Leverkusen - Two goals from Stefan Kießling helped Bayer 04 Leverkusen clinch a comfortable 4-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk to go second in UEFA Champions League Group A.

Kießling started and finished the scoring in a one-sided encounter at the BayArena with Sidney Sam and Simon Rolfes also on target in a dominant, authoritative display.

Kießling’s stooping header


The question prior to kick-off was whether Bayer would match the beauty of Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 win at Arsenal FC, or share the sorrow of Schalke’s defeat at home to Chelsea FC. The fans inside the BayArena soon got a hint of what the answer would be as Sami Hyypiä’s three-pronged attack stamped their authority on the game, Heung-Min Son seeing a lot of possession down the left and Sidney Sam providing the obligatory bursts down the right.

It was neither who provided the opening goal, though, with Giulio Donati getting forward in support of Sam to whip in a cross from the right which was met by the head of Kießling, who used his height and a good spring to his advantage to put the hosts in front. Behind the menacing forward three, Simon Rolfes was doing an impeccable job in front of the defence, constantly demanding possession and knowing where to send the ball when he had it.

Exemplary Rolfes


Donetsk simply had no answer for Leverkusen’s power-play tactics, although all the home team had to show for it was a single goal. Kießling was at the heart of the action again as another searching cross picked out the German forward, who headed over from eight yards from an easier position to his goal. Just before the sides went in at the break, though, Alex Teixeira showed how slender Leverkusen’s advantage was with a shot into the side-netting from Douglas Costa’s pass.

Leverkusen's priority in the second half was to extend their lead and it did not take long for that to happen. Darijo Srna applied a little too much pressure on Kießling inside the area, and a penalty was awarded. Captain Rolfes stepped up to the spot and slotted the ball just beyond the reach of Andriy Pyatov, much to the relief of a home crowd who saw their team’s dominance finally reflected in the scoreline.

Clinical Werkself


Donetsk started to gamble, aware they had a mountain to climb, but keen to create a nervous end to proceedings. Inevitably, the game became stretched and Leverkusen took full advantage, Sam drifting in from the cusp of an offside position to meet Son’s pass before stroking the ball into the corner, to give the home side an unassailable lead with less than an hour played.

Leverkusen were content with a three-goal cushion though. They wanted more. Taking advantage as much as they could of the gaps which kept opening up, their persistency was rewarded with a fourth when Kießling pounced on a fumble by Pyatov to grab his second and Leverkusen’s fourth of a dominant performance.

Line-ups:

Leverkusen: Leno - Donati, Toprak, Spahic (56’ Wollscheid), Boenisch - Rolfes - Can, Castro - Sam, Kießling (76’ Derdiyok), Son (71’ Hegeler)

Shakhtar: Pyatov - Srna, Kucher, Rakytskyy, Shevchuk - Fernando (61’ Ilsinho), Hübschman - Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Taison (46’ Bernard) - Luiz Adriano (78’ Ferreyra)

Goals: 1-0 Kießling (22’), 2-0 Rolfes (50’, Penalty), 3-0 Sam (’57), 4-0 Kießling (72’)

Take another look at the controversial 'phantom goal' scored by Stefan Kießling last weekend on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel.