Overall decent game of Leverkusen against last year champions!! The blogger himself was right with his prediction: 1-1 with a goal by Derdiyok 😉
Jupp Heynckes only made one change to the team that started in Stuttgart. Renato Augusto was not included in the line-up after he had suffered an injury (extent not yet confirmed) in a training session in Madrid. Sam took his position on the right. However Heynckes gave orders to our players to constantly change their positions in midfield. We could see either Vidal or Balitsch in the central offensive role and Barnetta and Sam quite often switched their sides.
The match kicked off with a lot of respect by both teams. Once the respect faded, Bayer 04 showed it’s qualities in offense and put Atletico severely under pressure. Leverkusen was so good in the first half today that some fans of Atletico even booed their team. At the end of the first half and after a corner, Derdiyok put the Werkself finally ahead. With this advantage Bayer 04 went into half-time.
After half-time Quique Flores took Forlán out to strengthen his midfield with Thiago. This was well-thought as Leverkusen superiority in midfield up to then disappeared. Atletico was far better at the beginning of the second half. The Spanish team had several chances but did not score until Hyypiä committed an unnecessary penalty that Simao converted with the help of the post. Heynckes reacted to Atletico’s dominance by bringing Rolfes and Bender onto the pitch for Vidal and Balitsch. The balance of the game turned neutral. Both sides had minor opportunities but Leverkusen had the most dangerous one at the end with Helmes missing a low centre that could have meant 3 points for us.
As Fan of Bayer Leverkusen we can be proud of this performance tonight. We had a lot of young players on the pitch and played in a difficult stadium. I am sure that in this group Leverkusen and Atletico will pass to the next round and that the first place will be probably be decided at the BayArena in the last game.
61 min. Rolfes for Balitsch
61 min. Bender for Vidal
67 min. Helmes for Derdiyok
Substitutions Atletico Madrid
46 min. Thiago for Forlán
46 min. Fran Mérida for Raul García
Yellow cards: Hyypiä, Sam and Barnetta (all Leverkusen)
0:1 Derdiyok (39 min.)
1:1 Simao (51 min. by penalty)
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Rosenborg BK vs Aris Thessaloniki FC 2-1
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Group B Table
1 Bayer Leverkusen 4 Points (Goal difference: +4)
2 Aris Saloniki 3 Points (Goal difference: 0)
3 Rosenborg Trondheim 3 Points (Goal difference: -3)
4 Atletico Madrid 1 Point (Goal difference: -1)
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Feel free to discuss today’s game. I am not sure who was the best Leverkusen player today but I must say I was disappointed with Barnetta’s performance.