Alex made two changes for his first Champions League match as Sulley Muntari stepped into central midfield and Jedvaj stepped in for his first start of the season at centre back for the match against Legia. Legia had gone for a similar 4-4-2 formation which Alex hoped would allow them to control the midfield and he backed his defenders to deal with their strikers better than how the Legia defenders could deal with his attacking players.
After two minutes Wendell threw the ball into Brandt deep in the Leverksuen half. He passed the ball back to Wendell, he lofted the ball into the box and Guilherme rose highest to head the ball out of the box. The ball fell to Bender 20 yards out he pushed forward a bit and squared the ball to D’Ambrosio. He passed the ball up a couple of yards to Volland who fired the ball low into the middle of the box. Chicarito had made himself some space in the box and made no mistake firing low into the bottom corner to give Leverkusen an early lead.
It was just what Alex had hoped for to dent the confidence of Legia and Alex hoped they could put the game to bed early on.
After 5 minutes Guilherme fired a free kick into the box. D’Ambrosio headed the ball away up to Chicarito, he played a great pass up to Calhanoglu. He drew the outside defender towards him and then played the ball out wide to Volland. He passed the ball back inside to Chicarito who played in Muntari with a one touch pass. Muntari took a touch and then fired low across goal. It was out of reach of the keeper and went just wide of the of the post.
After 15 minutes Legia launched a rare attack towards the Leverkusen goal and Muntari ended it by sweeping in and winning the ball back for Leverkusen. He then launched the ball long and it was misjudged by a Legia defender to play in Chicarito. He took a touch and tried to beat the keeper at the near post only to see his effort bounce back off of the post and then get fired clear by Guilherme.
Just before the twentieth minute Jedvaj intercepted an attempted through ball and hammered the clearance long. Chicarito had the speed to beat his man to the ball and brought it down with an exquisite first touch, he pushed forward into the box and fired high to the near side of the keeper and squeezed the ball in past the keeper to double Leverkusen’s lead.
Two minutes later Leverkusen had a corner that Calhanoglu stood over. He whipped a ball into the box and the keeper came out to claim the ball. Tah got to it ahead of him and was able to just head the ball into an empty goal to put Leverkusen three goals up and pretty much kill the game off. Alex was pleased with the first quarter of the game and just wanted his team to see it out professionally.
After 26 minutes Legia hit a long ball up out wide and Vako ran onto the ball. He took a couple of touches and whipped a ball into the box. Despite containing 4 Leverkusen defenders it was a perfect cross and the only Legia player in the box got to it and powered a header back across goal leaving Leno helpless and cutting a goal out of Leverkusen’s lead.
With two minutes left in the half Leno collected a long cross and quickly punted the ball forward. Chicarito flicked the ball on and Calhanoglu got to it first. He passed back to Bender who squared the ball to Muntari. He hit a long hopeful ball into the box. Guilherme headed the ball back towards goal and it was underhit which lead to confusion between him the goalkeeper and the other centre back. Calhanoglu read what was happening and simply ran in and smashed the ball between the keepers legs from close range to restore Leverkusen’s three goal lead.
Alex told his team to stay focused at half time and try to grab another few goals to try and pad out their goal difference in case they needed it. He also pulled of Calhanglu who looked a bit tired and put on Berbatov.
Just after the hour mark Brandt stood over a free kick thirty yards out. He passed the ball up to Muntari just outside the box. He squared the ball to Chicarito and ran into the box, Chicarito passed the ball to Berbatov in the box and he passed the ball into the run of Muntari who hit a low shot that was blocked almost instantly. The ball rolled back to him and Muntari calmly fired the ball into the opposite corner leaving the keeper who was sprawled onto the ground no chance to save it.
Leno made a couple of easy enough saves late on as Legia pushed for a consolation goal but, it was nothing to challenge him as Leverkusen got a big win to start off in the Champions League and Alex had a very good first game in the competition. It was a good performance and an important three points to start out before the run of three tough games in the competition.
PSG won against Dynamo Kyiv to join Leverkusen on three points but, couldn’t match the margin of victory so were in second place. Leverkusen hosted Kyiv before they would face PSG twice in a row.