Bayer Leverkusen have exited the UEFA Europa League following a 4-2 aggregate loss to Atalanta in their last-16 tie.
As it happened!
Boga steals a march on Tah, and lashes home. Leverkusen are going out..
TIME ADDED ON
FIVE minutes to go at the BayArena. Let's have a final push, boys!
NO WAY THROUGH
Diaby tries his luck again, but the shot lacks the power to trouble Musso. It's going to take a late special to rescue this tie...
NOW OR NEVER
Seoane throws on a second striker in Lucas Alario. Can the Argentine add to his four goals so far this season?
SHUTTING UP SHOP
Defensive changes from the Serie A side, with a defender and midfielder on for the final 10 minutes. They're heading through on aggregate, as things stand...
Andrich needs no invitation to get forward after winning back possession in midfield. He winds up from 18 yards, but it's straight at Musso. Bayer asking ALL the questions as we head into the final 20 minutes of regulation time...
Bakker swings his trusty left boot at a corner, but can only find the side netting. Leverkusen come again with Diaby, who collects from Demirbay and fires across the Atalanta goal. His aim just isn't in tonight, which is not something we've said all that often this season.
Very positive from Seoane as Bellarabi, Andrich and Azmoun enter the fray. All three are capable goalscorers - now would be an ideal time to show it!
He's picked up a knock. Far from ideal after such a lengthy lay-off. Seoane looks to his bench...
HEAD OF STEAM
Leverkusen turning the screw as Palacios tees up Aranguiz, who spoons over from outside the box. Much more urgency about the Bundesliga club's play since the restart - they HAVE to score...
Demirbay goes straight for goal from a corner, forcing Musso into evasive action. It's been all Leverkusen this season half...
WHAT A CHANCE!
Diaby is one-on-one with Musso, but cannot find a way past the Atalanta stopper. Demirbay's follow-up is blocked, possibly by a stray hand - not given by the VAR! Leverkusen should be level in this tie!
A massive 45 minutes for Leverkusen. Both sides as they were...
HALF-TIME! LEVERKUSEN 0-0 ATALANTA (AGG: 2-3)
Demiral sends another header from a corner off target as a half of few chances draws to a close. If Leverkusen can get the bare minimum goal they need, that might force the visitors to take more risks. And we all know about Bayer's ability to punish opposition teams on the counter...
Another 120 seconds to go before the break. Leverkusen still only one goal behind in the tie...
Demirbay upends Muriel, who sends the ensuing free-kick just over the angle of post and bar. Leverkusen cannot afford to fall behind on the night...
Muriel dances into the Leverkusen area, but in steams Fosu-Mensah to make a vital block. The ex-Man Utd defender has a big few months ahead, in the absence of Frimpong.
What's been a really tactical, defensive game to start is beginning to open up as Malinovskyi tests Hradecky from distance.
Zappacosta and Koopmeiners combine on the Atalanta left, with the final delivery millimetres from being turned home in the six-yard box. Let-off for Bayer.
The Frenchman powers into opposition territory, before seeing his shot blocked by Demiral. If Leverkusen are to score, you feel he'll be heavily involved...
Leverkusen look a real threat when they get the ball out wide. The direct running of Bakker and Diaby is causing the visiting defence problems.
Atalanta's captain is forced off with a thigh strain. Can Leverkusen take advantage?
This is more like it from Bayer! Bakker drives up the left and squares for Diaby. He's about 12 yards out, but doesn't catch his shot as well as he'd like and Musso is able to palm the shot clear.
Leverkusen still finding their feet as Muriel draws a routine save out of Hradecky from range.
Demiral wins a header from a corner, but can't direct it on target. Early warning for Bayer...
AWAY WE GO!
The ball's rolling at the BayArena! Can Leverkusen turn this tie around? Here's hoping!
NOT SO HAPPY HUNTING GROUND
Atalanta have never won in Germany, having previously lost 3-2 to Dortmund in the 2017/18 round of 32 and drawn 1-1 with Cologne in 1991.
HISTORY POINTS TO HOME ADVANTAGE
Leverkusen have won 17 of their 25 home games in the Europa League and, prior to a loss against Seoane's Young Boys last season, went 11 games without defeat at the BayArena in the competition. The hosts are playing in the knockout phase for a seventh time, which is more than any other German club have managed, while they are just two goals shy of a century in this competition. The 1987/88 UEFA Cup winners also won all three of their home group stage matches - against Ferencvaros, Real Betis and Celtic - scoring nine times in the process as they finished top of the Group G standings with 13 points. Impressive numbers, all told, for the boys from the banks of the Rhine to boast ahead of their very first meeting with Atalanta on German soil.
"Atalanta are an unflappable team with high intensity and ball-winning ability," warned Leverkusen boss Gerardo Seoane. "We will need a more consistent performance than in the first leg."
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
Gerardo Seoane makes five change to the team that lost 1-0 to Cologne in the Rhine derby. Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Edmond Tapsoba replace Jeremie Frimpong and Odlion Kossounou in the back four. Charles Aranguiz comes into defensive midfield, with Kerem Demirbay moving into the No.10 role usually occupied by the injured Florian Wirtz. Mitchel Bakker gives Bayer natural width on the left-hand side, while Amine Adli is preferred to Lucas Alario in attack. As for Atalanta, defender Jose Palomino replaces Berat Djimsiti in the only change from the first leg.
LEVERKUSEN STARTING LINE-UP
Hradecky (c) - Fosu-Mensah, Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapie - Aranguiz, Palacios - Diaby, Demirbay, Bakker - Adli
Grill, Lomb, Kossounou, Paulinho, Andrich, Azmoun, Alario, Sinkgraven, Bellarabi
ATALANTA STARTING LINE-UP
Musso - Toloi (c), Demiral, Palomino - Hateboer, de Roon, Freuler, Zappacosta - Koopmeiners - Malinovskyi, Muriel
Rossi, Sportiello, Maehle, Boga, Pezzella, Djimsiti, Mihaila, Pessina Scalvini, Pasalic
DIAL #DIABY FOR GOALSDiaby has weighed in with three goals during Schick's absence, and his scintillating strike in the first leg brought his tally up to 16 goals across all competitions in 2021/22. Added to that, the French attacking phenomenon has added nine assists, marking him out as a likely game-changer.
Leverkusen are without top scorer Patrik Schick, chief provider Florian Wirtz and right-back Jeremie Frimpong. They do at least have the in-form Moussa Diaby, who will buzz around either Lucas Alario or Sardar Azmoun - or both.
Bayer need to win by two goals in 90 minutes to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals. With away goals a thing of the past, victory by one will take the tie to extra-time.
A huge night for Bayer Leverkusen as they attempt to overturn a 3-2 deficit against Atalanta in their UEFA Europa League last-16 second leg. Only a win will do...
Schick has returned to light training after missing Leverkusen’s last four matches, including the first leg in Italy, with a calf injury. However, this return fixture comes too soon for the Bundesliga’s 20-goal second-top scorer this season. It has unfortunately also come at the wrong time for Wirtz, who tore his ACL in Sunday’s derby defeat to Cologne and will be out for a considerable period of time. Jeremie Frimpong may also have kicked his last ball in 2021/22, but Odilon Kossounou is passed fit. Die Werkself also have the in-form Moussa Diaby, who will operate on the right-hand side of an attack completed by Amine Adli and Mitchel Bakker. Gerardo Seoane's team need to win by two goals in 90 minutes to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals. Remember that away goals have been abolished, so a win by one will take the tie to extra-time.
Although famed for their free-flowing attacking play, Atalanta have drawn blanks in their last two Serie A outings, losing 1-0 at Roma and drawing 0-0 at home to Genoa on Sunday. On top of that, it’s also only one win in their last eight domestic league outings, which was one of just three matches in that run where they have scored. It leaves them in sixth and eight points adrift of the top four. Italy’s last remaining Europa League representative has also only won one of their last five European away games. First-leg goalscorers Malinovskyi and Luis Muriel start again for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side on their first visit to Germany since losing 3-2 in Dortmund in 2018, but Aleksei Miranchuk is out with a hip problem. Marten de Roon also returns after missing the weekend through suspension.
Watch: All 20 of Schick's Bundesliga goals this season
- Diaby has four goals in his last three Europa League starts.
- Leverkusen have won four of the eight UEFA ties in which they lost the first leg away.
- Die Werkself’s overall home record in the UEFA Europa League, play-offs included, is W17 D5 L3. Their last defeat on home turf came last year against a Young Boys side then coached by Seoane.
- Atalanta have never won in Germany, having previously lost 3-2 to Dortmund in the 2017/18 round of 32 and drawn 1-1 with Cologne in 1991.
- Leverkusen forward Schick and Atalanta counterpart Muriel were strike partners at Sampdoria in 2016/17. They each scored 11 Serie A goals that season.
- Currently on 98 goals, Leverkusen are bidding to become the 14th club to reach a century of goals in the competition. This is their 51st match in the competition.
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Fosu-Mensah, Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapie - Aranguiz, Palacios - Diaby, Demirbay, Bakker - Adli
Subs: Grill, Lomb, Kossounou, Paulinho, Andrich, Azmoun, Alario, Sinkgraven, Bellarabi
Out: Frimpong (ankle), Lunev (ankle), Schick (calf), Wirtz (knee)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Atalanta: Musso - Toloi (c), Demiral, Palomino - Hateboer, de Roon, Freuler, Zappacosta - Koopmeiners - Malinovskyi, Muriel
Subs: Rossi, Sportiello, Maehle, Boga, Pezzella, Djimsiti, Mihaila, Pessina Scalvini, Pasalic
Out: Ilicic (not included), Miranchuk (hip), Zapata (hamstring)
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini