Bulykin goal cannot block Zenit's path

Zenit Petersburg 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen (agg: 4-2) Dmitri Bulykin returned to Russia to score Leverkusen's winner but Zenit's first-leg advantage proved decisive.

Victory was not enough for Leverkusen
Victory was not enough for Leverkusen ©Getty Images

Pragmatic approach
Dick Advocaat's Zenit took a pragmatic appoach to defending their aggregate advantage and found their feet once Leverkusen had gained an early lifeline through former Russian international Bulykin's powerful header. Zenit's second-half pressure earned a late penalty, only for Anatoliy Tymoschuk to be denied by René Adler.

Leverkusen rotation
Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev had warned his team against complacency and coach Dick Advocaat duly fielded a first-choice lineup, while opposite number Michael Skibbe included several non-regulars such as Bulykin, Sascha Dum, Lukas Sinkiewicz and Pirmin Schwegler. And it was Leverkusen who showed their intent first, on four minutes, when Bulykin ran on to a dangerous through ball from the right but Malafeev dashed off his line to block.

Bulykin goal
That, initially, was a sign of things to come and in the 18th minute a fluid counterattacking move by Leverkusen resulted in the goal which Bulykin had promised to Zenit before the match. Gonzalo Castro delivered a pinpoint cross to the far post which Bulykin headed into the net with gusto, Malafeev arriving too late. Advocaat's warning about the dangers of over-confidence now seemed prophetic. Yet if the Premier-Liga champions could not turn on the creative power, Zenit's defence, marshalled by captain Tymoschuk, at least held firm after the earlier lapse.


Post struck
Next in the Petrovsky spotlight was young Viktor Fayzulin, who blasted a free-kick centimetres over the crossbar after 65 minutes. The test for Zenit was to bring as much endeavour to what was a sometimes fractious contest as Leverkusen were putting into it. If Advocaat's team appeared unwilling to commit too many men forward on occasions, Igor Denisov should have equalised when Fayzulin's cunning one-touch pass put him into a perfect position to score. However, Adler deflected his attempt on to the post.

Penalty save