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Gekas pounces to hamper Hamburg

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1-0 Hamburger SV
Leverkusen have the edge in the all-German tie courtesy of a second-half goal from Theofanis Gekas.

Theofanis Gekas celebrates his decisive headed goal
Theofanis Gekas celebrates his decisive headed goal ©Getty Images

Good omen
The Greek striker's header in the 77th minute produced echoes of Leverkusen's previous Bundesliga derby in this competition, when they defeated Werder Bremen 1-0 with a first-leg home goal to reach the 1987/88 final. They lifted the trophy that season, and will have high hopes after the win against a team that they have taken just one league point off in two meetings this term.

Tight first half
Hamburg did not concede in either of those Bundesliga encounters, and their defence kept the home side at bay well in the first half, Frank Rost only tested by an effort from the edge of the box by former HSV man Sergej Barbarez. Within seconds of the restart it was Hamburg on the attack, David Jarolím supplied by José Paolo Guerrero but shooting well over the crossbar.

Gekas on target
Leverkusen went straight up the other end and Gekas gave warning of what was to come with a header that crept just above the goal before Tranquillo Barnetta also threatened, in a second half that was proving far more open than the first. Another Gekas header narrowly missed the target with Rost beaten, but with 13 minutes left the Greek international rose to meet a Barnetta corner giving the goalkeeper no chance. Worse was to come for Hamburg when defender Vincent Kompany was booked, and both he and Nigel de Jong must sit out Wednesday's return for the sole UEFA Intertoto Cup survivors.