Leverkusen - Bayer 04 Leverkusen were held to a pulsating 2-2 draw at home to ten-man SC Paderborn 07.
Bellarabi to the rescue
Leverkusen settled into the rhythm quickly, dictating possession, although goalscoring chances were extremely hard to come by for Roger Schmidt’s side against the coach’s former club. With the hosts lacking creativity in the final third, it was Paderborn who took a surprise lead at the BayArena, Koc benefitting from a Bernd Leno blunder to pass the ball into an open net (20’).
Unfazed by the visitors’ lead, Bayer kept up the pressure and should have pulled level when Hakan Calhanoglu teed up Stefan Kießling, who saw his effort diverted onto the post by Lars Kruse in the Paderborn goal. Leverkusen eventually made their dominance count three minutes before the break, however, with Kruse unable to hold onto Karim Bellarabi’s long-range effort and Bender slotting in on the rebound.
Leverkusen came into the second half with all guns blazing, Bellarabi sending a real rocket towards the Paderborn goal only seconds after the restart, shortly before Bender went close to doubling his tally of the afternoon from close range. Bellarabi was at the heart of most of the home side’s attacking play and he almost made it two for Bayer on the hour mark when he failed to finish off a brilliant solo run.
With Paderborn down to ten man following Marvin Bakalorz’s red card for a meaty challenge on Wellington, Bayer threw bodies forward in search of a late turnaround, allowing Paderborn more space. The guests managed to regain the lead three minutes from time, Moritz Stoppelkamp rounding Leno after beating Bayer on the break, but the home side restored parity in the final minute thanks to Bellarabi’s skilful close-range finish.
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