Leverkusen's 4-2 draw with AEK Larnaka is deceptive. RB Leipzig presents itself in 3: 1 in the continuous rain of Trondheim significantly improved.
Julian Brandt had to smile shortly after the final whistle. The turbulent final phase of Bayer Leverkusen's 4-2 (1-1) victory in the Europa League against Cypriot Cup winner AEK Larnaka lifted the national team's mood. Substitute Brandt's injury-time goal set the finishing touch to a game that had begun tenaciously, but then spiked the 23,354 spectators.
Part one of the compulsory tasks have fulfilled the Leverkusen with it. After the second win in the second Europa League group game you can slowly plan for the knockout round. But the discussions about coach Heiko Herrlich should probably be silenced after a very mixed performance against Larnaca only with another victory in the Bundesliga on Sunday at SC Freiburg. "Victory is a high priority, we now have six points," said Bayer offensive Kevin Volland, "but it was difficult to get behind in the process."
Captain Ivan Trickovski gave Larnaka the lead after 25 minutes. Young star Kai Havertz in the 44th minute and Lucas Alario with a double (49./88.) Turned the game. In extra time Dimtris Raspas and Brandt met. For Bayer it was only the second victory in the past eight international home games.
Herrlich had his team compared to the exciting Bundesliga match on Saturday against Borussia Dortmund (2: 4) changed a bit: Jonathan Tah, Brandt and Alario made room for Aleksandar Dragovic, Leon Bailey and in the league still locked for the match in Freiburg Karim Bell Arabi.
Bender hits the post
After 13 penalties in the Bundesliga and two at the first Europa League appearance, the hosts tried for more security on the defensive. In the forward movement of the Leverkusen were, however, initially harmless, a post hit by Sven Bender (14) after a corner kick was more a coincidence. Cyprus cup winners, in whose initial six Spaniards stood, did not hide. The reward: the opening goal by captain Trickovski. Sven Bender and Dragovic were not vigilant in the scene.
Havertz missed a penalty shortly after when Mikel Gonzales hit him in the foot before Ukraine's referee Yevgeny Aranowski. But overall, the Leverkusen game was not compelling enough for a long time. The Cypriots were always able to clarify. Until just before the break. Then Bellarabi ran free on the left wing and put the ball on Havertz in the middle. With his third goal in the second game of this European League season, the young national player equalized. It was the first attack that the Leverkusen players played concentrated.
Gorgeous responded to the weaknesses in the offensive by bringing after the change Alario for Bailey. The Argentinian scored the only two minutes after his substitution 2: 1 and set with the pike the final point. Haverstz caused an artistic climax with a fall in the back (64.), which Larnaka goalkeeper Tono Ramirez just parried. In the final phase, when Havertz had been substituted for Brandt, the Leverkusen left the opponent but again too much room.