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Leverkusen edge win against ten-man Atlético

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-0 Club Atlético de Madrid
Hakan Çalhanoğlu's superb goal gave Leverkusen a deserved victory while Tiago was sent off.

Leverkusen 1-0 Atlético: the story in photos ©Getty Images

Leverkusen will take a deserved 1-0 lead to Spain
Atlético lose left-sided duo Guilherme Siqueira and Saúl Ñíguez to first-half injuries
Hakan Çalhanoğlu opens scoring in fine style just before the hour
Tiago is sent off and Diego Godín will also be suspended for return
The second leg is on 17 March, with the quarter-final draw three days later

Club Atlético de Madrid must overturn a 1-0 deficit at home to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the return leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie after the Bundesliga side deservedly defeated last season's runners-up.

Leverkusen captain Lars Bender, passed fit after a knee injury, shot wide in the seventh minute as the home team instantly came forward in numbers, while Mario Mandžukić got back to block an Emir Spahić effort.

Atlético seemed to have weathered the early storm but in the 26th minute Spahić let fly from distance and rattled the crossbar with Miguel Ángel Moyà beaten. Gonzalo Castro, pushed into midfield with Roberto Hilbert restored at right-back, also went close.

In the 38th minute Atleti defender Guilherme Siqueira was replaced by Jesús Gámez, making his European bow for the club he joined in the summer from Málaga CF. Almost immediately Bernd Leno did superbly to punch away the substitute's deflected cross under pressure from Antoine Griezmann.

Before the break Saúl Ñíguez, who sustained an injury early in the half, followed Siqueira off, with Raúl García on – and moments prior to the interval Leno brilliantly dived to deny Tiago's acrobatic hooked shot. With that strong end to the first period, Atlético came out aiming for another of the strong second-half performances they have produced in this competition.

However, in the 57th minute Karim Bellarabi, who signed a new long-term Leverkusen contract last week, took the ball and coolly back-heeled into the path of Hakan Çalhanoğlu, who smashed in at high velocity.


That was the cue for Diego Simeone to send on his last substitute, Fernando Torres, his Rojiblancos debut in a major European competition, having played solely in the UEFA Interoto Cup in his original spell. He did elicit a stop from Leno but with 14 minutes left Tiago was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Almost straight away, Kyriakos Papadopoulos was just unable to beat Moyà from close range and it was Leverkusen who had the better of the closing exchanges. Diego Godín's booking means he, like Tiago, is suspended in three weeks' time.

Spahić goes close early on
Spahić goes close early on©Getty Images
Saúl Ñíguez was forced off injured
Saúl Ñíguez was forced off injured©Getty Images
Spahić hits the bar to the relief of Moya
Spahić hits the bar to the relief of Moya©AFP/Getty Images
Leno denies the visitors with Griezmann lurking
Leno denies the visitors with Griezmann lurking©Getty Images
Hakan Çalhanoğlu makes it 1-0
Hakan Çalhanoğlu makes it 1-0©Getty Images
Fernando Torres had a goal disallowed as the ball had earlier gone out of play
Fernando Torres had a goal disallowed as the ball had earlier gone out of play©Getty Images
Tiago is dismissed
Tiago is dismissed©Getty Images

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