Kevin Volland scored a superb second goal for Leverkusen as they saw off Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League group game. - © AFP via Getty Images
Kevin Volland scored a superb second goal for Leverkusen as they saw off Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League group game. - © AFP via Getty Images
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Brilliant Bayer Leverkusen see off Atletico Madrid for first UEFA Champions League win of 2019/20

Bayer Leverkusen picked up their first points in the UEFA Champions League this season with a superb win over Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Goals: 1-0
Thomas (o.g. 41'), 2-0 Volland (55'), 2-1 Morata (90'+4)
Red card: Amiri (84')

Peter Bosz's men had lost all three of their previous outings in the competition this term, but you wouldn't have known it from the way they came charging out of the blocks at the BayArena. Kevin Volland was the hosts' main threat in the early exchanges, warming Jan Oblak's gloves on several occasions and almost setting Karim Bellarabi free on the counter. Atletico improved midway through the half, but found themselves under the cosh as Leverkusen began to bombard their penalty area from set pieces. Felipe first headed a Bellarabi corner onto the crossbar, before Thomas cracked under the pressure, nodding Charles Aranguiz's follow-up cross from another corner into his own net. Die Werkself's one-goal lead was no less than they deserved after a dominant first-half performance.

Diego Simeone's side made a brighter start to the second period, but it was Leverkusen celebrating as Volland doubled their advantage on 55 minutes, deftly touching down Bellarabi's cross before firing home his first Champions League goal this term. Facing the prospect off falling three points behind Juventus – who had earlier beaten Lokomotiv Moscow – Atletico began to seriously up the tempo, with Thomas Lemar, Angel Correa and Saul Niguez all going close and Alvaro Morata seeing a goal ruled out for offside. Kai Havertz almost gave Leverkusen a three-goal cushion from yet another corner, before Nadiem Amiri set up a nervy finish for the home fans by being shown a straight red card for a foul on Santiago Arias. Morata eventually did pull one back with just over a minute left, and then - with virtually the final kick of the game - looked like he might snatch an equaliser, but Lukas Hradecky's right foot sent his shot spinning to safety as Leverkusen only just clung on to go third in the group.

Match stats

  • Volland is Leverkusen's top scorer this season with seven goals (five in the Bundesliga). This was his second goal in 10 Champions League appearances to date.
  • This was only a fourth win for Leverkusen in their last 13 games in all competitions, and their first Champions League home victory since December 2016.
  • Havertz was just 17 when he made his Champions League debut in the 2016/17 round of 16 first-leg loss to Atletico.
  • Runners-up in 2001/02, Leverkusen have reached the last 16 or better in seven of their last eight Champions League campaigns.
  • Atletico have lost five of their last six matches in Germany.
  • Morata is Atleti's top scorer this season with six goals.

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky - Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell (Retsos 81') - Bellarabi, Aranguiz (Baumgartlinger 65'), Demirbay, Amiri - Volland (c), Havertz (Dragovic 88')
Unused subs: Özcan, Paulinho, Alario, Diaby
Out: L. Bender (thigh), Sinkgraven (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz

Atletico: Oblak - Arias, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi (Lemar 52') - Correa (Herrera 70'), Thomas, Koke (c), Saul - Morata, Diego Costa (Vitolo 61')
Unused subs: Adan, Llorente, Saponjic, Trippier
Out: Borja (ACL), Felix (ankle), Gimenez (thigh), Savic (hamstring), Vrsalijko (knee)
Coach: Diego Simeone

As it happened

90+5' FULL-TIME! LEVERKUSEN 2-1 ATLETICO

And thankfully the full-time whistle goes. Hradecky punches the air several times, he was the key man in a great win for the hosts that keeps them in the competition, and moves them into third in the group.

90+5' OMG HRADECKY

The Leverkusen goalkeeper earns his side all three points as Morata fires at point-blank range, but Hradecky somehow sticks out his right foot to send the ball spinning to safety...

90+4' GOAL! LEVERKUSEN 2-1

Morata takes a fine touch on Thomas' ball, and fires past Hradecky - there's just over a minute left, and it could be nail-biting.

90' HRADECKY AGAIN

A shot comes in and takes a deflection on its way through, but there are huge cheers from the relieved home fans as their goalkeeper gathers safely.

87' NAIL-BITING STUFF

Leverkusen are now sitting so deep and Atletico are just sweeping forward time after time. The hosts need to keep playing, because a goal for the visitors would really set nerves fraying.

85' AMIRI SEES RED

Amiri launches into a challenge on Arias, catches the man in pale blue and Mr. Skomina produces the red. It was colourful, just like the language you might use when you see the tackle. It wasn't the best from the ex-Hoffenheim man.

82' HAVERTZ SO CLOSE

This is what copy and paste was invented for: Demirbay whips another hugely dangerous corner into the near post....this time, Havertz sends a header into the side-netting. Atletico just cannot cope with these set-pieces.

80' PAY ATTENTION IN CLASS

Leverkusen have clearly done their homework as Demirbay whips another hugely dangerous corner into the near post. I'm sure that's something Atletico's future opponents will take note of.

78' FOUR YELLOW HAUL

Don't think I've ever seen that! There was a melée in the Atletico six-yard box while waiting for a corner. It went on for a good 30 seconds, and ends with Tah, Morata, Oblak and Demirbay all getting booked.

77' SO NEARLY A THIRD

Demirbay's corner bends in dangerously to the near post, it's pinballing around....Leverkusen claim it crossed the line, but Oblak palmed it out just centimetres from it going in.

75' MORATA PULLS ONE BACK....NOT!

The former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Juventus forward turns the ball into the net after Vitolo had fizzed the ball across goal to him, but the offside flag is up very quickly. Morata waves a finger at the assistant referee, but he was offside at the start and the end of the move.

73' TAH VERY MUCH

The giant Leverkusen centre-back stretches to get a telling touch on a cross that looked as if it would fall to Morata, who was all alone at the far post.

71' HRADECKY AGAIN

An Atletico corner is worked out to Lemar, who drills a shot goal wards, but Hradecky gathers coolly.

68' BRAVO BAYER

What a performance this has been from the home side. When you think they had zero points before tonight, and had poor Bundesliga form too, it's been a superb display.

65' BETTER CALL SAUL

Atletico did, but even their highly talented Spain international can't beat Hradecky with a header from a left-wing corner. It was powerful, but directed straight at the Finland international.

62' CORREA CHANCE!

Hradecky's throw out is intercepted, and the ball is clipped over the top of the Leverkusen back line for Correa - he tries to volley acrobatically, but doesn't make a clean contact thanks to Wendell and Hradecky can save.

60' LEMAR...DENIED

The French World Cup winner lines up a free-kick 20 metres from goal...he finds the target, but Hradecky has everything behind it.

55' GOAL! LEVERKUSEN 2-0 ATLETICO

Leverkusen double their lead, and it's a beautiful taken goal: Bellarabi's cross from the right isn't cut out. Volland takes one deft touch with his left and rifles the ball home with his right in one fluid, graceful movement. What a goal!

51' ARANGUIZ SEEING STARS

The Leverkusen midfielder needs extended treatment, and several healthy doses of ice cold water to come back to clear his head after being struck by an Atleti shot. That one rocked his head back like the punch of a heavyweight boxer.

47' ATLETI THREAT

Costa brings down a cross with a deft bit of chest control, but Bellarabi - tracking back admirably - nips in to touch the ball away from the Spain international striker before he can get a shot away.

46' SECOND HALF KICKS OFF

Here we go again. Buckle up folks!

HALF-TIME: LEVERKUSEN 1-0 ATLETICO

The Leverkusen players have a spring in their step as they head for the dressing room and rightly so. That's a great first-half performance, though Peter Bosz will be hoping for them to find more of a cutting edge. Atletico never ever give up, and Leverkusen need to get a second to give themselves margin for error.

43' DESERVED LEAD

That's nothing more than Leverkusen deserved. Their set-pieces have been a real menace, they had hit the crossbar before, and have earned that breakthrough. Now, can they keep it?

41' GOAL! LEVERKUSEN 1-0 ATLETICO

Leverkusen's corners have been getting better and better - this one is a belter from Demirbay, to the near post, Oblak has to punch it out, it's helped back into the area where Thomas gets it all wrong - and all right for Leverkusen - as he miscues his header into his own goal.

37' OFF THE CROSSBAR

Bellarabi bends in a beauty of a corner to the near post, it flicks off Felipe's head and ricochets off the Atletico defender's own crossbar. Leverkusen so close to the opener.

36' ANOTHER LEVERKUSEN CORNER...

A fifth of the first half for the hosts...Mr. Skomina wants a word with Tah and Koke - there's only one winner if that comes to a wrestling match in the penalty area, and it's not the Atleti captain - and when the ball comes in, it's off Costa and behind for another corner.

33' BOSZ TAKING HIS BALL HOME?

The Leverkusen coach stalks around his technical area with the match ball under his arm, and looks in no mood to give it back. Come on Peter, your team's done quite well so far!

31' SET-PIECE WASTED

Demirbay delivers a poor corner, doesn't beat the man at the near post...and doesn't do any better with the second opportunity he gets to send a testing ball into the box.

29' SIMEONE SPECIAL

You have to marvel at how well drilled Diego Simeone has his side. They are in a textbook 4-4-2 formation when Leverkusen have the ball, and you'd have to use VAR to see which player had a toe out of line with the others. It's military grade tactical discipline.

27' ATLETI IN CHARGE

There always seems to be a man in a pale blue shirt free at the moment. The La Liga outfit are knocking the ball around very nicely, but like the hosts earlier, have yet to find a way through.

21' VOLLAND CHANCE

The first time we see Havertz really as he wins back the ball on the left and sends a cross to the edge of the penalty area...Volland's first-time shot is straight at Oblak, unfortunately.

18' COUNTER-ATTACK...FLAWED

Volland bursts clear on the left and spies Bellarabi charging down the right like a man possessed...Volland's intended pass didn't reach him, but if it had...

17' ATLETI TAKING CHARGE

The visitors have been steadily growing into the game.

13' ARANGUIZ ON A TIGHTROPE

The Chile midfielder has already picked up a booking in this season's group stage. One more yellow card, and he'll be suspended for the Matchday 5 trip to Moscow. He'll have to watch his step!

12' PLAYING OUT OF THE PRESS

If there is a side that loves a press, it's Atletico. There are pale blue shirts all around Hradecky and Weiser, but the pair manage to play Leverkusen out of trouble very nicely.

9' VOLLAND TRIES HIS LUCK

Amiri finds his captain in the left-hand channel, Volland produces an unexpected shot with plenty of power but not enough accuracy to test Oblak.

8' UPTURN IN FORTUNES?

Leverkusen's good start suggests they could improve on their run of one win in seven in all competitions.

4' VOLLAND CHANCE

The Leverkusen skipper sends a header over the bar from his team's first corner of the game. The Bundesliga side have made the brighter start.

3' SIMEONE THE TRAFFIC COP

Dressed all in black, the energetic Atletico boss could be directing traffic in busy Cologne nearby as he waves and points wildly.

2' FIRST SHOT FOR THE HOSTS

Bellarabi gets a lucky bounce, but exploits his good fortune by finding Havertz down the right. His cross isn't good, but the ball sits up for Wendell...across the face of goal from the Brazilian, but at least a positive start from Die Werkself.

1' WE'RE UNDERWAY

Leverkusen, in all red, get us started - Atletico in their away kit of pale blue.

TIFO-TASTIC

The Leverkusen fans reveal a fabulous black-and-red tifo spelling out 1904, the year of their club's foundation.

TOUGH TO BEAT

Seven of Leverkusen's last 13 European home games have ended in a draw. That at least would open their Group D account, but they have got to be looking for a win.

VOLLAND ON FORM

Alongside Timo Werner, Kevin Volland is the sharpest-shooting German around. The 27-year-old's goal in the 2-1 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend was the 22nd goal Volland, who'll captain the side tonight, has been involved in over the course of the 2019 calendar year.

WOEFUL RUN

Peter Bosz's side have won just two of their last 16 matches in the competition, and have lost all three in this season's group stage. Surely it's time for a change in fortunes.

REVENGE MISSION

Alvaro Morata's goal was the difference between the two in Madrid just over two weeks ago, but Leverkusen gave a great account of themselves. They'll be very optimistic of getting a great result tonight.

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