On a rainy night at the BayArena, Leverkusen's impressive second-half performance secured a massive 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.
Atletico were furious after a no-call in the 21st minute after Edmond Tapsoba’s handball, but VAR did not see enough evidence to give a penalty. Odilon Kossounou and Jonathan Tah, who briefly tussled with Joao Felix, both received early yellow cards, forcing them to use caution for the rest of the game. The score stayed 0-0 heading into the halftime break after a classic uneventful first-half performance from a Diego Simeone-coached side.
All of a sudden, Patrik Schick was through on goal in the 48th minute, but his shot connected with the crossbar. Adam Hlozek immediately followed up the effort, but his header hit the post as well. It’s simply mind-boggling that both players couldn’t convert, leaving Leverkusen fans with the feeling that this would be another one of those disappointing days.
Lukas Hradecky tipped Rodrigo De Paul’s shot over the bar in the 67th minute, as the BayArena side continued to keep Atletico at bay. Schick had another sensational opportunity a few moments later, but Felipe did just enough to prevent a goal.
Jeremie Frimpong's substitution turned the entire game around, as his persevering run down the right gave Robert Andrich an open shot on goal in the 84th minute. But, the Dutchman wasn’t satisfied with just a 1-0 lead.
In a devastating counterattack, Frimpong found Moussa Diaby for his second assist of the night, as the winger slotted home Frimpong's picture-perfect pass. This secured Leverkusen’s three points with a 2-0 victory, giving supporters something to cheer about after a disastrous Bundesliga start that has them sitting 17th in the table.
A win is huge, but it’s clear that the company club still miss the creativity of Florian Wirtz in the middle of the park. But, this is a win that deserves to be celebrated, as Gerardo Seoane continues to hang onto his job by the skin of his teeth.
Leverkusen now jump to second in their Champions League group, while undefeated Club Brugge surprisingly sit in the top spot.