Lokomotiv Moscow 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen: Bender belter gives Bosz's men hope
sven bender - cropped
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Bayer Leverkusen can still reach the Champions League knockouts after their 2-0 defeat of Lokomotiv Moscow sent the Russian side out.

A stunning goal from Sven Bender helped Bayer Leverkusen to a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow that keeps alive their chances of reaching the Champions League last 16.

Peter Bosz's side needed a win to stand any chance of finishing in the top two in Group D and they duly delivered thanks to Bender's first goal in European competition after Rifat Zhemaletdinov had put through his own net.

The result ensures Leverkusen can still claim second spot in the group, provided that Atletico Madrid do not win away to Juventus in Tuesday's later match, while they are assured at least of a place in the Europa League by virtue of head-to-head goal difference with Lokomotiv.

The Russian side, however, will play their last match in Europe of the season against Atleti on December 11.

Lokomotiv thought they had taken the lead after seven minutes in Moscow only for Aleksey Miranchuk's precise finish to be disallowed for offside.

Four minutes later, the hosts contrived to gift the opening goal to Leverkusen, Eder hacking a clearance off Zhemaletdinov that rebounded into the net.

Lokomotiv were given the chance to equalise when Wendell prodded the ball to Miranchuk in the box, only for Lukas Hradecky to save brilliantly with his right hand.

Moussa Diaby could have doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time after Guilherme saved from Leon Bailey, but the goalkeeper recovered well to smother the danger at the right-hand post.

Leverkusen started the second half in a more authoritative mood and were rewarded just nine minutes after the restart when Bender's fine left-foot volley looped over Guilherme and into the net from midway inside the penalty area, Charles Aranguiz with the assist.

Substitute Fedor Smolov could not sort his feet out with the goal gaping before Miranchuk was again denied by Hradecky, as Lokomotiv's late pressure counted for nothing.


What does it mean? Leverkusen stay alive for now

Leverkusen are third in the group, a point behind Atletico, who visit leaders Juventus later on Tuesday.

While a win for Diego Simeone's side will secure their place in the next round along with Juve, any other result will mean Leverkusen still have a chance of overtaking them depending on results on matchday six.

As for Lokomotiv, they cannot now reach the last 16 or finish third to reach the Europa League.

Hradecky's handy intervention

Hradecky kept Lokomotiv at bay in the first half, his best of five saves being that superb one-handed stop against Miranchuk. After a poor showing in the loss to the Russians on matchday one, he has kept Leverkusen in the hunt for the last 16.

Lokomotiv lose their Eder

Starved of service by some good defending and ineffective midfield work from his team-mates, Eder only managed two shots before being taken off for Smolov.

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Given his part in the own goal, this was not his happiest outing.

What's next?

Lokomotiv turn their attention to a derby with Dinamo Moscow on Sunday. For Leverkusen, next up is the small matter of a Bundesliga trip to champions Bayern Munich on Saturday.