Leverkusen (dpa) – Two unusual goals at the crazy video-proof premiere in the Europa League have given Bayer Leverkusen the chance of reaching the round of 16.
After a goal with double video correction by Lucas Alario (29th minute) and a penalty goal by Kai Havertz (57th) in the second attempt, the Bundesliga club defeated last year’s Champions League quarter-finalist FC Porto with 2: 1 (1: 0). In the return leg next Thursday in Portugal, Leverkusen is still waiting for hard work after the goal by Zé Luis (73 minutes).
“The goal is obviously annoying, but winning is winning. Now it’s time to do our jobs again next week,” said Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. “It is important that we won. Now Porto has to beat us first,” said sports director Simon Rolfes at RTL.
The game ended painfully for Kevin Volland. After a tough duel in added time, the attacker had to be led off the pitch after the final whistle with the support of two supervisors. “It is painful. But he thinks it is not very bad,” said coach Peter Bosz after the game, but had no diagnosis at the time.
The Alario tour gate was one of the strangest in the history of video evidence – and it was on the first day of technical assistance in the small European Cup. After a video check, referee Slavko Vincic from Slovenia initially recognized the hit, but revised his decision again and gave the hit himself, obviously confused. “It was quite surprising where there should have been an offside,” said Rolfes.
Before the 2-0 Havertz had already missed the penalty. Because goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin had moved too early, however, the international was allowed to compete again and this time transformed safely. For the first time ever, a penalty kick was repeated with this VAR aid in a UEFA competition.
The game had started for Bayer in the pouring rain with a startling moment. Sven Bender (8th) dropped from Soares to the ground after a nostril, but was able to continue playing in the BayArena after a short break in front of 26,839 spectators. Leverkusen initially struggled against tightly staggered and aggressive backlash Portuguese.
Havertz, however, caused a turning point in the game with his bang effect. After Volland’s pass, the young international hit the ball on the crossbar (17th). Bayer served the first great opportunity as a pick-me-up. From then on, the hosts dominated the event and rewarded with Alario’s goal from close range.
The Portuguese runner-up was rarely dangerous. With a shot by Matheus Uribe (43.) Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky showed his class.
Porto started the second half more aggressively, but after Wilson Manafa’s clumsy grip on Volland there was a penalty for Leverkusen, which Havertz could still use to score his first European Cup goal after twelve games without a goal.
A much better starting position was nullified by the goal. Hradecky seemed to have parried the header of Zé Luis artistically. But the ball descended in a high arc into the Bayer goal.