Leverkusen overcome early scare to beat BATE
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 BATE Borisov
Javier Hernández marked his first start for the German side with a goal while Hakan Çalhanoğlu hit two in a comfortable win.
Article top media content
- Javier Hernández marks his first start for Leverkusen with the side's crucial third
- Hakan Çalhanoğlu scores two and claims one assist
- Aleksandr Hleb goes off with 'serious' muscular injury in first half
- Bayer concede only their third goal in their last 13 home matches
- Next games: BATE v Roma, Barcelona v Leverkusen (29 September)
Javier Hernández marked his full Bayer Leverkusen debut with a goal as the Werkself eased to a comfortable 4-1 victory over BATE Borisov.
The hosts flew out of the traps and opened the scoring after just four minutes. Summer signings Hernández and Kevin Kampl combined well before Hakan Çalhanoğlu laid the ball off to Admir Mehmedi, who finished superbly with the outside of his right foot.
The hosts' lead lasted just nine minutes before Nemanja Milunović, given a free header, diverted Ilhar Stasevich's corner past Bernd Leno via a Roberto Hilbert deflection.
BATE suddenly had a foothold and they looked to secure an even tighter rein, attacking in numbers and forcing several corners in succession. They had a let-off on 26 minutes, however, when Mehmedi fired narrowly wide after latching on to Bellarabi's through ball.
It did not take the hosts long to restore their advantage after the interval, though. Bellarabi won possession in midfield and played an eye-of-the-needle ball through to Çalhanoğlu, whose shot took a wicked deflection off Milunović, bouncing over Sergei Chernik and into the net.
Hernández went close to making it 3-1 moments later, but the disappointment was fleeting for the Mexican international as he latched on to Kampl's through ball before firing past Chernik just before the hour mark.
Çalhanoğlu's penalty 14 minutes from time sealed what was ultimately an easy win for the German side.
Man of the match: Hakan Çalhanoğlu
The Turkish international was at the heart of the home side's best play. The 21-year-old set up Mehmedi for the opener, before netting two second-half goals as Leverkusen made a strong start to their tenth UEFA Champions League campaign.
Chicharito lively on full debut
Hernández was heavily involved in the opening exchanges at the BayArena and went close to finding the net himself twice in the first half. He finally got the goal his performance deserved just before making way for Stefan Kiessling. Roger Schmidt has attacking options.
Bayer quick out of the blocks
Schmidt's side are making a happy habit of finding the net early in each half. Mehmedi's opener took four minutes, and though BATE levelled, the Bundesliga outfit were back in front two minutes into the second period – just as they were against Lazio in their play-off second leg.
Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
We knew we were the favourites, but such games are not easy. We started brightly in the first 15 minutes and deservedly opened the scoring. Out of the blue, we conceded from a set-piece. Even before the break we created chances, but after the interval our counter-pressing got even better. This is a really good start to the Champions League.
Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
Aleksandr Hleb has suffered a muscular injury. It is looking very serious. We will learn more later. Overall, we made way too many mistakes. Our opponents pressed us relentlessly, especially our defence. In the end, our transitions did not work out, so we weren't able to launch counterattacks. We have to work on it.