Leverkusen – Bayer 04 Leverkusen booked their place in the UEFA Champions League group stages for a third consecutive season after overturning a one-goal first leg deficit by beating S.S. Lazio 3-0 at the Bay Arena on Wednesday night.
Proceedings started at a frantic pace with Leverkusen edging the opening exchanges. Hakan Calhanoglu twice went close inside the opening 20 minutes before Stefan Kießling rattled the woodwork with a looping header. However, it was the Turkish international who would break the deadlock when a mix-up in Lazio’s backline caused confusion allowing Calhanoglu to fire a first time effort in with aplomb.
With momentum on their side die Werkself promptly doubled their lead shortly after the restart as route one football allowed Admir Mehmedi to find the back of the net from a tight angle. The hosts’ night was made easier when Mauricio picked up a second-bookable offence, reducing Lazio to ten men, before Karim Bellarabi wrapped up a deserved victory with the simplest of tap ins from Julian Brandt's square ball.
Leverkusen: Leno – Hilbert, Papadopulos, Tah, Wendell – Kramer, L. Bender – Bellarabi (Ramalho 89'), Calhanoglu (R. Kruse 79'), Mehmedi (Brandt 75') - Kießling
Lazio: Berisha – Basta, Mauricio, de Vrij, Radu – Onazi (Morrison 82'), Parolo – Felipe Anderson (Gentiletti 70'), Candreva, Lulic - Keita
Goals: 1-0 Calhanoglu (39’), 2-0 Mehmedi (48’), 3-0 Bellarabi (88')
Red Cards: Mauricio (68’)