Champions League

Monaco stun Leverkusen

2014-11-27 00:14
Lucas Ocampos (AFP)

Leverkusen - Monaco have stunned Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 with a goal against the run of play from substitute Lucas Ocampos on Wednesday to revive their Champions League qualifying hopes and scupper the Germans' plans to top Group C with a game to spare.

Ocampos had been on for only two minutes when he sneaked into the box in the 72nd to slide the ball home after the Germans, who had won their previous three group games, dominated the game but were again frustrated by defensive Monaco.

Leverkusen, who have now lost twice to Monaco in the group, had already qualified for the Round of 16 without kicking a ball after Zenit St Petersburg beat Benfica 1-0 earlier.

The Germans were eager to top the group with a win to make sure they avoided the many European heavyweights in the knockout stage. The result left them on top on nine points with Monaco on eight and Zenit on seven going into the last matchday.

Leverkusen had possession but no space to run the ball with every Monaco player apart from Dimitar Berbatov, who returned to Leverkusen where he played for five seasons, deep in their own half.

Just as in their 1-0 win over the Germans in the game in Monte Carlo in September, Leverkusen had the chances and possession but Monaco provided the killer finish.

Lars Bender had the hosts' biggest chance but was unlucky to see his superb volley bounce off the crossbar in the 26th minute.

The French league team, who had conceded just one goal in their previous four games, played their trademark tight game, leaving few spaces for the Leverkusen players to unfold their creative and quick-punching counter attacks.

It took Monaco an hour to carve out their first corner but Jeremy Toulalan's long-range effort flew well over the bar.

Leverkusen should have done better when substitute Josip Drmic was sent through only to fire wide from a tight angle and with the Germans gradually finding more space and going forward, Monaco hit against the run of play.

Berbatov sent Nabil Dirar down the right, who crossed into the box with Ocampos timing his run perfectly for the winner.

 

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