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Extra men made to count

Tuesday, 19 October 2004

By Mark Bennett at the BayArena

[1] Bayer 04 Leverkusen came from behind to beat nine-man AS Roma thanks to goals from Roque Junior, Jacek Krzynówek and França and move to the top of UEFA Champions League Group B.

Second half strikes

[2] Leverkusen dominated much of the early play, but fell behind on 26 minutes when Francesco Tottis free-kick was deflected into the net by Dimitar Berbatov. However, there was no stopping Leverkusen after the break: Roque Junior equalised three minutes into the second half and both Krzynówek and França then struck to secure all three points.

Montella scare

[3] The pattern of the match became clear in the opening minutes. Roma sat back in defence waiting for their chances on the break and Vincenzo Montella soon broke forward but saw his shot saved by Jörg Butt. Leverkusen tried to control the run of play and, as coach Klaus Augenthaler had demanded, attacked down the wings with a revamped 3-4-3 lineup.

Lucky escape

[4] They hit back soon after the Montella effort and Krzynówek came close after a Jermaine Jones cross on three minutes. Leverkusen should have taken the lead minutes later when the Polish internationals free-kick fell perfectly for Roque Junior, but the Brazilian defender put his close-range header wide.

Berbatov unlucky

[5] Leverkusen continued to worry the Roma defence and were unlucky when Robson Ponté sent a chipped pass on to Berbatov's head. The Bulgarian beat goalkeeper Carlo Zotti only to see his effort hit the bar. Roma, meanwhile, had to wait until midway through the first half before creating their next chance. Totti found Montella waiting on the edge of the area, but his shot was easily saved.

Roma ahead

[6] The visitors made their next attempt count after 26 minutes, however, as Totti's free-kick took a vicious deflection off Berbatov. Leverkusen tried desperately to get an equaliser before the break, but both Carsten Ramelow and Bernd Schneider pulled their efforts wide.

Early equaliser

[7] Augenthaler decided to field an even more attacking lineup in the second half. Ramelow was replaced by França and this prompted a change in the formation with Leverkusen now playing as a 3-3-4. Only three minutes into the second half Augenthaler's courage was rewarded: Ponté's longe-range free-kick was faintly touched on by Roque Junior, which was enough to beat Zotti.

Unorthodox finish

[8] Leverkusen then put the pressure on the visitors and Roma were struggling to get the ball out of their own half. That is when Krzynówek put the hosts ahead just before the hour-mark. Jones's cross fell for the Polish international, who hit an unorthodox volley from the edge of the area which Zotti could do nothing to stop.

Panucci off

[9] Two minutes later the Italian side's hopes took a further blow when referee Eric Poulat sent off Christian Panucci for elbowing Krzynówek when the two players rose for a header. Nursing a 2-1 lead, Leverkusen no longer attacked with the same venom, but França and Paul Freier could have increased the home teams tally.

De Rossi off

[10] Roma's last chance to get something from the game disappeared when Totti curled a late free-kick tantalisingly over the wall only to see the ball skim off the crossbar, and soon after Daniele De Rossi was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Krzynówek.

Victory complete

[11] Leverkusen then rubbed it in further when França tapped home from close range with the last kick of the game, and his side are now above FC Dynamo Kyiv and Real Madrid CF on goal difference. Roma, without a point, welcome Leverkusen on 3 November.

Leverkusen's Jemaine Jones (left) vies with Mancini