Champions League

Leverkusen beat St Petersburg

2014-10-22 23:00
Kyriakos Papadopolous (AFP)

Leverkusen - Ten-man Bayer Leverkusen went top of their Champions League group on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Andre Villas-Boas' Zenit St Petersburg to claim a second-straight victory.

Monaco's goalless draw at home to Benfica means Leverkusen took over at the top of Group C, despite having lost their opening match at Monaco before beating Benfica at the BayArena.

There is all still a lot to play for ahead of the return leg against Zenit in St Petersburg in a fortnight after defenders Giulio Donati and Kyriakos Papadopoulos scored the Germans' goals.

Leverkusen were forced to play the final ten minutes a man down after Brazilian left-back Wendell was sent off for a second yellow-card.

Bayer endured a frustrating goalless first-half as their attacks were snuffed out by Zenit's defence in a dull opening 45 minutes in Leverkusen.

But they finally got the break-through they craved when Italian defender Giulio Donati unleashed a fierce drive from outside the area on 58 minutes.

His dipping shot gave Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin no chance as it flew into the bottom left hand corner.

Turkey playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu made a break from the halfway line and found Donati in space for the Italian to break the deadlock.

Another goal followed five minutes later as Greece defender Papadopoulos headed home Calhanoglu's free-kick just two minutes after coming off the bench.

The 22-year-old outmuscled his marker Nicolas Lombaerts to power his header past Lodygin and kill off any hopes of a fightback from the Russians.

The only black mark on Leverkusen's copybook was the second yellow card for a handball and dismissal of Bayer's left-back Wendell.

South Korea striker Son Heung-Min dropped back from the left wing to fill the breach in the Leverkusen defence for the final 10 minutes.

As Bayern Munich demolished Roma 7-1 in the Italian capital, Schalke beat Sporting Lisbon 4-3 on Tuesday and Borussia Dortmund earned a 4-0 win at Galatasaray, all four German clubs picked up wins on the Champions League's third round of group stage matches.


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