Matthew Marshall, BayArena- Bayer Leverkusen scored two late goals in the BayArena to beat Celtic 3-2, secured the top spot in Group G and dashed the Hoops’ hopes in the Europa League. Robert Andrich opened the goal before Josip Juranovic equalized with a penalty.
Jota gave the Scottish club the lead after the break, but could not keep up with two Werkself goals in the last 10 minutes. Andrich got his double in the 82. baggednd Minute, Moussa Diaby fired past Joe Hart five minutes later.
Florian Wirtz was involved in all three Leverkusen goals and Jota scored his fourth goal in three games for Celtic, but both were overshadowed by Andrich, who stole the show with a rare brace.
Class early apart
Bayer Leverkusen made the whole race early and sent an ominous warning in the 10th minute when Robert Andrich headed a corner from Florian Wirtz over the crossbar. The hosts looked dangerous, with Jeremie Frimpong enjoying a lot of space on the right wing.
Celtic hadn’t learned their lesson and fell in the 16th century. returnNS Minute, when Wirtz senses another corner in the danger area, Andrich rises above Stephen Welsh and heads the ball past Joe Hart.
The Scottish club was too static and found it hard to find players in space. You received a lifeline in the 37thNS Minute.
Jota’s dangerous ball in the box headed off Jonathan Tah, but Lukás Hrádecky’s attempt to hit the ball only resulted in keeper Kyogo Furuhashi headed.
Referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos consulted the side surveillance and awarded a penalty, which Josip Juranovic converted with a panenka from the underside of the crossbar.
Before the break, Leverkusen were hopelessly on the verge of regaining the lead. Moussa Diaby cracked a shot from the wood, the ball finally fell on Wirtz, who hit his shot on the outside of the post.
Celtic finished the first half strong, carried by their exuberant home support who had a good voice.
Bayer Leverkusen got off to a strong start in the second half and should have regained the lead. Wirtz released Diaby, who ran flawlessly and forced a save from Hart, with Amine Adli looking confident of scoring a goal, but his heavy touch allowed Hart to recover and make a miraculous save on the goal line.
Celtic made her pay for minutes. After the bad pass from Nir Bitton a huge team move seemed to have failed, but Frimpong slipped and the ball hit Jota, who fired a powerful left-hand shot into the lower corner.
Leverkusen soon regained control, went just over the bar and Paulinho headed the resulting corner to Hart. Adli had a great opportunity in the 80sNS Minute, but Hart was up to the task and steered the ball over the bar.
But the Werkself did not give up and were rewarded with an equalizer two minutes later.
Wirtz’s long ball found Nadiem Amiri on the sideline, he directed the ball back to Andrich, who fired a violent shot through Hart’s legs. The comeback was over five minutes later.
Wirtz left a lot of time and space in the penalty area, he took out Diaby, who sank into the lower corner with a volley. Celtic had one last chance in stoppage time when Anthony Ralston’s cross hit David Turnbull, his shot was missed by Hrádecky.
Andrich steals the show
Robert Andrich has built a reputation as an enforcer in the middle of the park, but shows that there is much more to his game than aggression and disturbing opponents.
The 27-year-old has shown that he can score important goals for his new club by scoring the late equalizer late against Real Betis, Hertha Berlin and scoring a rare brace against Celtic.
Andrich seems to have settled in Leverkusen and is beginning to become an important part of Gerardo Seoane.