Leverkusen see off Atletico thanks to a sublime Hakan Calhanoglu goal

The German side secured a first-leg victory at the BayArena.

HAKAN CALHANOGLU GAVE Bayer Leverkusen a 1-0 first-leg victory over 2014′s beaten finalists Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 tonight.

The Turkish international’s second-half strike proved enough to separate the sides at the BayArena, with Karim Bellarabi instrumental in the build up.

Leverkusen threatened in the opening half with Emir Spahic being denied on two occasions, but they were grateful to Bernd Leno for making two late saves to keep the score level.

Following a goalless first 45 minutes, the game was finally brought to life just before the hour, Calhanoglu converting with a powerful angled finish.

Even the introduction of Fernando Torres could not inspire Atletico — who saw Tiago sent off late on — as they failed to score for a second successive Champions League game.

Roger Schmidt’s side will take a narrow advantage to Spain for the second leg on 17 March, knowing another clean sheet will see them through to the quarter-finals.

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Gavin Cooney
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