With a much-changed line-up, Leverkusen were made to work for their win by a Rosenborg side playing for pride, but Julian Riedel’s second-half strike sealed the points for Sami Hyypia’s men, their fourth n the trot in all competitions.
With qualification already in the bag, Bayer head coach Sami Hyypiä made nine changes to the team that started against1. FC Nuremberg last weekend, fielding a side with an average age of just 22. Tobias Steffen seemed keen to make a mark on his second senior appearance of the season, and he tested Rosenborg goalkeeper Alexander Lund Hansen with a smart shot inside the first two minutes.
Chilean striker Junior Fernandes then forced the keeper into another save with a close-range strike that he might have done better with, before Rosenborg began to pressure 19-year-old Niklas Lomb’s. The youngster did well to command his area during a spate of set-pieces towards the end of the half, and to instinctively keep out Tarik Elyounoussi’s acrobatic volley.
Riedel makes breakthrough
Fernandes had led the line well in the first half, and he continued to get into useful positions after the break. Still the elusive goal would not fall for him, though, as he first shot against the post and then sliced a wild effort wide. Bayer made their pressure count, though, and it was Julian Riedel who made it a day to remember for himself, finishing at the far post from Carlinhos’ dangerous cross.
With a 1-0 lead, it was then just a matter of running the clock down for Leverkusen, Substitute Sidney Sam went close on a couple of occasions and the adventurous Jens Hegeler had a shot well dealt with by Hansen. Trondheim weathered the storm and the game ended on a fairly subdued note, but that takes nothing away from a job well done.
Leverkusen: Lomb - Carlinhos , Wollscheid , M. Friedrich, Riedel - Kohr, Reinartz (Rolfes,46‘), Hegeler - Renato Augusto (Sam, 46‘), Steffen (Aydin, 75‘) - Junior Fernandes
Rosenborg: Lund Hansen - Gamboa, Reginiussen, Rönning, Dorsin - Svensson (Alas, 83‘), Diskerud - Chibuike Elyounoussi, Selnaes (Iversen, 72‘) - Prica (Issa, 46‘)
Goal: 1-0 Riedel, 65’