Leverkusen spoil "Paradise Party" in Glasgow with 4-0 win
By Peter Vice
Amid simply sensational scenes in Glasgow's Celtic Park, Bayer 04 Leverkusen spoiled the "Paradise Party" of some 55,000 Celtic fans.
The visiting Germans may have deserved the win on balance, but some hard luck and sensational saves from Lukas Hradecky rendered the scoreline somewhat misleading.
Photo: Дмитрий Пукалик/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0
With full fan choreography in the stands, an exciting Europa League match kicked off Thursday evening in Glasgow's Celtic Park. Neither team bothered to take any time to feel one another out, with plenty of action taking place inside the 18s during the opening twenty minutes. B04 keeper and captain Lukas Hradecky had to be on hand to make several saves, particularly seeing as how the Scottish hosts were earning a seemingly endless amount of corners.
Somewhat against the run-of-play, an unfortunate slip from David Turnbull in the area allowed Mitchel Bakker to set up Piero Hincapie. The Ecuadorian defender finished off the 25th minute chance for the 1-0. Before the Scots could fully collect themselves, Florian Wirtz slid in a Paulinho cross for the 2-0 ten minutes later. Celtic found it difficult to see out the half without making further mistakes, but it wasn't quite time for the guests to run up the score yet.
A furious start by Celtic after the restart saw Hradecky have to make three saves in the opening three minutes. A stop on Jota in the 51st seemed almost superhuman. The determined effort from the Celts nevertheless came to nothing as a handball penalty in the 57th allowed Lucas Alario to put die Werkself up 3-0. To their credit, the Scots showed no signs of quit. Substitute Amine Adli tacked on the 4th goal at 90+4.