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Europa League: 3:2 after 0:2: Schick heads Bayer into the quarter-finals

Europa League: 3:2 after 0:2: Schick heads Bayer into the quarter-finals

It seemed to be one of the easiest opponents in the draw, but Karabakh Agdam became a bogeyman for Bayer Leverkusen. But Patrik Schick brought Bayer into the quarter-finals.

Patrik Schick shot Bayer Leverkusen into the quarter-finals of the Europa League with two last-minute goals in a memorable game and kept the dream of the title treble alive.

The Czech scored the decisive goals for coach Xabi Alonso’s team in the third and seventh minutes of stoppage time in the 3-2 (0-0) draw in the second leg of the round of 16 against Karabakh Agdam. As in the 2-2 draw in the first leg in Azerbaijan, Leverkusen fell behind 2-0, but turned the game around with three goals from the 72nd minute onwards and caused a lively celebration in the BayArena.

Bayer initially took advantage of opportunities, then became hectic and were close to elimination after goals from Abdellah Zoubir (58th) and Juninho (67th). After Elvin Jafargulijew was shown a red card between the two goals for an emergency stop (64th), Jeremie Frimpong (72nd) initiated the comeback.

After the 37th competitive game without defeat this season, the confident Bundesliga table leaders and cup semi-finalists are the only Bundesliga team remaining in the Europa League. The next opponent as well as the possible semi-final competitor will be drawn on Friday.

Although he had assured in advance that he would make no difference between the competitions, Alonso also started the rotation machine before the eighth Europa League game. This time there were seven changes compared to Sunday’s 2-0 league win against Wolfsburg. However, compared to the weak first half in the first leg, Granit Robert Andrich, who was nominated for the national team again, led the team onto the field as captain. Andrich played in central defense, with his regular partner Xhaka as the only six.

The Alonso team started powerfully and quickly tried to clear things up. After 67 seconds, Borja Iglesias headed just over for the first time, then again another 67 seconds later. In the 6th and 8th minutes the Spaniard tried with his foot, but he still couldn’t score his first goal for Bayer. After ten minutes, the statistics showed an incredible 7-0 shots on goal for Bayer. The guests then managed to calm the game down. And then Jonas Hofmann, Leverkusen’s best player up to that point, had to leave the pitch after just 27 minutes with muscular problems. Ultimately there was such a break in the game that Bayer could be happy about the half-time break to collect themselves.

This was only partially successful. Agdam continued to be the expectedly uncomfortable opponent. Bayer increased the pressure again, but played many attacks in an unusually unclean manner and gradually became more hectic. And then the score actually fell to 0-1 when Zoubir jumped higher than Frimpong and headed the ball in from five meters. Alonso brought on Patrik Schick and Alejandro Grimaldo, but Bayer quickly countered immediately after being sent off. Alonso now sat down on the bench again and again, buried his face in his hands, analyzed scenes on the tablet and ran back onto the pitch to encourage his team. And after Frimpong’s goal, the faith was back. And in the end, like in the first leg, it was Schick who redeemed Bayer.

Source: Stern

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