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Leverkusen too much for ten-man Lazio

Leverkusen 3-0 Lazio (agg: 3-1)
The German hosts made light work of the first-leg deficit as goals from Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi saw the Werkself progress.

Leverkusen players celebrate qualification
Leverkusen players celebrate qualification ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Hakan Çalhanoğlu gives Leverkusen the lead five minutes before the interval
  • Admir Mehmedi doubles the advantage three minutes into the second half
  • Lazio's Mauricio is dismissed for second yellow card after 68 minutes
  • Karim Bellarabi wraps things up for the Werkself with three minutes remaining
  • Group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday at 17.45CET

Goals from Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi sealed Bayer Leverkusen's place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League at the expense of ten-man Lazio.

In an open start to this play-off second leg, home keeper Bernd Leno did well to smother the ball at the feet of Keita before Bellarabi flashed a low effort wide of the mark at the other end. The frenetic nature of the contest showed no sign of abating as the first half wore on, with Hakan twice going close from distance. The first whistled a metre wide of the target while Lazio custodian Etrit Berisha just managed to palm the second away from the onrushing Wendell, who would surely have tapped home the rebound.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu after opening the scoring
Hakan Çalhanoğlu after opening the scoring©Getty Images

Lazio's Dušan Basta had Leno scrambling with a looping strike from the edge of the box but Stefan Kiessling almost lifted the roof off the BayArena midway through the first half when his header from Hakan's cross cannoned off the woodwork. The deadlock was finally broken five minutes before the interval. After the ball ricocheted around the area it eventually fell to Hakan, who rifled past Berisha to level the aggregate score at 1-1.

Buoyed by their lead, Leverkusen flew out of the traps at the beginning of the second half and doubled their advantage on the night through Mehmedi, who showed great strength to shrug off his marker before thumping the ball into the roof of the Lazio net. The introduction of Ricardo Kishna appeared to inject some zest into Lazio's play but the Rome outfit suffered a major blow to their hopes when Maurício was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Bellarabi's late third, which was expertly set up by substitute Julian Brandt, added gloss to the scoreline for Leverkusen, who advance to the group phase of Europe's premier club competition for the tenth time.

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
We are delighted to have made the group stage. This means a lot to the whole team and I think everybody could see how focused we were. We played very well and we always believed in our style. From my point of view we deserved this win, there is no doubt about it. We were dominant throughout and kept everything under control. We play with a high intensity at home and can create a lot of problems for any team in Europe. We are used to this intensity, our opponent often aren't.

Stefano Pioli, Lazio coach
Leverkusen deserved to win. We had a lot of problems with their creative style of play. The first half was OK but in the second Leverkusen were totally dominant. Their level was too high for my team. It has been a tough task for us. Leverkusen punished every little mistake and the sending-off of Maurício was too much. We are very disappointed. We wanted to step through the door into the Champions League but now we have to create new goals for our young team.