Wednesday 18 October 2017

Calhanoglu strikes as Leverkusen stun Atletico

Leverkusen's midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu (R) and his teammates celebrate after scoring during the UEFA Champions League first-leg, round of 16 football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Club Atletico de Madrid in Leverkusen
Leverkusen's midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu (R) and his teammates celebrate after scoring during the UEFA Champions League first-leg, round of 16 football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Club Atletico de Madrid in Leverkusen
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Bayer Leverkusen beat last season's runners-up Atletico Madrid 1-0 in their Champions League round of 16 first leg courtesy of a fine strike by Hakan Calhanoglu.

The Turkey international scored the 57th-minute winner to set Leverkusen, who are struggling for form in the Bundesliga, on the way to their first ever win at this stage of the competition.

For Atletico, who were left with 10 men when Tiago was sent off following a second booking in the 76th minute, it was only their second loss in a Champions League away game since September 2013.

The Spanish champions will also be missing key defender Diego Godin for the return leg after the Uruguayan was booked and will be suspended in Madrid.

Leverkusen had hoped the European stage would lift their game after a rocky start to the year sent them down to sixth in the Bundesliga.

In a very physical encounter in which coaches Diego Simeone and Roger Schmidt had a heated argument on the sidelines, Leverkusen grabbed a deserved lead through Calhanoglu.

Karim Bellarabi drew three players on to him before cleverly flicking the ball on for Calhanoglu, who lashed the ball into the net.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport