read the news // live the culture
The Upcoming | Read the news // Live the culture
Sunday 26th October 2014

Barcelona claim first leg advantage with impressive win at Leverkusen

  Wednesday 15th February 2012
  Wednesday 15th February 2012

Barcelona, reeling after a shock defeat in La Liga on Saturday night, made a short trip to Germany to meet a side who currently reside 15 points off the top in Bundesliga. Leverkusen’s form has been patchy to say the least, ever since the Christmas break.

Barcelona claim first leg advantage with impressive win at Leverkusen
Alexis Sanchez grabbed a brace as the Catalans returned to winning ways following their surprise loss to Osasuna at the weekend.

Barcelona started with a familiar side although Mascherano was playing slightly out of position at centre half; still, Leverkusen looked set to use a booming home crowd along with the addition of Corluka, the on-loan Spurs full back, to provide a solid basis on which to deal with the succinct style of Barcelona.

The first half was an eventful affair, Barcelona notching up 41 attacks to Leverkusen’s mere 7. The deadlock was broken by the lively Alexis Sanchez on 41 minutes.

The second half began ferociously, both sides opening up, leaving more gaps and having yet more chances. It was Leverkusen’s pressure that told, a slick move on the right wing allowed Corluka to deliver a pinpoint cross to meet Kadlec at the back post who headed past a despairing Valdes. It took 3 minutes for Barcelona to reply, a sharp pass found Sanchez once more, who duly rounded the keeper to slot one home.

Renato Augusto could have replied for Leverkusen immediately, but his powerful strike went straight into the grateful arms of Valdes. Leverkusen continued to look for the equaliser, often hitting the post in the process. However, they began to look leggy and Barcelona effortlessly retained possession.

When they get into this sort of zone their football becomes similar to chess, each little move culminates seamlessly into one grand play. Messi was his usual magician self, with Alves looking as lively in the 73rd minute as he did in the 1st. Barcelona had worn down a decent Leverkusen outfit into a dilapidated, defeated and demotivated set of individuals, as they do to so many of their unfortunate opponents. However Leverkusen were not going up without a fight, a chance for the substitute Keißling forced Valdes into a smart stop.

Having said that, Messi continued to create chances out of nothing and Barcelona looked to be cruising to victory. And indeed they were; with Messi adding a 3rd to the tally, his efforts all but guaranteeing the Catalan side’s place in the next round.

Raphael Salama


More about the author


Share this story


  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

Iranian woman hanged over murder despite international appeals for release
Iranian woman hanged over murder despite international appeals for release

An Iranian woman was executed today in a Tehran prison for killing a man she claimed had tried to sexually abuse her. [read more]

The Amazing Snakeheads at Electric Ballroom | Live review
The Amazing Snakeheads at Electric Ballroom

The air inside Camden’s Electric Ballroom on Thursday evening is humid with anticipation and a meniscus of tensile [read more]

The Wet House at the Soho | Theatre review
The Wet House at the Soho

Paddy Campbell’s 2013 collaboration with Live Theatre and Max Roberts, The Wet House this year turns southwards from [read more]

Caribou – Our Love | Album review
Caribou – Our Love

The word “anticipated” couldn’t be more of an understatement when applied to Caribou’s latest venture, Our [read more]

The Rivals at the Arcola | Theatre review
The Rivals at the Arcola

Comparing 18th century comic drama to its purely chronological predecessors in Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson is much [read more]

Archives