Leverkusen - Bayer Leverkusen have one foot in the Champions League's
quarter-finals following their shock 1-0 home win over last season's
finalists Atletico Madrid, who finished with 10 men on Wednesday.
Calhanoglu's superb second-half goal in the last 16, first-leg clash
means Bayer take a slender advantage to Atletico's Vicente Calderon
Stadium for the return leg on March 17.
Reigning Spanish league
champions Atletico played the last quarter of an hour with ten men after
defensive midfielder Tiago was sent off for a second booking.
the 2002 Champions League finalists, edge closer to breaking their last
16 jinx having failed to pass this stage of the competition in their
last three previous attempts.
Roger Schmidt's Leverkusen ended their three-match winless streak in the Bundesliga in style by stunning the 2014 finalists.
been humiliated 4-0 at home by Paris Saint Germain last season at the
same stage in the competition, Leverkusen produced a spirited
Their potent pressing game nullified the threat of
Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic and attacking midfielder Antoine
Griezmann, who have scored 37 goals between them this season.
hosts controlled the early stages as Mandzukic found himself in the
unusual position of clearing a 12th-minute shot off the line from
Leverkusen centre-back Emir Spahic.
The Bosnia captain then
rattled the top-left corner of the goal post with a long-range strike on
26 minutes with Atletico goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya beaten.
best chance of the first-half came when Juanfran's shot was blocked and
Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno out-jumped the waiting Griezmann to
deny the Frenchman an easy header right in front of goal on 39 minutes.
coach Diego Simeone was forced into two changes before the break as
both right winger Saul Niguez and right-back Guilherme Siqueira came off
Leno kept Atletico out with a superb diving reflex save to deny Tiago just before the half-time whistle.
took the lead when Karim Bellarabi cut across the face of the goal,
then his back-heeled pass found Calhanoglu, who blasted his shot past
Moya from a tight angle on 57 minutes.
Simeone brought on Spain's
ex-Liverpool and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres for the final 25
minutes in a bid to get Atletico a crucial away goal.
already been booked early in the first-half, Tiago's dismissal for his
second yellow gave Leverkusen the numerical advantage, but Atletico kept
up the pressure as Leno endured a busy final 20 minutes.