“Rarely have I suffered a defeat as unnecessary as this one,” Stefan Kießling commented after Leverkusen had failed to find the net from as many as 13 goalscoring opportunities, compared to Monaco’s four. “I really don’t know what to say. We tried everything but just couldn’t get the ball in.”
‘Almost perfect first half’
Monaco proved to be the more clinical side at Stade Louis II, however, Joao Moutinho converting former Leverkusen striker Dimitar Berbatov’s exquisite headed assist with a deflected close-range effort to leave a dominant Bayer side empty-handed, and leaving Roger Schmidt to ponder the reasons for the Rhineland side’s first loss since the 47-year-old took charge in the summer.
After the game the new head coach praised his side’s “almost perfect first half”, which had seen Gonzalo Castro, Karim Bellarabi and Kießling all came close to giving the visitors a well-deserved lead, adding that “you can’t play the full 90 minutes as well as we did before the break, I don’t think any side in the world could. We created chance after chance throughout the game, but creating chances doesn’t guarantee you victory.”
‘Champions League all about results’
As much as Leverkusen showed they are capable of transferring their spectacular free-flowing approach from the domestic to the international scene, midfielder Castro insisted that in Europe’s premier club competition, the game is all about playing efficient football. “In the Champions League it’s all about getting a result,” he said, already turning his attention to Bayer’s next encounter in the competition against Benfica SL. “This defeat puts us in an awkward position and doesn’t make our lives any easier.”
Before the meeting with the Portuguese giants in a fortnight, however, the Werkself will be keen to get back on track in the Bundesliga when they travel up north to VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday, having dropped points in a thrilling 3-3 home draw with SV Werder Bremen last week.