Bayer 04 coach Roger Schmidt made three changes to the side that beat Wolfsburg 2-1 at the weekend. Jonathan Tah and Ömer Toprak returned after injury to play in central defence in place of Tin Jedvaj and Aleksandar Dragovic (both on the bench) and Julian Baumgartlinger replaced the injured skipper Lars Bender (bruised heel) in the Werkself line-up.
Werkself on front foot from the start
The Werkself appeared to be on a mission from the kick-off. Leverkusen put the team lying fifth in the Premier League under pressure straightaway leaving Spurs on the defensive on the impressive stage of Wembley Stadium. However, with the exception of efforts from Kampl (4’) and Wendell (14’), clear goalscoring chances were at a premium.
There was not much sign of the hosts early on. Only when the Spurs coach Mauricio Pocchettino made a change on the half-hour mark and switched to a different formation did his team pose more of a threat up front. And the first shot on goal came from Christian Eriksen on 33 minutes but the Bayer 04 keeper Bernd Leno was able to save the shot from the Danish midfielder.
The Werkself had a great chance to take the lead just before the break: Julian Brandt won the ball in the opposition box and attempted to score from close range but Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was able to make a last-ditch block. And the follow-up effort from Chicharito was deflected just past the post by the Belgian for a corner on 43 minutes. There was a disputed decision in the Spurs penalty area a minute later: A cross from Admir Mehmedi hit Vertonghen on the hand - referee Jonas Eriksson refused to award a penalty despite the process of Chicharito and Co. The two sides went in to the half-time break with the score at 0-0.
Dier hits the bar
Tottenham were the first out of the blocks after the restart. Eriksen had another chance to open the scoring but his effort narrowly missed the target (48’). Schmidt’s team gradually had more of the game. The Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris saved a double effort from Chicharito just after the hour mark. The Werkself had more luck shortly after that: Charles Aránguiz hit a shot from the edge of the box and the ball was deflected twice before landing at the feet of Kevin Kampl and the midfielder coolly slotted the ball past Lloris to open the scoring on 65 minutes.
The Werkself had the upper hand at this point. A focused defence, including the very impressive Benjamin Henrichs, mainly succeeded in keeping Spurs away from their goal as the hosts pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages. The best goalscoring opportunity fell to Tottenham’s Eric Dier with a free-kick from just outside the box bouncing back off the bar. The Bayer 04 captain Toprak reacted first to clear the rebound (83’). The Werkself succeeded in holding on to their lead. The final whistle was greeted with huge joy by the team, coaching staff and the 2,000 travelling Bayer 04 fans.
Werkself up to second spot
The 1-0 victory takes the Werkself above Tottenham (four points) into second place with two games to play. AS Monaco are top on eight points with CSKA Moscow bottom of the group on two points. A victory away to CSKA on 22 November would see the Werkself progress to the Round of 16.
Bayer 04 entertain Darmstadt 98 in the Bundesliga on Saturday with the match at the BayArena kicking off at 15.30 CET.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris - Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies - Wanyama, Dembelé(Janssen 30’) - Sissoko, Eriksen (Winks 66’),Alli - Son (N’Koudou 73’)
Bayer 04: Leno - Henrichs, Tah, Toprak, Wendell - Baumgartlinger, Aránguiz (Havertz 86’) - Kampl (Volland 84’), Brandt (Calhanoglu 70’) - Mehmedi, Chicharito.
Goals: 0-1 Kampl (65’)
Referee: Jonas Erikssen (Sweden)
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