UCL Highlights, Results: Leverkusen win, Arsenal held scoreless, more

IMAGE, BUNDESLIGA.COM

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

In the most thrilling of the first leg play-off matches, FC Copenhagen and Bayer Leverkusen split five goals in the opening 45 minutes.

Son Heung-Min scored the decisive goal in the 42nd minute. Hakan Calhanoglu‘s found the striker score Leverkusen’s third and crucial of the match.

Stefan Kiessling opened the scoring in the fifth minute It was Calhanoglu again with the vital pass playing a cross in for Kiessling to turn home.

Copenhagen then stormed back to to take a 2-1 advantage. The first goal came three minutes after Kiessling’s opener. Mathias Jorgensen rose well to head Pierre Bengtsson‘s cross into the far corner. After a free-kick was helped on by Jorgensen and Daniel Amartey headed in.

Leverkusen are in a fine position to reach the group stage with the goal advantage as well as scoring three times away from home.

Here are the match highlights:

Other Champions League Results

1. Arsenal’s midfield take hits in draw– For a team that typically has success in Turkey, Arsenal didn’t look like it against Besiktas.

While taking a 0-0 draw back to the Emirates isn’t a disaster by any means, losing Mikel Arteta through injury and Aaron Ramsey, who picked up a red card for the second leg certainly hurts. It leaves the midfield very thin for the Gunners.

Olivier Giroud struggled up top over the course of the game despite having good chances to score. Demba Ba did everything, but score for the Turkish club. He nearly scored from the opening kick-off, but Wojciech Szczesny was alert enough

After not sitting back against Arsenal in Istanbul, they will need that approach in London if they are going to advance to the group stage.

2. Lille continue struggles– Entering the match not getting a win in their last four matches against Portuguese opponents, Lille wasn’t able to break that trend.

Hector Herrera tallied the only goal in the 61st minute to give Porto the advantage heading into the second leg. Jackson Martinez‘s header was initially saved by Lille keeper Victor Enyeama, but Herrera was able to turn in the rebound.

While Lille were staunch defensively in the opening leg despite the goal conceded, they will need a more adventurous approach in Portugal.

3. Zenit in front– With the 1-0 victory over Standard Liege, Zenit are in prime position to reach the group stages. They’ve never lost a match at home against Belgium opposition.

It took 16 minutes for Zenit to get the advantage. Domenico Criscito picked out Danny in the box. The Portuguese winger chested the ball to Hulk, who played the ball across goal to Oleg Shatov for the finish.  

However, Zenit may feel like they’ve could have taken an even bigger advantage back to Russia. While creating plenty of opportunities, the St.Petersburg club couldn’t find a second.

4. Athletic slight advantage over Napoli–  While Napoli and Athletic Bilbao both found the back of the net in the opening leg, it’s Bilbao that has the slight advantage. They take an important away goal back to Spain.

Iker Munian gave the visitors the advantage in the 41st minute. Oscar de Marcos picked out Munian, who fired his into the bottom right hand corner for the opener.

However, Gonzalo Higuain equalized the match in the 68th minute. The Argentine striker continued his good scoring run against Bilbao with his ninth goal in 11 games. Higuain worked his way out of a crowd of defenders and then fired to the far post.

5. And the rest– Celtic wasted several chances to take a bigger advantage back to Scotland in a 1-1 draw with Maribor. Callum McGregor scored for the visitors while Damjan Bohar struck for the home side.

Aab Aalborg and Apoel Nicosia drew 1-1 in Denmark. Nicolaj Thomsen tallied for the home side. However, Vinicius found an equalizer to give Apoel a slight advantage in the second leg.

Slovan Bratislava and FC BATE finished 1-1 in their opening leg. BATE went in front on a Tomas Jablonsky own goal before Robert Vittek scored 1o minutes from time for the hosts.

Red Bull Salzburg found the back of the net twice in a 2-1 win in Austria over Malmo. Franz Schiemer and Jonathan Soriano scored for Salzburg while Emil Forsberg pulled one back for Malmo.

Lastly, Steau Bucharest got a 1-0 victory against Ludogorets. Alexandru Chipciu scored the only goal in the game in the 88th minute.