Kai Havertz and Bayer Leverkusen played well and created a number of opportunities against Juventus at the BayArena on Wednesday, but were unable to make their chances count in a 2-0 defeat on Matchday 6 of the UEFA Champions League.
As it happened!
LEVERKUSEN 0-2 JUVENTUS
Goals: 0-1 Ronaldo (75'), 0-2 Higuain (90+2')
And that's that. Leverkusen played very well in spells and held their own against one of the continent's strongest teams, but ultimately the difference was that the home team didn't finish their chances when they had them, and Juve were ruthless in the closing stages. Still, Bosz's men can bow out of the competition with their heads held high and can look forward to the Europa League in 2020.
90+2' GOAL! HIGUAIN SEALS THE WIN
Dybala slides a ball into Higuain's feet on the edge of the box and his instant first-time shot squeezes past Hradecky and into the bottom corner.
90+1' INTO STOPPAGE TIME
There will be four minutes of added time here.
89' WIDE FROM ARANGUIZ
A driving run into the box causes problems for the Juve backline and they struggle to clear. The ball falls to Havertz, who skips past his marker and feeds Aranguiz again. He turns and shoots, but it's just wide of the post.
84' NO WAY THROUGH
Leverkusen are keeping possession well in midfield, but with Juventus sitting deep and absorbing the pressure, they can't get anywhere near Buffon's goal at present.
82' HERE COMES VOLLAND
Leverkusen haven't given up yet, though, and have brought on main striker Kevin Volland as they go in search of a goal. Alario is the man to make way.
79' EUROPA LEAGUE BECKONS
All is not lost for Leverkusen in terms of continental action. While they look set to be eliminated from the Champions League, they are comfortably in third position, so will enter the Europa League in the Round of 32 next year if results stay the same.
75' GOAL! RONALDO PUTS JUVE AHEAD
It had been coming given the last few minutes and now the Italians are in front. Pjanic picks out a brilliant pass from deep in midfield into the run of Dybala, who slides the ball across the face of goal for Ronaldo to tap in at the back post.
74' DANGEROUS FROM JUVENTUS
The visitors stroke the ball around nicely in midfield until Cuadrado eventually picks out a nice pass into the run of Danilo. His first-time cross into the box is a teasing one, but Ronaldo didn't anticipate it and the ball bounces out of the danger zone.
70' BAILEY INVOLVED
The Jamaican has had some nice touches since coming on and is playing on the left wing. That's shifted Diaby over to the right, which is a bit of a shame as he's had the beating of right-back Danilo all game.
67' JUVE PUSHING
Leverkusen have had to make a couple of last-gasp clearances just now. First Hradecky darts off his line to clear just ahead of Ronaldo, before Sinkgraven does well to prevent a cross from the left from reaching the unmarked superstar at the back post.
65' DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION FOR LEVERKUSEN
Demirbay and Bellarabi are taken off, with Baumgartlinger and Bailey coming on to replace them.
Juve make a change of their own at the same time as Dybala takes Bernadeschi's place in attack.
61' ATLETICO LEADING
Bad news for Leverkusen as Atletico now lead Lokomotiv 2-0 at home, so even if Leverkusen do win here it wouldn't be enough to progress to the next round.
57' FLOW INTERRUPTED
There have been a few little fouls in the last few minutes, preventing either side from building momentum. It's a a bit of a midfield slugfest right now.
53' VITAL CLEARANCE FROM SINKGRAVEN
Higuain finds space on the left and bursts into the area before squaring across the face of goal. It looks like Bernadeschi's going to have a simple tap-in, but Sinkgraven gets back just in time to poke the ball off his toe and away for a corner.
51' RONALDO GOAL DISALLOWED
The Juve attacker peels off his marker to collect a low through-ball before drilling a left-footed effort low past Hradecky. It won't count though as he was a yard or two offisde.
48' PROMISING FROM DIABY
The 20-year-old again does well down the left, jinking into space before crossing into the middle. His low ball is looking for Alario, but a defender gets a foot on it just in time to clear.
46' SECOND HALF!
Alario gets the ball rolling once again at the BayArena. Can Leverkusen get the goal they need? And Can Lokomotiv turn things around against Atleti? Let's find out!
No goals in the first half, but it's been an entertaining 45 minutes. Leverkusen have looked good and had a few chances to edge ahead, going closest with Diaby's effort off the bar. Juve have looked dangerous on the break though, with Higuain and Ronaldo linking up well on occasion.
Atletico are 1-0 up at home to Lokomotiv in the group's other game, so Leverkusen's fate is far from sealed yet.
44' HAVERTZ IS THROUGH!
Bellarabi threads a clever ball into the path of Havertz, who's about 10 yards out, his body half turned away from goal. He takes a touch to control it and gets a shot off as quickly as he can, but a defender slides in to block.
40' NICE IDEA FORM ARANGUIZ
The midfielder scampers forward and receives a pass on the edge of the Juve penalty area. He tries a dinked pass over the defence into the path of Havertz, but it comes down just too late for the youngster to be able to keep it in play.
36' HIGUAIN BLAZES OVER
A loose ball on the edge of the area bobbles into the path of Higuain. Lars Bender is keeping him onside and he has a clear sight of Hradecky's goal from the left-hand side of the area. The forward snatches at his shot though, and it sails harmlessly over.
33' LEVERKUSEN BREAK
This looks promising as Havertz finds a rare pocket of space in midfield and is allowed to turn and charge forward. He makes good headway and slides the ball into Alario's feet on the edge of the area... but the Argentinian slips over right at the decisive moment and a defender steps in to clear.
29' NICE FROM PJANIC
A lofted ball over the defence from the Juve midfielder, but it's just too strong for Caudrado to get there.
26' DIABY AGAIN
The winger turns on the turbo down the left and sprints away from two defenders. There's nobody in support though, and his low cross into the middle is more in hope than expectation, and Juve clear.
22' BELLARABI HAS A GO!
More good play from Diaby, this time cutting in from the left before finding Bellarabi on the right-hand edge of the penalty area. He immediately gets a shot off, drilling a low effort back across goal, but Buffon gets a solid palm on it and bats the ball away.
20' JUST WIDE FROM RONALDO
Ronaldo picks up the ball wide on the right and is faced by Dragovic, who's showing him down the line. Ronaldo does a stepover - of course - and accelerates away, but his shot fizzes narrowly wide of Hradecky's far post.
17' ARANGUIZ BOSSING IT
Juve attacker Bernadeschi stays on the ground after being on the receiving end of a strong - but fair - tackle from Aranguiz. The Chilean is setting the tone for the hosts here and that's exactly what they need.
14' TERRIFIC FROM DIABY
Juve can't handle Diaby at present and the Frenchman looks dangerous whenver he gets the ball. His pace and trickery takes him away from two defenders on the left, but he can't find a taker for his teasing cross into the middle.
11' DIABY HITS THE BAR!
Oh wow. The home team go up the other end and very nearly take the lead. A driving run from Diaby and he lets fly with a dipping left-footed drive that beats Buffon but crashes off the crossbar before being cleared.
11' RONALDO A WHISKER AWAY
A brilliant run into space from Higuain and he unselfishly opts to pass to Ronaldo at the back post, instead of shooting. It's just too long for the Portuguese, though, and Leverkusen breathe a sigh of relief.
10' DEMIRBAY OFF TARGET
Leverkusen counter down the right and when a cross is half-cleared to the edge of the box, Demirbay is lurking. He wastes little time in shooting, but again it's wide of the post.
4' WIDE FROM DIABY
Leverkusen are going for it here and have started strongly. Diaby has the first glimpse of goal of the game as he takes a deep Lars Bender cross on the volley, but he doesn't make a clean connection and it bobbles wide of Buffon's post.
Here we go! Juventus get the ball rolling for us!
The competition's unmistakable anthem is belting out at the BayArena with the teams now out on the pitch. We'll be under way very shortly!
SILVER LINING FOR HAVERTZ
The 20-year-old, who is set to make his 100th Bundesliga appearance at the weekend, recently missed around three weeks of action with a thigh complaint. As frustrating as it was, he has taken the positives from the experience:
"It's never nice having an injury, but maybe it helped a bit because I was able to switch off and clear my head. Now I feel back to my best and ready to give it everything."
BOSZ PREACHING TOGETHERNESS
Havertz may be Leverkusen's star man, but head coach Bosz insists the youngster needs the support of his teammates: "We can only beat Juve by playing together. Kai can't do it all by himself. We need the whole team."
TEAM NEWS - JUVE
Bosz's opposite number Maurizio Sarri has likewise raised a couple of eyebrows with his selection. Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon comes in for regular custodian Wojciech Szczesny, while 2018 World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi is on the bench, with Juan Cuadrado coming into midfield.
TEAM NEWS - LEVERKUSEN
Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz has sprung a number of surprises with his starting line-up, leaving several first-team regulars on the bench: Jonathan Tah, Kevin Volland, Leon Bailey and Wendell would all ordinarily be expected to start here, but find themselves among the substitutes. As such there's a chance for Lucas Alario up top, while Havertz should pull the strings in midfield, with the in-form Moussa Diaby on the wing. Aleksandar Dragovic and Dailey Sinkgraven will come into the defence.
Leverkusen round out their Champions League group stage with a tricky tie at home to Juventus. Die Werkself need a win and must also hope Atletico Madrid lose at home to Lokomotiv Moscow to progress to the knockout rounds of the competition. Stay with us for all the action!
Leverkusen: Hradecky - L. Bender (c), Dragovic, S. Bender, Sinkgraven - Aranguiz, Demirbay - Bellarabi, Havertz, Diaby - Alario
Subs: Özcan, Retsos, Tah, Bailey, Baumgartlinger, Wendell, Volland
Out: Amiri (suspended), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Weiser (ankle)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Juventus: Buffon - Danilo, Demiral, Rugani, De Sciglio - Cuadrado, Pjanic, Rabiot - Bernadeschi - Higuain, Ronaldo
Subs: Szczesny, Dybala, Alex Sandro, Matuidi, Bonucci, Muratore, Portanova
Out: Betancur (knee), Can (ineligible), Chiellini (ineligible), Costa (thigh), De Ligt (shoulder), Khedira (knee), Mandzukic (ineligible), Ramsey (thigh)
Coach: Maurizio Sarri
Watch: Havertz reflects on a whirlwind career as he approaches 100 Bundesliga games
Die Werkself have done things the hard way in Group D after losing their opening three games but have since beaten Atletico Madrid at home and most recently Lokomotiv Moscow in their 100th Champions League match to set up a grandstand finish. Peter Bosz will be pleased to have 20-year-old playmaker Havertz back after playing 70 minutes in Saturday's 2-1 win at home to Schalke. He’s previously missed three games, including the victory at champions Bayern Munich, as Leverkusen made it six unbeaten in all competitions, beginning with the 2-1 win against Atletico. And it’s the Spanish side Bayer need a favour from if they’re to progress. Leverkusen can only go through if they beat the Italian champions and Atletico fail to win at home to Lokomotiv. Jonathan Tah is available again after a domestic suspension, while Lucas Alario starts after his brace against Schalke, with top scorer Kevin Volland on the bench.
Juventus are already through to the last 16 as winners of Group D after four wins and an opening draw in Madrid. With nothing to play for there is a good chance Maurizio Sarri will choose to rest some key players, especially after suffering their first defeat in any competition this season on Saturday with a 3-1 loss at Lazio. Ronaldo got his eighth of the season in that game, which includes just one Champions League goal in the 3-0 win at home to Leverkusen, despite the Bundesliga side having more of the ball, a greater passing accuracy from more attempts and mustering up 10 shots on goal. Former Werkself player Emre Can is not in the Italian champions’ European squad, as well as ex-Bayern striker Mario Mandzukic, while Douglas Costa and Sami Khedira, another two familiar faces to Bundesliga fans, are both out injured for only Juve's second visit to the BayArena. They lost 3-1 in the second group stage in 2001/02 as Leverkusen went all the way to the final.
- Beaten in their first three group games, Leverkusen have resuscitated their campaign with back-to-back wins against Atletico and Lokomotiv.
- Die Werkself still need to better the Spaniards' result against the Russians to go win through to the knockout stages for the first time in three seasons, though.
- With one goal and one assist, Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz has been Leverkusen's most dangerous player in Europe this term.
- Havertz is just a single game away from a century of Bundesliga appearances. The Bayer prodigy made his Champions League debut when he was 17.
- Leverkusen were runners-up in the competition in 2002, the same year they also ended up second-best in the Bundesliga and DFB Cup.
- Bayer coach Bosz handed Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt his professional debut when the pair were together at Ajax in 2016.