Leverkusen 1-0 Atletico: Calhanoglu’s Stunner Downs Ten-Man Atleti

Bayer Leverkusen will take a one goal advantage into their Uefa Champions League round of 16 second leg tie at Atletico Madrid courtesy of Hakan Calhanoglu terrific strike.

The Turkish midfielder smashed a powerful shot into the roof of the net from an angle to separate both sides at the BayArena on Wednesday night.

Atleti had a goal disallowed after an official behind the goal adjudged a corner, from which substitute Fernando Torres scored, to have crossed the line.

Hakan Calhanoglu Smashed Into the Roof With High Velocity at the BayArena. Image: Getty.
Hakan Calhanoglu Smashed Into the Roof With High Velocity at the BayArena. Image: Getty.

Last season’s losing finalists ended the match with ten men as Tiago- apparently as a result of frustration at the disallowed goal- received his second booking for a heavy tackle on Karim Bellarabi.

The hosts attacked in numbers right from the blast of the kickoff whistle and Mario Mandzukic was well placed to hack clear off the line an Emir Spahic’s effort.

The Leverkusen defender ought to have scored in the 25th minute but watched his thunderbolt from 25 yards cannon off the crossbar with Miguel Angel Moya beaten.

In the 40th minute Bernd Leno was on hand to punch away Jesus Gamesz’s deflected cross under pressure from Antoine Griezmann, few minutes after the former Malaga man had replaced the injured Guilherme Siqueira.

Saul Niquez joined Atleti’s casualty list before the break after failing to recover from an earlier knock to his back, replaced by Raul Garcia on the left midfield.

Leno brilliantly dived to deny Tiago’s acrobatic volley in first half injury-time, leaving both sides deadlocked at the break.

The Spanish champions got off to a fast start in the second half but soon found themselves on the back foot.

Ballarabi, fresh from signing a new long-term deal last week, made a meal of the ball in the penalty area but, all of a sudden, back-heeled into the path of Calhanoglu, who thumped a sumptuous shot into the top corner.

Coach Diego Simeone resorted to a powerful frontline of Griezmann, Mandzukic and the newly-introduced Fernando Torres for his debut in a major European championship, having featured only in the Uefa Intertoto Cup in his initial spell.

Tiago received his marching order 14 minutes from time for a second caution and Kyriakos Papadopolous almost capitalised on the numerical disadvantage straight away but was unable to beat Moya from close range.

Diego Godin, like Tiago, will miss the return leg on 17 March after picking up successive booking.