Leverkusen secure 1-0 home win over 10-man Atletico Madrid

AP , Wednesday 25 Feb 2015

Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Hakan Calhanoglu is congratulated by his teammates Kyriakos Papadopoulos, left, and Son Heung-min, right, after scoring the opening goal (Photo: Reuters)

Hakan Calhanoglu's second-half strike gave Bayer Leverkusen a 1-0 home win over 10-man Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday, leaving it all to play for in the second leg.

Karim Bellarabi set up Calhanoglu in the 57th minute. It looked like the Germany midfielder wasted a good chance when he opted not to shoot, but he rolled the ball back with the underside of his boot for Calhanoglu to control with his first touch and fire under the crossbar with his next.

Substitute Fernando Torres thought he'd equalized with a header from a corner in the 75th, but the ball went out of play before coming back in.

Atletico's Tiago was dismissed in the 77th with a second yellow card for sliding in on Bellarabi. He earned his first in the first half for breaking up a counterattack with a cynical foul on Josip Drmic.

In the night's other match, Monaco beat Arsenal 3-1 in London.

Diego Simeone sent out the oldest Atletico side to play in the Champions League with an average age of 28 years, 260 days and it was a lackluster display from last year's beaten finalists, who can be grateful not to have lost by more.

Leverkusen captain Lars Bender fired wide from a promising break in the seventh minute, Mario Mandzukic cleared off the line, and the Spanish champions were scrambling again shortly afterward with the ball ricocheting around the penalty area.

Leverkusen defender Emir Spahic came closest in the 26th, when his effort from distance crashed back off the top left corner, before Miguel Angel Moya punched away from Drmic.

Tempers became frayed midway through the half, with angry words between Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt and his counterpart following a foul on Atletico captain Gabi.

The home side was grateful to Bernd Leno for punching the ball away from Antoine Griezmann, and again before the interval, when he produced a brilliant save to deny Tiago.

Calhanoglu sparked a scrappy second half into life with his superb finish. Leverkusen should have made it 2-0 shortly afterward, only for a wayward pass to let the sparse Atletico defense off the hook. Leno blocked Torres, then Drmic tested Moya at the other end.

More chances were missed after Tiago's sending off. Leverkusen may yet rue them in the second leg on March 17.

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