciencia scored twice in the first half as Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 on Friday to deny the visitors the chance to move top of the Bundesliga.

The Portuguese forward fired Frankfurt ahead inside five minutes as he latched on to a Danny Da Costa pass and held off two defenders to stroke the ball under Lukas Hradecky.

Paciencia won a penalty on the quarter-hour when his shot was blocked by the hands of a sliding Aleksandar Dragovic, rolling home the spot-kick to double the lead for the hosts.

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Eintracht goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow, deputising for the injured Kevin Trapp, kept Leverkusen at bay with a string of stops from Karim Bellarabi, Lucas Alario and Kai Havertz.

Leverkusen were awarded a penalty midway through the second half for an apparent handball by Djibril Sow but the decision was correctly overturned following a VAR review.

Dutch striker Bas Dost wrapped up the victory for Frankfurt 10 minutes from time as he brushed off Dragovic to net his third league goal of the season.

Eintracht moved level with Leverkusen as part of a cluster of six teams on 14 points, two adrift of leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Marco Rose’s Gladbach go to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday while second-placed Wolfsburg travel to RB Leipzig.

Defending champions Bayern Munich will attempt to bounce back from a 2-1 loss at home to Hoffenheim when they visit Bavarian neighbours Augsburg.

AFP

Bailey Injury Compounds Leverkusen’s Woe

Leverkusen’s German forward Kevin Volland (L) and Leverkusen’s Jamaican midfielder Leon Bailey attend a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Mosva in Leverkusen, western Germany, on September 17, 2019. Rolf Vennenbernd / DPA / AFP

 

Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey was ruled out for at least four weeks Thursday with an injury sustained in their shock Champions League loss at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.

The 22-year-old Jamaica international tore a leg muscle in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat and will miss their next Champions League match at Juventus on October 1.

Bailey was at fault for Lokomotiv’s first goal while another error by Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky led to the Russian side’s second.

The setback in Europe came on the back of Saturday’s 4-0 hammering at Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, prompting a stinging rebuke from Leverkusen director Rudi Voeller.

“That was sub-standard before the break and not the level of the Champions League, we haven’t seen a performance like that from our team for a long time,” said former Germany coach Voeller.

“This defeat hurts me more than the 4-0 in Dortmund, where the result was too high in the end, but we were still better than against Moscow.

“Of course, there were those two mistakes but we can’t reduce that to these two errors, that would be too easy – in the first half we were all a bit too scared.”

AFP

Leipzig On Champions League Course After Win At Leverkusen

Leipzig On Champions League Course After Win At Leverkusen
Leipzig’s Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg (2nd R) celebrates scoring from the penalty spot with his teammates during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig in Leverkusen, western Germany, on April 6, 2019. HASAN BRATIC / AFP

 

RB Leipzig remain on track for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga after Matheus Cunha’s delightful chip sealed a 4-2 win over top half rivals Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Leipzig twice came from behind to claim a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions and further cement their claim for a Champions League place.

Kai Havertz gave Leverkusen the lead from 12 yards after Willi Orban tripped Kevin Volland in the box early on.

Leipzig replied almost immediately when Marcel Sabitzer curled in a free-kick from the edge of the box, but Havertz quickly restored the lead with a superb half-volley.

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Leverkusen looked comfortable until Timo Werner suddenly smashed in Leipzig’s second just after the hour mark.

Emil Forsberg then put Leipzig in front from the penalty spot before Cunha secured the three points with a splendid lob seven minutes from time.

Leipzig are three points ahead of fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, who snatched a late 2-1 win at Schalke.

Ante Rebic rounded Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel on 13 minutes to put Frankfurt ahead, but Suat Serdar levelled the scores with his second goal in two games.

Yet Frankfurt were awarded an injury-time penalty by VAR and Luka Jovic fired in the winner.

Schalke remain five points clear of the bottom three after Nuremberg and Stuttgart shared the points in a relegation showdown.

Matheus Pereira’s opener for Nuremberg came against the run of play just before half-time. Stuttgart’s Ozcan Kabak then scored a controversial equaliser, given by VAR despite an apparent offside in the build-up.

The equaliser keeps Stuttgart four points ahead of Nuremberg in the relegation play-off place.

Relegation seems all but certain for Hanover, meanwhile, after they suffered a 3-1 defeat to local rivals Wolfsburg.

Hanover had an early penalty appeal turned down, but Henrik Weydandt broke free on the counter-attack to slide in the opener after half an hour.

Their lead lasted all of 100 seconds, a Renato Steffen header bringing Wolfsburg level.

Steffen scored again after half-time, and Jerome Roussillon added a third late on to seal the win and push Hanover further towards the drop.

Elsewhere, Benito Raman continued his excellent recent form with a brace for Fortuna Duesseldorf in their 2-1 win over Hertha Berlin.

Hertha’s Marko Grujic cancelled out Raman’s first-half opener, but the Belgian striker scored again after the break to secure three points and move Duesseldorf a step closer to safety.

AFP

Chicharito Joins West Ham From Bayer Leverkusen

Chicharito Joins West Ham From Bayer Leverkusen

West Ham United have confirmed the signing of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of £16million.

The 29-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid star put pen to paper on a three-year deal on Monday afternoon and will join Slaven Bilic and his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Germany.

Hernandez, who became Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer earlier this year, is more commonly known to fans as ‘Chicharito’ – the name he will sport on the back of his 2017/18 West Ham United shirt.

“I am very happy to join West Ham United,” he told the club’s website. “For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world and when the opportunity came, I was desperate to sign for this club.”

“It was not a difficult decision, West Ham is a historic club and very ambitious; this summer you can see with the players signed that they are looking to have a very good season.

“I’ve had three fantastic years playing in Spain and Germany, but England was really the first big chapter in my career and I am so happy to be back. I am desperate for the season to start and to help the team achieve all their objectives,” he added.

Veron Returns To The Pitch With Estudiantes

Veron Returns To The Pitch With EstudiantesFormer Argentinian international, Juan Sebastian Veron, is out of retirement to join his home country club, Estudiantes.

The former Manchester United midfielder signed an 18-month contract with the Argentine top-flight team.

Veron, who hung his boots in 2014, also promised to play in the 2017 Copa Libertadores, if fans bought 65% of the boxes at the club’s new stadium.

His first match would be on January 8, 2017 against Bayer Leverkusen in the Florida Cup.

The 41-year-old has promised to donate his salary to the club.

He won the Uefa Cup with Parma and the Serie A title with Lazio before moving to the Old Trafford in 2001 for a then British record transfer fee of £28.1m.

Voron also won the 2002-03 English Premier League title with United.

Champions League: Zidane Ready For Sportin Lisbon

Champions League: Zidane Ready For Sportin LisbonReal Madrid Coach, Zinedine Zidane says the team will not take anything for granted as the defending champions target their third win in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League clash against Sporting Lisbon.

Real Madrid trail Borussia Dortmund with two points in Group F after four games while sporting are third in the group with just one victory.

Real beat Atletico Madrid 3-0 last Saturday in the La Liga but Zidane anticipates a very difficult match against Sporting.

Sporting Coach, Jorge Jesus acknowledged Real Madrid’s quality, but says if his team perform the way they did in Madrid, losing just 2-1, the dream stays alive.

Leicester City can make sure of their place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday if they beat Club Brugge at the King Power Stadium.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur travel to AS Monaco knowing anything less than a win will see them fail to progress if Bayer Leverkusen beat CSKA Moscow.

Elsewhere, Sevilla and Juventus clash at the top of Group H, while Borussia Dortmund take on Legia Warsaw.

 

Champions League: Leicester City Top Group After Draw With Koebenhavn

leicester city KoebenhavnEnglish side Leicester City on Wednesday maintained top spot in the Group G of the Champions League, with 10 points, looking good to go to the next stage of the championship. 

The champions of the English Premiership kept maintained their clean sheet, with a 0-0 draw with FC Koebenhavn, which played host to the City side.

Leicester had won the first leg match at home.

Just as he did when the two sides met two weeks ago, Kasper Schmeichel made a brilliant late save to deny Andreas Cornelius a goal.

Kusk crossed from the right and Cornelius sent a downward header towards the bottom right corner, only for Schmeichel to plunge to his right and claw it out.

The rebound came to Santander, a few yards out, but without composure, he slashed it high and wide.

FC Porto’s 1 – 0 victory in the game against Club Brugge, extended Leicester’s day of celebration, since they need to play another game to be sure of qualification for the last 16.

In other games Monaco defeated CSKA Moscow 30 while Tottenham Hotspur lost at home to Bayer Leverkusen in Group E games.
In Group F, Borussia Dortmund and Sporting CP’s game ended 1 – 0 in favour of Dortmund.

In Group H, Juventus and Lyon drew 1-1 while Sevilla defeated Dinamo Zagreb 4 – 0.

UCL: Pochettino Expects ‘Exciting Game’ Against Leverkusen

Pochettino, UCL, Champions League, Bayer LeverkusenTottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino is looking forward to an ‘exciting game’ against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday night. 

Pochettino remains optimistic despite losing defender Toby Alderweireld to injury.

Eric Dier and Kevin Wimmer are possible replacements for Alderweireld against Leverkusen.

While Spurs are the Premier League’s only unbeaten side, they stumbled badly in their opening Champions League group, losing 2-1 at home to as Monaco.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen coach, Roger Schmidt has also praised Tottenham’s ‘ tactics and organised play ahead of Tuesday night’s game.

It will be an important Group E game for both teams, both of whom are vying for the three points.

Leverkusen have had a patchy start to the season and come into the game with two wins from their last seven games.

With two points from their opening two group games – one fewer than Spurs and two behind leaders Monaco, Leverkusen know they cannot afford another defeat.

Incredible Comeback: Liverpool Score Four To Sink Dortmund In Europa

LiverpoolLiverpool have qualified for the Europa League semi-finals with a dramatic fight back to defeat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 at Anfield.

Goals from Origi, Coutinho, Sakho and Lovren helped Klopp triumph in the dying minutes of the game against his former club on Thursday night.

Two quick goals by Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the fifth minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the ninth minute half had left Liverpool shocked and on the verge of exit without a fight.

Pressure mounted for the fans as the setback was followed by series of missed chances that left the Anfield faithful frustrated.

The second half started well for Liverpool and the early pressure paid off in the 48th minute through Origi but just when Liverpool thought they were launching a comeback, Marco Reus silenced the home fans with a lovely finish, which left Klopp visibly furious.

Two goals down and three away goals already for Dortmund with less than 30 minutes to play, Liverpool needed three goals without conceding any more goals to win on aggregate, having drawn the first leg 1-1 in Germany.

LiverpoolThey made it 3-4 on aggregate in the 66th minute after James Milner played a one-two with Coutinho on the edge of the box, with the Brazilian star guiding home a great strike.

The Brazilian turned the provider of the equalizer in the 77th minutes as he whipped a corner in from the left-hand side with Sturridge managing to do enough to let the ball run past him at the near post!

Former PSG centre-back, Mamadou Sakho was quickest to react and turned home a close-range finish to make it 4-4 on aggregate.

Anfield went wild and they could only pray a complete miracle. One more goal and Liverpool would be in the semis. Both coaches made changes to make the best of the final minutes of the game.

There were four minutes of stoppage time and the pressure got to Schmelzer who picked up a yellow card for petulance, with Dortmund’s tempers flaring after a free-kick was awarded to Liverpool.

The Reds, however, maintained focus and the free-kick was taken short by Milner to Sturridge, with the latter then feeding the former to the right byline. He hung up a lovely cross, with Lovren rising highest at the back post to guide home a thumping header.

It was the 91st minutes and Liverpool had done the unthinkable; fighting back from being 1-3 down to defeat Dortmund 4-3 and qualifying for the semi-final 5-4 on aggregate.

This could go down as one of the greatest nights in Europa League history.

Europa League: Liverpool Defeat Man-U As Tottenham Lose

Europa LeagueThursday night ended in disappointment for two English teams, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United playing away in the Europa League.

Manchester United lost to Liverpool 2-0  at Anfield in their first meeting in Europe with goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino.

The hosts made the breakthrough in the first half when Daniel Sturridge beat David De Gea from the penalty spot after Nathaniel Clyne was brought down by Memphis Depay.

Liverpool midfielders Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho wasted great opportunities to double the home side’s lead before half-time.

However, Roberto Firmino handed the Reds a commanding 2-0 first-leg lead at Anfield after a close-range finish with 17 minutes remaining of the first leg.

Tottenham were shocked by in-form Borrusia Dortmund 3-0 in Germany.

Manchester United and Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the Germans a first-half lead. Marco Reus hit two after the break to make the Germans the favourites to clinch a place in the quarter-finals in second leg.

In other Europa League round of 16 first leg matches played on Thursday night, Swiss Side Basel played a goalless draw with Spanish club Sevilla while Turkish giants Fenerbache beat Portugal’s Sporting Braga 1-0.

Ukrainian power house Shakhtar Donetsk beat Anderlecht of Belgium 3-1 and Athletic Bilbao beat Valencia 1-0 in an all-Spanish encounter,

Sparta Prague played a 1-1 draw with Ogenyi Onazi’s Lazio while Villareal beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 at the Estadio El Madrigal.

Europa League: Dortmund Prepare Ahead Of Porto Clash

Dortmund German side, Borussia Dortmund, hopes to defend a 2-nil lead at Porto as the two sides fight for a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Coach Thomas Tuchel expressed hope that since the team dominated the first match in Germany, they would try to do the same in Thursday’s match.

Dortmund beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-nil in the Bundesliga away match on Sunday and presently second in the table behind Bayern Munich, but 15 points ahead of Hertha Berlin in third.

Meanwhile, Coach Louis Van Gaal insists Manchester United must learn to ignore their critics.

The Dutchman observed that their performances might have been affected by the intense scrutiny the team had been under throughout the campaign.