Leverkusen No10 Hakan Calhanoglu believes his free-kick will give him the belief to be able to score past any goalkeeper after beating Manuel Neuer
Leverkusen No10 Hakan Calhanoglu believes his free-kick will give him the belief to be able to score past any goalkeeper after beating Manuel Neuer

Calhanoglu: 'I've always wanted to put a free-kick past Neuer'

Leverkusen - After dispatching FC Bayern München 2-0 on home turf, Bayer 04 Leverkusen's goalscorers, Hakan Calhanoglu and birthday boy Julian Brandt, were understandably ecstatic. For the beaten champions, however, the focus was immediately shifted onto Wednesday's UEFA Champions League clash with FC Barcelona.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

bundesliga.com rounds up the reaction from an entertaining Saturday night at the BayArena...
Hakan Calhanoglu: "I've always really wanted to score a free-kick past Manuel Neuer. If you can put one past the best goalkeeper there is then it makes it all the sweeter. It's important for me because it gives me the belief that I have a chance of scoring past any goalkeeper, so it's extra special for me. I was only focusing on the ball and I didn't see a gap appear in the wall. The important thing for me was to strike the ball well. I celebrated with the team doctor because he believed in me and told me I'd score a free-kick today."

Julian Brandt: "It was a perfect day. The important thing was that we won and the fact that I scored made it an even better experience. I'll be able sleep well tonight. Karim Bellarabi's build-up play for my goal was world-class. The fact he can still do that in the 81st minute is incredible. I didn't really have time to think much before shooting - the ball was already in the net before I realised it. Things are going really well for me at the moment - every shot seems to go in. Long may it continue! We're in good shape and still have matters in our own hands in the race to finish third."

Simon Rolfes: "We were very compact and very aggressive today and made our presence felt in the tackles. It wasn't an easy match because they made a lot of changes to their team and tried to slow the game down, whereas we wanted to play at a quicker pace. We needed Hakan's free-kick to break the deadlock and open the game up a bit. When we saw their line-up we knew we had to win the game."

FC Bayern München

Manuel Neuer: "We weren't able to score and going behind to a goal from a free-kick can always happen. It was a well-taken free-kick. I think the main thing we can take from this game is that we didn't pick up any more injuries - that's the most important thing. It's going to be difficult to beat Barcelona but we'll give everything we've got to reach the final."

Mario Götze: "If we put our chances away, particularly the ones that I had, things would have been a lot different. We have to forget about this game though and focus all our attention on Wednesday."

Javi Martinez: "I'm very happy [to have made my comeback]. It's been a very difficult time for me, but now it's time for me to enjoy my football again."