Bayer Leverkusen had the advantage for so much of the match Saturday, but could not capitalize on their chances and only managed to save one point in a grueling MatchDay 8 tilt against Hannover 96.
Leverkusen got an early penalty that was saved by the keeper, then Hannover’s Florent Muslija smashed a free kick past Lukas Hradecky. Leverkusen’s Lars Bender responded with a goal at the other end about 10 minutes later. Hannover put away another early in the second half, leading to concerns from the home faithful. The man who scored Hannover’s second goal, Felipe, saw his second yellow for a handball just three minutes later, giving Leverkusen a man advantage for the remaining half hour.
Leverkusen kept the ball in the attacking half for much of the rest of the game, but their efforts kept coming up short. Finally, Karim Bellarabi curved a shot that hit off the far post and in, salvaging a point at last in a 2-2 draw.
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser (Bellarabi 75’), Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – L. Bender (c), Kohr (Kiese Thelin 64’) – Brandt, Havertz, Volland (Bailey 75’) – Alario
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Jedvaj, Schreck
Absentees: Aranguiz (knee), Baumgartlinger (ankle), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Retsos (fitness)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Hannover: Esser – Elez, Anton (c), Felipe – Haraguchi, Schwegler (Bakalorz 81′), Walace, Albornoz – Muslija (Ostrzolek 68’) – Wood (Wimmer 61’), Füllkrug
Unused subs: Tschauner, Asano, Fossum, Weydandt
Absentees: Hübers, Maina, Prib (all knee)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Here are exclusive shots from the BayArena by @Kai_Dambach
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