Bayer Leverkusen scored twice in the last 10 minutes to grab a point after initially squandering a two-goal lead in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Roma in Champions League action on Tuesday.
Goals from Kevin Kampl and Admir Mehmedi saw the hosts rally in the closing stages at BayArena, denying Roma their first away win in the competition since November 2010.
The Italians had led 4-2, with goals from Miralem Pjanic and Iago Falque putting them two clear after Daniele De Rossi’s brace had cancelled out Javier Hernandez’s early double for Leverkusen.
However, Leverkusen – who had knocked out Roma’s city rivals Lazio to qualify for the group stages – finished strongly as a see-saw Group E clash ended all square.
The draw leaves Leverkusen second in the group, three points behind leaders Barcelona while Roma remain propping up the table with two points from three matches.
There was little sign of the drama to come when the German side raced into an early 2-0 advantage, Hernandez getting their first from the penalty spot after just three minutes.
Vasilis Torosidis was adjudged to have blocked Hakan Calhanoglu’s left-wing cross with his arm, allowing Hernandez to send Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way from 12 yards.
The former Manchester United forward did not have to wait too long for his second, though he was helped out by some shoddy Roma defending on 19 minutes.
Lucas Digne was guilty of losing the ball near his own goal and, with Antonio Rudiger playing him onside, Hernandez managed to beat Szczesny at the second attempt after his initial shot rebounded kindly.
Roma cut the deficit in half when De Rossi grabbed his first of the night on the half-hour, Kostas Manolas’ header to the far post allowing the midfielder to slot the chance underneath Bernd Leno.
Hernandez then wasted a glorious chance to complete a first-half hat-trick, heading over on the stretch after Szczesny had failed to get anywhere near a cross from the left.
And De Rossi punished that miss to level before the break, directing home Pjanic’s right-wing cross from close range with his knee.
Having set up the second, Pjanic scored the away side’s third himself, his free-kick floating over the wall and into the top right corner in the 54th minute.
When substitute Falque converted Gervinho’s square pass after 73 minutes, drawing Leno off his line before lifting the ball over the top of the goalkeeper, the game seemed to be up for Leverkusen.
But Kampl curled home a stunning effort with his left foot to make it 4-3 and, with four minutes remaining, Mehmedi arrived at just the right time at the far post to tap home an equaliser.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!