Bayer Leverkusen dominated from start to finish against Lokomotiv Moscow in their UEFA Champions League Group D opener, but were ultimately undone by some clinical finishing from their visitors in a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday.
As it happened!
LEVERKUSEN 1-2 LOKOMOTIV
Goals: 0-1 Krychowiak (16'), 1-1 Höwedes (o.g. 25'), 1-2 Barinov (37')
It's all over at the BayArena. While there was some very encouraging football played by Leverkusen, who had 69 per cent possession and completed 739 passes to Lokomotiv's 156, ultimately basic errors in the first half were their undoing here. They'll be eager to get the frustration out of their veins at home to Union Berlin on Saturday.
90' INTO STOPPAGE TIME
There will be two minutes of additional time played.
88' HUGE DOUBLE SAVE FROM GUILHERME!
A lovely ball from Amiri leaves Aranguiz with a shooting chance, just inside the box. His low drive is parried by Guilherme and just when it looks like Havertz is about to pounce on the rebound, the Lokomotiv keeper scrambles over to flick the ball off his toe and out for a corner.
84' LOKOMOTIV GO 3-ON-3!
With Leverkusen committing men forward to push for an equaliser, gaps are opening up in defence. Lokomotiv have the chance to put the game to bed once and for all as they run at the home backline, but a sloppy pass ruins the move and Leverkusen can clear.
81' BELLARABI TESTS GUILHERME
The Leverkusen winger twists and turns on the right-hand side of the penalty area, tying his marker's ankles in knots. He eventually gets space to shoot and smacks a powerful shot towards Guilherme's near post, but the goalkeeper is alive to the danger and makes the save.
79' AMIRI LETS FLY
The substitute makes his presence felt for the first time and tries his luck with a shot from distance. Guilherme sees it all the way though, and is happy to let it sail over the bar.
74' NO WAY THROUGH
Lokomotiv are pulling 10 men behind the ball whenever Leverkusen are in possession, just leaving Smolov up front by himself. The visitors are very compact and well organised, so it'll take something special to break them down again.
71' NEXT SUB FOR LEVERKUSEN
Bosz makes an attacking change in midfield, taking off the more defensive-minded Baumgartlinger and bringing on Germany U-21 international Nadiem Amiri.
69' GUILHERME LOSES HIS BEARINGS...
... while coming to collect a cross near the edge of his area. His timing's off and he drops the ball and is then deceived by its bounce, unable to find it. Unfortunately for Leverkusen, nobody is close enough to take advantage and poke the ball into the empty net.
65' LEVERKUSEN PROBING
Bosz's side still have nothing tangible to show for their efforts, but they're looking dangerous whenever they get forward. A decisive final ball is all that's lacking.
62' SO CLOSE!
A swift counter from Leverkusen almost ends in a goal as Bellarabi floats in a cross from the right. Havertz rises above his marker to meet it in the middle, nodding the ball down into the path of the onrushing Alario, but he's just crowded out by a combination of a defender and goalkeeper Guilherme before he can prod the ball over the line.
60' VOLLAND FREE-KICK
Baumgartlinger wins a free-kick just a couple of yards outside the Lokomotiv penalty area, off to the right. Volland lines it up but his shot sails harmlessly over the bar.
57' DEJA VU
As was the case in the first half, Leverkusen couldn't make their pressure tell and now Lokomotiv are beginning to play a bit, pressing their hosts intensely high up the pitch.
53' ALARIO FLICKS WIDE
Bellarabi delivers a brilliant cross to the near post from the right. Alario is first to it and gets a toe to the ball, but Guilherme is alive to the danger and blocks it for a corner.
50' JUST OVER FROM HAVERTZ
The midfielder leaps to meet a cross from the right but can't keep his header down and it flies just over the bar.
49' BETTER FROM LEVERKUSEN
Havertz spreads the play wide to Volland on the left-hand edge of the Lokomotiv penalty area. He sends a teasing ball across the face of goal looking for Alario at the back post, but it's just too long for the forward to get a touch on.
We're up and running again in Leverkusen. Peter Bosz has made one change at the break, bringing on Lucas Alario in attack for Leon Bailey.
Volland very nearly equalises with the last touch of the half, heading just over from a corner. Leverkusen will need to collect themselves and come out hard in the second period.
41' LEVERKUSEN STUNNED
Having been in control for much of the match, Leverkusen now look a tad nervous after going behind to two avoidable goals. It must also be said, though, that Lokomotiv have been clinical with their finishing and have been robust at the back.
37' GOAL! LOKOMOTIV LEAD AGAIN
Leverkusen will be very disappointed with this. They were attacking down the right, but were forced to pass all the way back to Hradecky. The goalkeeper, being closed down by Smolov, makes another poor clearance straight to the feet of Barinov, who lobs the ball into an empty net from 35 yards out.
32' HOSTS TURNING THE SCREW
That equaliser has put a spring in Leverkusen's step and they're pushing forward with greater intensity now.
28' SLOPPY FROM LEVERKUSEN
Lokomotiv are gifted an opening as Hradecky attempts to play the ball out from the back, but his pass is intercepted and it comes to Krychowiak, who wastes no time in firing a shot goalwards. Hradecky redeems himself with a solid save, though.
25' GOOOOAAAL! LEVERKUSEN ARE LEVEL!
Nice build-up from Leverkusen down the right and a cross is pulled back to Aranguiz, whose first-time shot is deflected into the net by Höwedes!
19' SMOLOV GOES CLOSE
Leverkusen give the ball away cheaply in midfield, allowing Lokomotiv to break forward. It's two on two, but there's only one thing on Smolov's mind when he receives the ball. He drives forward and fashions a pocket of space, but his shot is blocked by Tah.
16' GOAL! LOKOMOTIV LEAD!
It's very much against the run of play, but the visitors are in front. Krychowiak reacts quickest to a through ball and places his shot into the far corner past Hradecky.
11' LOKOMOTIV SETTLING
The visitors appear to have weathered Leverkusen's early storm and are starting to look more comfortable in possession as they venture with increasing frequency out of their own half. They haven't got anywhere near Hradecky's goal yet, but their confidence is growing.
8' FIRST CHANCE FOR HAVERTZ
The first real opportunity of the game falls to the Leverkusen midfielder as Aranguiz slips him behind Höwedes with a lovely pass with the outside of his right boot. Havertz is inside the penalty area and to the left of centre, but doesn't get any real power behind his shot and it's a comfortable save for Guilherme.
5' POCKET OF SPACE FOR HAVERTZ
There's a collective intake of breath at the BayArena as Havertz picks the ball up on the left-hand side of the Lokomotiv area, lifts his head and spies Volland lurking around the penalty spot. He attempts to pick him out with a cross, but it's cut out by a defender.
3' LEVERKUSEN UP FOR IT
The hosts have had more of the ball so far, are pinging the ball around the pitch confidently and are snapping into tackles whenever they lose the ball.
Leverkusen, playing in an all-red strip, get the ball rolling!
The teams are lined up out on the pitch and the Champions League song is blaring out. It's almost go time!
NO PRESSURE, BUT...
... on paper this is Leverkusen's 'easiest' group fixture, so victory really is a must if Bosz's side are to progress to the knockout rounds. Atletico Madrid and Juventus will take points off each other today in the other Group D match, but games against those two European heavyweights are likely to be decidedly tricky.
The teams have taken to the BayArena pitch to limber up. Not long to go now!
HÖWEDES FIT FOR LOKOMOTIV
Former Schalke defender Höwedes has been passed fit to start here, having been a doubt following a hefty blow to the head at the weekend that left him needing a bandage.
The absence of both Miranchuk brothers is a big blow for the Railwaymen, though, as the duo provide much of the team's attacking impetus.
ATTACKING LEVERKUSEN SIDE
Bayer boss Peter Bosz has selected an attack-minded starting line-up here, with Bellarabi, Havertz, Bailey and Volland enough to cause anyone a severe migraine, while Diaby, Alario, Amiri and Paulinho can also cause havoc from the bench.
The only significant absentee is Demirbay due to a back complaint, but in Aranguiz and Baumgartlinger, the hosts have two very experienced central midfielders holding down the fort.
KAI OF THE TIGER
Kai Havertz is set to make his fourth Champions League appearance tonight, but unlike in 2016/17 - when he was still an up-and-coming 17-year-old - he goes into this clash with Lokomotiv as Leverkusen's main man, and a bona fide Bundesliga star. The Russians are likely to have their work cut out trying to contain the Germany midfielder, who has been tipped by teammate Lukas Hradecky to become an "exceptional player" in this competition.
D FOR DEATH?
Leverkusen are practically obliged to make a winning start tonight, given that their other opponents in Group D are continental heavyweights Juventus and Atletico Madrid. Their last game in this competition was away to the Spanish side in March 2017, as they battled to a goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon. Unfortunately, having suffered a 4-2 home defeat in the first leg, they didn't go beyond the round of 16.
After a two-year absence, Bayer Leverkusen are back in the Champions League - and their 2019/20 campaign starts against Lokomotiv Moscow in what is the clubs' first European meeting. Die Werkself suffered a 4-0 loss at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday - can they bounce back tonight at home to last season's Russian Premier League runners-up?
Watch: All 17 of Kai Havertz's goals in 2018/19
Leverkusen: Hradecky – L. Bender (c), Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger (Amiri 71') – Bellarabi, Havertz, Bailey (Alario 46') - Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Paulinho, Diaby, Weiser
Out: Pohjanpalo (foot), Demirbay (back)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Lokomotiv: Guilherme – Ignatyev, Corluka (c), Höwedes, Rybus – Barinov, Krychowiak – Zhemaletdinov, Murilo, Joao Mario (Idowu 90+2') – Smolov
Unused subs: Kochenkov, Zhivoglyadov, Kolomeytsev, Eder, Djordevic, Tugarev
Out: Farfan (knee), Kverkvelia (calf), Lysov (hip), Al. Miranchuk (muscular), Rotenberg (knee), An. Miranchuk (ankle)
Coach: Yuri Semin
- Five different players have scored for Leverkusen so far this season: Charles Aranguiz, Bailey, Karim Bellarabi, Havertz and Volland.
- Leverkusen were unbeaten in 11 of their previous 12 European home games (W4, D7).
- Jamaica international Bailey has now made 11 appearances for Leverkusen in UEFA competition. He played in both ties of the Rhineland club’s last-16 defeat to Atletico Madrid in 2016/17.
- Bosz oversaw two draws and four defeats in his only previous Champions League campaign as a coach (Dortmund, 2017/18).
- Lokomotiv had lost their previous seven games against German opposition, most recently losing home and away to Schalke in last season’s group stage.
- Holding midfielder Krychowiak is Lokomotiv’s top league scorer this season with four goals.