Bayer 04 Leverkusen ended their Group K campaign on a high with a 1-0 defeat of Rosenborg BK.
Debutant Julian Riedel crowned an impressive performance by a youthful home team with his 65th-minute winner, condemning eliminated Rosenborg to a fourth successive defeat by the German side.
Leverkusen secured passage to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 in their previous outing and opted to use this as an opportunity to give experience to a number of youngsters. Rather than diminish the Werkself's attacking prowess, however, the young players' eagerness to impress added vim and vigour, and an early combination almost provided the perfect start. Dominik Kohr's long pass was brought down by Tobias Steffen, who hit it straight at Alexander Lund Hansen.
The Rosenborg goalkeeper was quickly called upon again, making a smart block from Junior Fernándes' point-blank shot after Carlinhos had broken in from the right and played a rapid one-two with Renato Augusto. The 18-year-old Kohr then flashed an effort off-target soon after.
Nevertheless, Sascha Lewandowski's charges still had nothing to show for their early promise, and their untroubled defence had its feathers ruffled on the cusp of half-time. Rade Prica led a rare Rosenborg foray, and his curling cross was met by an acrobatic Tarik Elyounoussi scissor-kick, which Niklas Lomb proved equal to.
Half-time brought a string of changes, and substitute Sidney Sam's low shot almost gave the hosts an immediate lead. Rosenborg forward Elyounoussi crashed into the side netting after skilfully beating Riedel and Leverkusen's Fernándes struck the base of the post from Sam's disguised pass as both sides attacked with abandon.
Appropriately, it was a Leverkusen debutant who broke the deadlock midway through the second half, left-back Riedel bagging his maiden first-team goal by sliding in to finish Carlinhos' low, back-post drive. The blow winded the visitors, and Leverkusen resumed a control which they did not relinquish.
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