Champions League: Leverkusen 1 – 0 Atlético
Atleti miss chance to secure an away goal and fall behind in tie
Calhanoglu’s stunning strike was the difference in Bayer Leverkusen’s one-nil victory over Atlético in the BayArena.
The match started off slowly for both sides, but Bayer were more comfortable with the ball and Atleti was soaking up the pressure. Bayer’s first clear and dangerous chance came in the seventh minute, but the shot wasn’t a bother for Moyá.
Griezmann had a spectacular chance to put Atleti up in the eight minute, but he headed it wide. The Frenchman looked to believe that he was offside, but replays show that he was clearly onside.
The ball was stuck to the Bayer players’ feet and all the dangerous actions were coming from the Germans.
Other than the dire play shown in the first minutes of the opening half, things were getting worse for Atleti. Both Saúl and Siqueira had to be subbed off for Raúl García and Jesús Gámez respectively.
The Brazilian left-back was being caught out of position countless times and misplacing many passes before he was subbed off due to a cramp.
Saúl, the Spanish youngster, had to be subbed off and immediately taken to the hospital after he was elbowed in the kidney. Further evaluations regarding the midfielder’s condition will be announced shortly.
Leno was forced into action with a brilliant save after Tiago scissor kicked the ball. The German’s save was crucial to keeping things level at the break.
The Bayer players were constantly fouling the Atleti players and they had committed a total of 14 fouls in the first half alone. In comparison, Atleti only committed three fouls. Both sides saw one yellow card in the first half. Tiago was the man in red and white to see a booking in the first half. A booking that would haunt him in the second half.
The second half started off promising, as Atleti seemed determined to keep position.
However, the positive symptoms didn’t last long as Calhanoglu scored an absolute stunner in the 56th minute to make the game 1-0 for the Germans. The goal was the first that Moyá ever conceded in the Champions League.
Things got even worse for Atleti as Diego Godín saw a yellow card in the 60th minute. The Uruguayan will miss the match in the Calderón as he serves his one match suspension.
Just a few moments later one of the beautiful moments of the match was going to happen.
It took years to happen, but it finally did. Fernando Torres made his Champions League debut for Atlético after he came on for Arda Turan in the 65th minute.
It was almost a dream debut too, but Torres’ goal did not count as the ball had previously gone out of play.
Just moments later, Tiago made a reckless challenge and received his second yellow of the night. He too will miss the second leg in Madrid.
Atleti’s match was horrible and looking at some statistics, you can see why.
89 passes. 89 attempted passes the whole match. Only 70 were completed. In comparison, Bayer completed 184 out of 219 attempts. Atleti had no possession and did nothing with the ball all game.
Sometimes Atleti play poorly and somehow manage to win. Not this time. Atleti played poorly and was punished for it.
Atleti will have to turn the game around in the return leg on March 17.
|Bayer Leverkusen||10||Atlético Madrid|
|UEFA Champions League|
|25 February 2015|