Bundesliga News

Europe: Champions League
2 - 2
(1 - 2)
Y. Carrasco (22), R. de Paul (50), X Y. Carrasco (90)
M. Diaby (9), C. Hudson-Odoi (29)

Hradecky saves penalty in 99th minute to draw against Atletico

By Jonathan Dicks   @Jonathan_Dicks

Leverkusen incredibly held off Atletico Madrid's second-half barrage on goal, but the draw still leaves the company club's European fate out of their hands with one matchday to go.
Lukas Hradecky.
Lukas Hradecky.Photo: Дмитрий Пукалик/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0
With Porto's early win over Club Brugge, Leverkusen are now definitely out of the running for the Champions League knockout round. With the 2-2 draw in Madrid, Die Werkself will need Atletico to draw points next week, while also getting a result against Club Brugge.

On Wednesday night, Lukas Hradecky's performance stood alone, as he miraculously saved a 99th minute Atletico penalty to earn Leverkusen a wild point.

With a long phase of threatening offensive play within the opening minutes, Atletico were cranking up pressure on Leverkusen's defense early and often. But then, Moussa Diaby showed his quality at the other end in the 9th minute, converting Adam Hlozek's layoff past Jan Oblak.

Angel Correa probably should've leveled the match a few moments later, but Hradecky made an excellent stop in goal. Atletico continued to boss possession, as Xabi Alonso's back three was beginning to look more like a back five.

Yannick Carrasco deservedly drew the Spanish club level with his strike in the 22nd minute. Then, Callum Hudson-Odoi gave Leverkusen their lead right back after Nadiem Amiri dispossessed Correa in the 29th minute.

Alonso's side took their 2-1 advantage into halftime, but Rodrigo De Paul tied up the game again with a superb 50th minute curler, ramping up the home support.

Atletico looked reborn in the second period, as the fast-paced affair continued. Hradecky made several crucial saves to keep the game all square during relentless Atletico barrages on goal.

The game somehow stayed 2-2, as Leverkusen withstood constant Atletico attacks in the late stages of the second 45. Tempers flared in extra time and Atletico were given a penalty by VAR after the final whistle.

Hradecky saved Carrasco's penalty and the follow-up effort hit the crossbar, ending Atletico's Champions League dreams.

Die Werkself travel to Leipzig this weekend before their home match against Club Brugge next week, as they sit last in Champions League Group B, one point behind Atletico.

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