Leverkusen conquered the Ibrox fortress

Leverkusen conquered the Ibrox fortress

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Bundesliga soccer club Bayer Leverkusen has taken the first step towards the Europa League quarter-finals.

Glasgow. The team of coach Peter Bosz has opened the door to the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 3-1 win at the almost traditionally strong Glasgow Rangers – if there is still a second leg.

Once again football on the big stage, 90 minutes on the tattered lawn of the Glasgow Rangers at Ibrox Stadium, a stadium for traditionalists and football romantics that has become a monument – there could be a nicer place for Bayer Leverkusen to watch the last game for the foreseeable future to experience? The first leg of the round of 16 in the Europa League was given particular signs in view of the Corona crisis. It is unclear what the 3: 1 (1: 0) of the Bundesliga team is worth if Uefa cancels the competition.

While the other games of the competition were scheduled as ghost games, the duel between the Rhinelanders and the Scots took place in a sold-out arena with more than 50,000 spectators. They fervently cheered every little successful action of their team. Leverkusen combined safely and came to a couple of semi-dangerous scenes, Glasgow was low in its own half and skillfully condensed the center, but managed hardly relief attacks despite aggressive pressings in the last third.

Karim Bellarabi’s direct acceptance after two minutes, which flew far over the goal, was still the only noteworthy chance for the time being – until the penalty that Kai Havertz surely transformed (37.). George Edmundson had deflected a cross from Charles Aranguiz with a rather unnatural arm movement to the corner. Referee Szymon Marciniak watched the scene several times on the monitor on the sidelines and decided on a penalty kick.

The second 45 minutes presented a similar picture. Bayer dictated what happened, but there was always a bit lacking for really dangerous deals. After a little over 50 minutes, the Rangers had their strongest phase, culminating in a great opportunity for Alfredo Morelos, but Lukas Hradecky parried the shot on the right short corner with a strong reflex (55th). The audience, previously largely silenced by the backlog, was now fully back – and the Ibrox again became the notorious cauldron in the football world.

Glasgow was the pusher and presented Bayer with some problems, but the defensive remained focused and allowed little – except for the moment when the ready-to-shoot Morelos was prevented by Jonathan Tah in the six yard box. Wendell had previously played a weak cross pass on Edmond Tapsoba, who lost the ball in Rangers-Pressing in his own penalty area (63.). But then came Charles Aranguiz and, after a half-hearted cross from Moussa Diaby, scored the 2-0 from around 15 meters – right in the middle of the best phase of the Rangers coached by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who still managed to get through Edmondson (75 .). The man who caused the penalty was punishably left alone in one corner and was able to head in comparatively unreservedly.

Now there was a lot of steam again, driven by the fans, the hosts tried to force the equalization. Instead, it was substitute Leon Bailey who made everything clear for Bayer with his goal in the closing stages. For the Werkself, the ghost game at Werder Bremen will probably continue on Monday evening (8:30 p.m.). It is currently unclear whether and when there will be a second leg against the Rangers. On Tuesday, Uefa wants to discuss how to proceed.

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