Die Werkself weighed in with 18 attempts on goal compared to AS Monaco's four in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night, but still went down to an unlikely 1-0 home defeat.
'You can win a match with only one chance'
"They scored from a situation that wasn't dangerous," explained Bayer 04 head coach Roger Schmidt. "We tried to get back into the match and gave it everything. But now we have to accept that you can win a match with only one chance. I didn't expect Monaco to play so defensively, but it paid off for them."
It's a familiar tale for a Leverkusen outfit, whose inability to put games to bed cost them dearly at the Stade Louis II on Matchday 1. The Rhineland club fired in almost three times as many efforts on goal as the Ligue 1 hosts, only to be picked off against the run of play in a textbook smash and grab reverse.
'We're the best team in this group'
Three successive wins against FC Zenit and SL Benfica nevertheless provided the filling for the aforementioned knuckle sandwich and have proved decisive in seeing the Bundesliga's fourth-placed outfit through to the last 16 with a game to spare. Victory over a Benfica side with nothing to play for is now all that's required to fulfil Schmidt's group-topping remit in two weeks' time.
"We want to finish first in the group to be in a good position for the last-16 draw," admitted the former Red Bull Salzburg coach. "I have the feeling that we're the best team in this group and that's what everybody will see in the table at the end of the group stage. But in football, if you don't score, you'll get punished. We have to learn something from that for the future."