When it seemed impossible, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen has achieved the feat. He had to hold his breath and achieve it on penalties, but the German team will be in the round of 16 of the Europa League. the belgian Eliot Matazo sent the hopes of passing the local tie to the crossbar. In an epic game, Leverkusen defeated a great Monaco, who deserved better luck. After the 2-3 that Monaco took from German lands a week ago, few believed that Leverkusen would manage to beat the French team by two goals difference, and even more knowing that Monaco was one of the fittest teams in Europe, but the penalties were expensive and in an epic exercise they managed to eliminate the French. Football is football, as Boskov said, and those attending the Louis II Stadium in Monaco have seen it with their own eyes. On one of the great European afternoons that Leverkusen fans will remember Xabi Alonso’s tenure as their team’s bench.
If a week ago Disasi dressed as a hero with his goal in the 92nd minute, this time it was Embolo who sent the game to extra time when the German team was enjoying the comeback. Before, the first blow was given by the talented Florian Wirtz. What a pearl the Spanish coach has on his hands. The German star quickly made it 0-1 by being the smartest, after a lack of understanding of the Monaco goalkeeper, Nübel, with his defense. It was minute 12 and the Germans believed in the feat. But the joy did not last long since in 19 ‘, Ben Yedder scored the equalizer from a penalty. A separate chapter has the French striker who never tires of seeing the goal and on top of that he is always a danger to the rival defense (apart from the goal, he hit a crossbar).
But this Leverkusen by Xabi Alonso has something special. He did not lower his arms and he was even winning 1-3 in a master class of effectiveness. Exequiel Palacio did not give the Monegasques time to claim Ben Yedder’s goal and on the next occasion he sent the ball into the net. A deserved 1-2. But Xabi Alonso’s team went further. He knew that he needed another goal. And he did. Wirtz, who if not, saw the uncheck at the far post of Adli, who beat the German goalkeeper with a splendid header, on loan to Monaco from Bayern Munich. It was minute 58 and Leverkusen had already worked the miracle.
Plunger forces overtime
As we have said before, the Monaco that Philippe Clement has put together is a team to keep in mind. And with the unconditional support of his public, he besieged Hradecky’s goal for 30 minutes. In the tremendous give and take, Embolo got the 2-3 that sent the game to extra time. A jug of cold water for Xabi Alonso’s pupils who were all proud throughout the match. They will never forget that qualifying was theirs for 26 minutes, without the pain of extra 30 minutes and penalty kicks.
capricious of fate, the blunder for Leverkusen could have been worse. Diop managed to beat the Finnish goalkeeper again when the game was dying, but previously the ball had left the bottom line. A relief for Xabi Alonso who lived the entire match with great intensity from the booth. Like the footballers of both teams.
Like the whole party. The extension did not disappoint either. Clement and Xabi Alonso gave free rein to their footballers and what fatigue did not decide, whether it was good or bad luck. We could be wrong but both coaches have a great future. Volland wanted to be the protagonist but Hradecky repelled his header with merit. In the final round, the Germans tempered their nerves more and Eliot Matazo sent the hopes of Monaco to the crossbar. Xabi Alonso already has his first great European night as a coach. And Leverkusen keeps dreaming.
Paulinho speeds up Sporting’s classification
Sporting de Portugal qualified for the round of 16 of the Europa League after clearly beating Midtjylland (0-4), diminished by the expulsion of Paulinho at the edge of the break when he still had options to get his ticket for the next phase. The Brazilian player, in just two minutes, between 36 and 38, received two yellow cards that ended his contest in the match and with almost all the options of his teammates to continue in the competition.
Capellas’ men were lost and always outclassed by Sporting, who monopolized most of the possession, controlled all the times of the game and with quick exits generated a lot of danger. Even so, until minute 19, with a shot by Ricardo Esgaio, Sporting did not find the goal defended by Jonas Lössl, who had an easy intervention before conceding Coates’s goal. The Uruguayan sealed the superiority of the Portuguese team with a header from a corner with which they closed the circle of the first match. Coates, in the first leg, was in charge of tying the clash on the horn.
On the return, he opened the can himself and uncovered the jar of essences for Sporting, who later wasted a very clear one-on-one from Marcus Edwards. The English half tried to chip the ball over Lössl, who did not fall into the trap and left the Sporting player without a prize. Later, Paulinho’s expulsion for a double booking ended the game. The entire second half was ahead and, with a goal behind and ten men, Midtjylland were practically out.
Isaksen still had the arrests of trying to test Antonio Adán after signing a great internship on the left wing. But that attempt was a mirage, because Sporting did not waste its numerical superiority and Pedro Gonçalves, with a kick from the edge of the area, ended any hope for Midtjylland. Then Gonçalves repeated the celebration at 0-3 and Stefan Gartenmann, with an own goal, ended an unfortunate night for the Danish team marked by the expulsion of Paulinho. EFE
Edan Diop (60′, Chrislain Matsima), Patrick Schick (69′, Adam Hlozek), Eliot Matazo (69′, Mohamed Camara), Nadiem Amiri (73′, Amine Adli), Breel Embolo (77′, Wissam Ben Yedder), Ismail Jakobs (77′, Eliesse Ben Seghir), Myron Bouadu (77′, Aleksandr Golovin), Moussa Diaby (102′, Jeremy Frimpong), kevin volland (109′, Krepin Diatta), sardar azmoun (114′, Florian Wirtz)
0-1, 12′: Florian Wirtz1-1, 18′: Ben Yedder1-2, 20′: exequiel palacios1-3, 57′: amine adli2-3, 83′: Plunger
Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
VAR referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande, José Luis Munuera Montero
Youssouf Fofana (40′,Yellow) robert andrich (64′,Yellow) exequiel palacios (98′,Yellow) Caio Henrique (118′,Yellow) Ismail Jakobs (119′,Yellow)