It was already clear that Monaco would win the group and the Werkself finish second with both clubs qualifying for the Round of 16. That gave both coaches the licence to rotate their squads. Roger Schmidt made five changes to the side that started in the 1-1 draw against SC Freiburg: The number two keeper Ramazan Özcan made his debut in the Champions League, Danny De Costa, Vladlen Yurchenko and Stefan Kießling came in for Bernd Leno, Charles Aránguiz and Benjamin Henrichs (all on the bench) plus Kevin Kampl (metatarsal injury) and Kai Havertz in the Leverkusen team hit by injuries.
Yurchenko wonder goal opens the scoring
After a cautious start by both sides, Bayer 04 were able to create the first decent chance of the game on seven minutes: After good work by Julian Brandt, Chicharito curled the ball towards the corner of the net but the visitors' keeper Morgan De Sanctis was able to keep the shot out. The Schmidt team had the better of the early exchanges against a rather defensive opposition. The only threat to the Werkself goal the French side came from a long-range effort from Corentin Jean but his shot went wide of the target on 27 minutes.
The hosts went one better. Within a few minutes the Werkself had two good chances through Brandt (28') and Chicharito (29') before Yurchenko fired the ball into the roof of the net from 20 yards out leaving de Sanctis with no chance. It was the first Champions League goal for the young Ukrainian. The Italian keeper then prevented his side from going 2-0 behind when he pulled off a reflex save to keep out a point-blank flying header from Aleksandar Dragovic. There were no other threats on goal up to the half-time break.
Brandt scores his first Champions League goal
Bayer 04 started the second half determined to win. And it only lasted three minutes before Brandt doubled the lead for the Werkself. He was set up by some excellent work from the very impressive Hakan Calhanoglu. It was the first strike for Brandt in Europe's premier club competition.
The Werkself relaxed a little at that point without losing control of the game. That was unaffected by a Jean effort against the post on 56 minutes. That was Monaco's first shot on Özcan's goal. At the other end, the Werkself missed two chances with a Wendell volley from the edge of the box (65') and a shot from the Costa (79').
With ten minutes to play Robbie Kruse was brought down in the box by Abdou Diallo – the Lithuanian referee Gediminas Mazeika immediately pointed to the spot (82'). After the recent missed penalties it was Wendell who stepped forward: His shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced down into the net off the back of the helpless de Sanctis – 3-0 to the Werkself. In added time, Chicharito almost made it 4-0 but his shot from 25 yards out went just wide of the target. The final score was 3-0
Tickets available for the Round of 16
The Werkself end in second place in Group E on ten points just one point behind AS Monaco. Tottenham Hotspur qualified in third place (on seven points) for the Europa League with CSKA Moscow exiting the European stage in fourth place on three points.
The Werkself now have to wait until Monday 12 December (12.00 CET) for the official draw of the Round of 16 to discover their next opponents. Bayer 04 fans can already apply for tickets for the home game in the last 16 following the last Champions League Group game against AS Monaco on Wednesday night.
The next Bundesliga fixture on matchday 14 is on Sunday (17.30 CET) at FC Schalke 04.
Bayer 04: Özcan - da Costa, Jedvaj, Dragovic, Wendell - Baumgartlinger, Yurchenko (Henrichs 76’) - Brandt (Kruse 71’), Calhanoglu (Aránguiz 67’) - Chicharito, Kießling
AS Monaco: de Sanctis - Touré, Raggi, Jemerson, Diallo - Joao Moutinho, N’Doram, Boschilia (Traoré 67’) - Dirar, Carillo (Lemar 79’), Jean (Germain 76.’)
Goals: 1-0 Yurchenko (30’), 2-0 Brandt (48’), 3-0 de Sanctis (82’ o.g.)
Special moment: Wendell hits penalty against the bar (82')
Booked: Dragovic - Jemerson, Boschilia, Germain
Referee: Gediminas Mazeika (Lithuania)
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