LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP)Struggling Bayer Leverkusen left it late to earn a welcome 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in their Champions League group-stage game on Tuesday.
Two goals in three minutes from Robert Andrich and Moussa Diaby – both set up by Jeremie Frimpong – were enough for Leverkusen to claim just its second win of the season after six defeats in eight games across all competitions.
”We did brilliantly. I’m so proud of the team,” Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah said. ”This gives us a lot of energy.”
Leverkusen coach Gerardo Seoane had been coming under increasing pressure, especially after the 1-0 loss at Club Brugge in their Group B opening game last week, but Andrich finally made the breakthrough in the 84th minute and Diaby sealed the win on a counterattack in the 87th.
Both teams had largely canceled each other out in a first half of few chances. Leverkusen looked better early on, when Andrich fired a good chance over.
Patrik Schick hit the crossbar for Leverkusen after the break, when Czech compatriot Adam Hlozek struck the post from the rebound.
Both teams upped the pace for the last 10 minutes, but it was Leverkusen that made the breakthrough. Frimpong did well to hold off his marker and send a low ball into the center for Andrich, who struck first time inside the left post for his first Champions League goal.
Frimpong then produced a brilliant cross for Diaby to seal it.
”We had more or less control over the match because not a lot was happening, but then in two counterattacks they score two goals,” Atletico captain Koke said. ”I think we can do a lot more, we can give more – we’ve shown that in other matches.”
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