The European Cup evening with memorable scenes and a bitter defeat for Bayer 04 Leverkusen caused a lot of emotions even after the final whistle.
On the way to the dressing room there was a mass scuffle after the 2:3 (0:1) against AS Monaco. Also because captain Lukas Hradecky scored a controversial slapstick own goal in the curious first leg of the first knockout round of the Europa League, the Werkself are threatened with early failure in a European competition for the second time this season.
"Thank God we still have a second game," said goalkeeper Hradecky on RTL and complained about the scene before the 0-1. This was "a clear foul". "I won't say anything more about it, it's cheeky." He also complained about the behavior of the opponents after the end of the game, saying they were "all children".
Strong Wirtz solo is not enough for Bayer
Despite a brilliant solo by Florian Wirtz, the Werkself, who had been relegated from the Champions League, still lost to the Monegasques with a late goal from Axel Disasi (90.2). This puts Leverkusen in a difficult starting position for the second leg next Thursday in the Principality.
"At the moment I have no strength for the shit there on the sidelines," said Leverkusen's Robert Andrich to the tumult after the final whistle. "We played well after going behind, turning the game around. Then we were a bit too loose. Monaco had three shots on goal, two are within reach, plus the own goal, that reflects the game today."
Hradecky pressed too hard by Embolo at 0:1
Goalkeeper Hradecky was pushed too hard in the ninth minute by former Schalke and Gladbacher Breel Embolo. Especially annoying for Hradecky: Already at the 0:1 at the start of the premier class in Bruges he was to blame for the only goal through a serious mistake when he fell into the goal with the caught ball.
This time, Frenchman Moussa Diaby (48') and Wirtz (59') turned the game around with his first goal in six games after a ten-month injury break. National coach Hansi Flick and DFB sporting director Rudi Völler clearly enjoyed the solo in the BayArena stands. The game tipped over again completely with goals from Krépin Diatta (74th) and Disasi. Shortly before Monaco's winning goal, Leverkusen's Adam Hlozek hit the post (87').
Schick is making a comeback
The comeback of striker Patrik Schick after three and a half months from the 88th minute was pleasing for Leverkusen. At Monaco, Bayern loan Alexander Nübel held up well, Cologne-born Ismail Jakobs was used for 20 minutes, and long-time Leverkusen player Kevin Volland sat the entire game on the bench.
You can hardly fall behind more unhappily than Bayer on Thursday. Hradecky put himself in needless distress after a back pass from Jonathan Tah and tried to control the ball parallel to the goal line. Embolo bumped into the Leverkusen keeper, who stepped on the ball and stumbled it into the goal. He waited in vain for the Israeli referee Orel Grinfeeld to whistle for a free kick. The use of Embolo was at least borderline, the scene was checked, but Grinfeeld's decision to score was not classified as a gross misjudgment.
Bayer starts the second half strong
The Bundesliga eight then had problems creating serious scoring opportunities against the physically strong French. Nübel parried four shots in the statistics in the first round. However, only one action in the 35th minute was dangerous, when he tipped the ball away from Nadiem Amiri, who was ready to score, after a sharp cross from Diaby. On the other side, Hradecky got the opportunity to rehabilitate himself a bit and held off Diatta (44').
In the second half, however, Bayer was there immediately and deservedly turned the game around with two outstanding individual actions. First the strong Diaby pranced out two defenders in the middle and tunneled Nübel from a short distance to equalize. Then Wirtz outplayed four opponents and didn't give the Bayern Munich keeper a chance. But Monaco fought back - and was even able to celebrate the victory very late.