Madrid (AP) - Despite the best season performance in the premier class, Bayer Leverkusen is as good as eliminated after half the group stage in the Champions League.
The Bundesliga club also lost 1-0 (0-0) to Atlético Madrid in the third round of matches, leaving them with no points in the game after defeats by Lok Moscow (1-2) and Juventus (3-0) Account.
The Spanish finalist of 2014 and 2016, who will play in the return leg in Leverkusen in two weeks, has already collected seven points. The winner for the clever Atlético scored the only eight minutes before substitute Alvaro Morata in the 78th minute on Tuesday evening. For Bayer, it will now be necessary in the three leg-return matches until December to reach at least group three in order to continue playing in the Europa League in February.
Bayer was even in the first half because of a tactical adjustment of often referred to as stubborn coach Peter Bosz the better team. But with him in Leverkusen in previously 31 competitive games not yet practiced 4-2-3-1 system conceded in the premier class still defenseless Dutchman in the ninth match with Borussia Dortmund and Leverkusen his seventh defeat.
It could even have been enough to win the premiere or at least a point if his team had acted more purposefully. "We have to score today. If we do not win, then at least draw, »said Bosz before the game at Sky. The mentality question he clarified in advance: "The team must be courageous, we need men, because Atlético is a men's team." For a long time his players fulfilled this demand, but did not reward themselves.
Defensive stabilizers were the Bender twins. Sven Bender made order in the center of defense, his brother Lars acted very well in the unfamiliar position of the left-back. Mitchell Weiser was also solid after his miserable appearance at the 0: 3 in Frankfurt on Friday. In the offensive Karim Bellarabi provided the most momentum, but Bayer was missing again and again at the final precision. A shot from Julian Baumgartlinger (9th minute) from the edge of the box came in from the box.
Without his injured young star João Félix Atlético could hardly set accents towards Bayer goal. Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was first tested by Renan Lodi in the 32nd minute. Previously, the Finn had only got himself into trouble with botched catching.
In the second half Hradecky moved more and more into the spotlight. Atlético increased pace and determination. Diego Costa (58 ') did not properly hit the ball with his head free-standing. A little later, the striker thundered theatrically in the penalty area over the stumbled Sven Bender - Referee Artur Dias waived rightly on a penalty whistle.
Bayer doses the risk. Atlético's new bite obviously made an impression. From the midfield headquarters came from Kai Havertz and Kerem Demirbay too little impetus. A good counterattack was destroyed by Kevin Volland (70 ') with a sloppy pass himself. Merciless effectiveness demonstrated Morata shortly after his substitution made a header for the Bayer neck blow.
Press kit in German
Information about the game on uefa.com