Leverkusen - Javier Hernandez scored on his first start for
Bayer Leverkusen in their 4-1 rout of BATE Borisov on Wednesday as the Germans
topped Group E ahead of Barcelona.
Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu netted twice in the rout
as Bayer put the Belarus side to the sword in their opening Champions League
Swiss striker Admir Mehmedi gave Bayer an early lead, but
Serbia midfielder Nemanja Milunovic headed BATE level on 13 minutes. Calhanoglu
then put the hosts 2-1 up after the break before Mexico's Hernandez scored
Calhanoglu netted a late penalty as the hosts dominated,
using their 65 percent possession to fire in 20 shots on goal to BATE's paltry
Hernandez's goal was no more than the 27-year-old
ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid forward deserved as 'Chicharito' justified
replacing Stefan Kiessling in Leverkusen's starting line-up with an impressive
Having made his debut off the bench in Leverkusen's shock
1-0 Bundesliga defeat to Darmstadt last Saturday, Hernandez received a standing
ovation from the BayArena crowd when he made way for Germany striker Kiessling
on 72 minutes.
After Barcelona's 1-1 draw at Roma, Leverkusen's victory is a
confidence booster ahead of their clash with the defending champions at the
Camp Nou in a fortnight.
However, the win came at a cost as Leverkusen captain Lars
Bender limped off in clear discomfort on 44 minutes with a knee injury to be
replaced by fellow Germany international Christoph Kramer.
Leverkusen took an early lead when Switzerland international
Mehmedi curled in Hernandez's cross off the outside of his boot with just four
BATE drew level when Milunovic headed home off a Leverkusen
defender which wrong-footed home goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Calhanoglu restored Leverkusen's lead just after the break
when he drove home Karim Bellarabi's cross on 47 minutes before Hernandez
scored his first goal in the Bayer shirt when he slotted home Kevin Kampl's
final pass on 59 minutes.
It turned into a rout on 76 minutes when left-back Filip
Mladenovic handled and Calhanoglu hit an unstoppable penalty into the left-hand