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UEFA Champions League
November 27, 2013
• 2:45 PM
• BayArena, Leverkusen
Referee: S. Moen
• Attendance: 29412
A. Valencia 22'
E. Spahić 30' (own goal)
J. Evans 65'
C. Smalling 77'
That's all from me for tonight guys and girls. What a performance that was from the Red Devils! And how about that goal from Nani late on? It's been a while since United fans will have seen him doing anything like that. I hope you all enjoy your evenings. Good night!
FULL-TIME: BAYER LEVERKUSEN 0-5 MANCHESTER UNITED - Moyes' team secured their biggest ever away Champions League win after a flurry of goals in the second half from Evans, Smalling and Nani. Rooney, Kagawa and Giggs excelled for the visitors, while Leverkusen just never really got going. United are through to the knockout stages, while Leverkusen drop down to third place in Group A with one round of fixtures left to play.
90' + 3'
Giggs swings the set piece goalwards but it cannons off the wall and away to safety.
90' + 2'
Toprak pulls Nani back with a cynical tug and United have a free kick in a delicious position 25 yards from goal, just right of centre.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Dominik Kohr
The fourth official signals for three minutes of added time at the BayArena...
Assist Ryan Giggs
AND NOW IT'S FIVE!! Giggs hangs a fine pass over the Leverkusen defence for Nani to chase on to, but the Portugal international still has a lot to do – and doesn't he do it well. Controlling the ball with his chest he glides past the onrushing Leno and flicks the ball into an unguarded net with the outside of his right foot from a tight angle.
Derdiyok bustles into the United box on the left-hand side but there are no Leverkusen players making any kind of effort to support the striker – and his deflected cross is brought out of defence calmly by Ferdinand.
GOOD CLEARANCE FROM FERDINAND! The former England international karate-kicks the ball away under pressure from Castro after Kiessling had headed the ball back into a dangerous area.
Hyypia also elects to make a change – Dominik Kohr is introduced at the expense of Bender.
Moyes uses his final two substitutions of the evening as Rooney, who provided three assists this evening, makes way for Anderson and Ashley Young replaces Valencia.
United look rampant here! Leno has just sprung to his left to acrobatically tip Jones' bouncing effort wide as Moyes' men push on in search of a fifth goal.
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Chris Smalling
SMALLING MAKES IT 4-0! The right-back tried to claim Spahic's own goal as his own but this one is definitely his! He adds the final touch on a well-worked team move that was instigated superbly by Kagawa. The midfielder chipped a pass through to Rooney inside the box, he tried to lift a shot over Leno and into the far corner, but it needed a close-range finish from Smalling to get it over the line.
A mistake from Spahic allows Rooney to race down the right and United threaten once more. The defender just about recovers to deflect a cross out for a throw but that was just the latest in a long series of errors from him.
CHANCE FOR KIESSLING! The German striker should get a shot away from 12 yards after linking with the other Leverkusen substitute Derdiyok, but the ball does not bounce kindly for him and Evans is able to hoof the ball upfield.
Hegeler instantly shows his class for the home side as he controls the ball well amid a crowd of players before firing a pass out to Can on the near side.
Both coaches decide it is time to make changes. Moyes replaces Evra with Alexander Buttner at left-back while Eren Derdiyok and Jens Hegeler come on for Son and Reinartz for the hosts.
Nani steals the ball from Bender inside his own half to kick-start an attack for United but the move peters out as Kagawa takes too long to play a throughball to Rooney.
STAT: That is Evans' first goal in 2013. The Northern Ireland international has put in a very good performance for the Red Devils tonight, at both ends of the pitch.
Goal Jonny Evans
GOALLLL!! EVANS MAKES IT THREE! United increase their lead after Evans nips in to seize on the loose ball inside the Leverkusen area after Leno had saved well from Rooney following a corner from Giggs. The centre-back took a touch in a crowded box to take it past the despairing goalkeeper and flick it into the corner from a couple of yards out.
ROONEY SENDS A SWIRLING EFFORT WIDE! The former Everton man drifts away from Rolfes 25 yards from goal and instinctively lets fly with his right boot. The ball moves considerably in the air but not enough to catch Leno out as it crashes into the advertising hoardings behind the Leverkusen goal.
It turns out the flag was up against Spahic for offside there, so even if that rebound had beaten De Gea, it would not have counted.
REINARTZ HITS THE POST! The 24-year-old nods a Castro corner against the woodwork and Spahic's follow-up is saved well at the near post by an alert De Gea.
NANI FLASHES A SHOT WIDE! Moments after Spahic heads over United race up the other end and come close to making it 3-0. Nani exchanges passes with Rooney on his way into the box, before arrowing a left foot effort just wide of Leno's left-hand post.
Castro goes over to take the set piece from the left and again looks for the forehead of Spahic with his cross. The centre-back has another chance at redemption for the home side as he leaps highest, but he cannot get his header on target.
Kiessling surges into the left-hand corner with the ball at his feet and does well to win a corner off the legs of Smalling.
Leno sends a Leverkusen goal kick straight into the lap of Jones in the centre circle. The United man does not make the most of it though, as a heavy touch gifts the ball to Rolfes.
It is Kagawa and Evra's turn to thunder forward for the away side. They play a neat one-two before Rooney lifts a pass over Donati towards Evra, who has continued his run, but the France international is unable to retrieve the ball under the watchful eye of the Leverkusen right-back.
Rooney finds Valencia with a divine pass into the right-hand channel. The United midfielder's cross into the box is just about dealt with by Toprak though, as the ball cannons out for a corner off the centre-back.
The German midfielder elects to curl a cross towards Spahic rather than shoot though, and the ball nearly finds the Bosnian in a pocket of space, but he cannot adjust his body to divert the free kick towards goal.
Castro lines up a free kick 40 yards from goal...
Kagawa goes down again, this time after getting inadvertently punched in the face by Leno. That looked very painful! Thankfully the attacking midfielder appears to be alright, as he groggily gets to his feet and play gets back underway.
Spahic clips the heels of Kagawa as the Japan international tries to spin in the centre circle and United are granted a free kick by the man in yellow.
Leverkusen try and break through Kiessling on the right but he is crowded out and United immediately try and launch a counterattack on the opposite side. Valencia powers over the halfway line only to misplace his pass to Kagawa, who is waiting eagerly on the edge of the Leverkusen box.
We are back underway at the BayArena. United get the ball rolling in Germany...
STATS STATS STATS: United have enjoyed less possession and completed less passes than their opponents this evening, but they are two goals ahead at the midway point in this game.
HALF-TIME: BAYER LEVERKUSEN 0-2 MANCHESTER UNITED – Moyes' side have put in a very efficient performance in the first half at the BayArena and have a deserved two-goal lead courtesy of a close-range finish from Valencia and an own goal from the Leverkusen centre-back Spahic.
And there is the half-time whistle! It's been plain sailing for the visitors since Valencia gave them the lead midway through the half.
Smalling and Valencia deliver two dangerous crosses from the right but Leverkusen's defence are equal to them, as first Toprak and then the goalkeeper Leno knock the ball clear.
STAT: United have scored at least two goals in their last three matches against Leverkusen in all competitions.
Kiessling, who has scored eight times in the Bundesliga for the hosts this season, has done little of note in this game, but for forcing that fine block from Evans just before United's opening goal. Hyypia will no doubt have a word with him at the break, as they will need the imposing forward on form if they wish to get anything from this game.
CASTRO FIRES OVER FROM DISTANCE! The ball falls kindly to the 26-year-old 30 yards from goal after Son is dispossessed by Jones, but he cannot get his attempt on target and the ball flies into the stands.
Ferdinand gets away with what looked like a fairly high challenge on Son as the two tussled for possession midway inside the United half. The defender gets the benefit of the doubt from the referee on this occasion as he waves play on.
What a waste that is from Castro! The Leverkusen attacker whips a corner from the right straight out of play behind De Gea's goal. That was a woeful cross.
That man Rooney is flagged offside as United go in search of a third before the break! Again it is Kagawa with the pass that bamboozles the Leverkusen defence. Fortunately for them Rooney had strayed offside.
There have been two very good assists from Rooney in this first half. The first, a chipped cross, set Valencia up for a tap-in at the back post, while his devilish free kick a few minutes ago forced the mistake from Spahic that made it 2-0.
Kagawa is enjoying his return to the BayArena, having played here numerous times for his former club Dortmund. The Japanese playmaker has been dictating play for United playing just off Rooney and his latest dribble has just ended with a smart shot towards the bottom corner that had Leno scrambling to keep out.
Hyypia was fairly angry moments before that second United goal, I shudder to think how he's feeling now. His side are two goals down after just half an hour – at home.
Own Goal Emir Spahic
SPAHIC NODS ROONEY'S FREE KICK PAST HIS OWN KEEPER! The Bosnian centre-back hangs his head in shame as he gets the final touch to divert Rooney's wicked set piece past Leno and into the top corner.
Hyypia is barking orders at his team from the Leverkusen technical area. His side have been second-best in the opening half at the BayArena and they have just given away another free kick in an inviting position.
BENDER HEADS WIDE! The Germany international meets Rolfes' high free kick from the left but cannot get his headed attempt on target and the ball drifts harmlessly wide.
And now Leverkusen have a free kick of their own. Valencia is the culprit for United, as he tussles with Can who had pushed forward from full-back for the hosts.
United win a free kick after a foul by Can on Kagawa but the resulting set piece is poor from Giggs, and his strike does not even beat the Leverkusen wall.
EVANS STRIKES AT GOAL! The United centre-back finds himself in space on the edge of the Leverkusen penalty area, but his left foot effort into the ground deflects off a defender and is cleared away.
So, United take the lead just moments after Evans put in a fine last-ditch challenge to block a strike from Kiessling inside the box. How important that piece of defending looks now!
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Antonio Valencia
VALENCIA GIVES UNITED THE LEAD! The versatile Ecuadorian knocks the ball home at the back post after Rooney had hung a cross up beautifully for him from the left. That was a very efficient attack from the visitors. Kagawa stole the ball from Spahic, fed it to Giggs, who flicked it out to Rooney – and the Englishman then set Valencia up for an easy finish.
VITAL INTERVENTION FROM EVANS!! The Northern Irish defender throws himself in front of a Kieslling effort from 15 yards after the Leverkusen forward had strolled into the box past a weak challenge from Ferdinand.
The United bench takes a sharp intake of breath as Spahic rises highest in the penalty area to head Castro's corner at goal, but the former Sevilla defender's header flicks onto the roof of De Gea's net.
Son wins a corner for Hyypia's side after drifting in from the left and flicking a left foot shot towards goal. His effort deflects off Ferdinand and bounces behind, which gives Leverkusen a chance to test De Gea.
Nani hurdles a challenge from Castro and hurtles over the halfway line, but there are not enough United players making attacking runs in front of him and Leverkusen are able to get numbers back in defence to slow the away side down.
DECENT EFFORT FROM NANI! The Portugal international breezes in from the left-hand side, shifts the ball onto his right, and whips an effort a couple of yards over from the edge of the box.
Patrice Evra sprints forward from his left-back berth to seize a loose pass that was directed towards the overlapping Donati. The Frenchman pushes down the left with the ball at his feet before winning a free kick after it clips the hand of the recovering Lars Bender. It was the German midfielder that had misplaced the initial pass to Donati.
It's a big opportunity for Nani this evening. He hasn't featured in United's last five games but Moyes has shown faith in him at an important moment in the Red Devils' season by starting him tonight. A win, of course, would send United through top of Group A.
STAT: Rooney is Britain's all-time leading scorer in the Champions League, moving past Ryan Giggs to 29 on matchday one.
Simon Rolfes and Stefan Kiessling work the ball well to attack quickly through the centre, and the former eventually makes space to get a shot on goal only to then miss the target.
Nani controls the ball well inside the home side's box, but a quite unnecessary backheeled pass towards Jones goes astray and the hosts are able to break on the counter...
A terrible cross from Antonio Valencia lets his side down as they push forward down the right. Nani was in acres of space on the left, all Valencia had to do was play a simple cross-field ball. He didn't manage it though, as Emir Spahic stepped in and easily stole possession on the edge of the Leverkusen box.
Smalling wanders forward to take a throw deep in the Leverkusen half and the hosts struggle to clear the ball. United have made a decent start at the BayArena, Moyes will certainly be encouraged by the amount of time they have spent in the Leverkusen half in the opening five minutes or so.
A risky clearance from Bernd Leno invites pressure on the Leverkusen defence as their goalkeeper balloons the ball high into the air without getting any real distance on the kick. Emre Can shows decent composure to control the ball as it falls though – and he is able to clear it away.
HAVE A GO SON! AND HE DOES! The 21-year-old decides to let rip from 25 yards for the home side, but his effort lacks any real venom and the ball bounces some way wide of De Gea's goal.
Kagawa curls a pass round Omer Toprak and into the path of Rooney as United try and hit Leverkusen on the break early on, but the linesman on the far side brings their attack to a close by signalling that the England international had strayed offside. Spoilsport.
And away we go in Germany...
The teams are out at the BayArena and we are just moments away from kick-off over in Leverkusen. Fingers crossed it's a cracker!
United, meanwhile, come into the game off the back of a dispiriting 2-2 draw away to Cardiff, which saw them concede a very late equaliser to drop two points.
With 10 wins from their first 13 matches, Leverkusen have made their best-ever start to a Bundesliga season but a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday was overshadowed by the injury to Sidney Sam.
UNITED TEAM NEWS: David Moyes gives Shinji Kagawa – who will know Leverkusen well from his time at Borussia Dortmund – a starting role just off Wayne Rooney in attack for the visitors. Chris Smalling continues at right-back for the Red Devils, while their central midfield sees the old partner the young as Ryan Giggs lines up alongside Phil Jones.
LEVERKUSEN TEAM NEWS: The hosts will look to Son Heung-Min for a creative spark this evening, with the 21-year-old enjoying a fine run of recent form which includes a hat-trick against Hamburg at the start of the month. Stefan Kiessling, the club's top scorer in the Bundesliga with eight goals, leads the attack for Sami Hyypia's men.
SUBS: Lindegaard, Buttner, Anderson, Young, Cleverley, Hernandez, Welbeck
UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Giggs, Jones; Valencia, Kagawa, Nani; Rooney
SUBS: Lomb, Stafylidis, Wollscheid, Hegeler, Kohr, Derdiyok, Kruse
LEVERKUSEN (4-3-3): Leno; Donati, Spahic, Toprak, Can; Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes; Castro, Kiessling, Son
Ahead of kick-off let's have a quick look at the two side's starting XIs and see how van Persie and Sam's absences impact on their respective teams...
Both coaches will be forced to tinker with their line-ups due to injuries to key players. Robin van Persie misses out for United due to toe and groin issues, while Sidney Sam, Leverkusen's standout performer this season, does not feature for the hosts because of a thigh problem.
A win would send either team through to the next round, but a draw could also be enough. The English champions can secure first place if they secure three points tonight and Shakhtar fail to win at home to Real Sociedad in the other Group A fixture.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to LIVE coverage of the Champions League Group A fixture between Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester United at the BayArenA. My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be guiding you through proceedings tonight, as both sides look to seal a spot in the knockout stages.
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