Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow played out to an exciting 2-2 draw in their UEFA Champions League Group E opener in Germany on Wednesday night.
- Bayer Leverkusen 2 CSKA Moscow 2
- Mehmedi gives Leverkusen early lead
- Calhanoglu doubles hosts’ advantage
- Dzagoev pulls one back for CSKA
- Eremenko equalises late in first half
Leverkusen set out with real purpose in the early stages and their pressure would pay off in the ninth minute when Hakan Calhanoglu’s delivery found Admir Mehmedi, who slotted home.
The hosts were enjoying the majority of possession and made it 2-0 just six minutes later when Calhanoglu’s strike from outside the box flew past Igor Akinfeev.
But a late rally in the first half saw CSKA draw level thanks to goals from Alan Dzagoev and Roman Eremenko.
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) September 14, 2016
Bayer were favourites at the BayArena and started off with real purpose about their play. Their dominance would pay dividends in the ninth minute when Calhanoglu’s delivery found Mehmedi in the box. The forward buried his effort with a finish which left Igor Akinfeev floundering.
They were in control of possession and made it two in the 15th minute when Calhanoglu blasted an effort into the top corner from outside the box.
Leverkusen had over 60% of the ball throughout the first half and it seemed an easy home victory was on the cards. However, largely against the run of play, CSKA hit back with two goals at the end of the first half.
First, Dzagoev finished from the centre of the box from an assist by Aleksey Ionov in the 36th minute.
Two minutes later the home supporters were stunned when Eremenko put the ball into the top right-hand corner from a Lacina Traore assist.
After the break, Julian Brandt nearly restored Bayer’s lead but his effort went just wide. There were few real chances although Akinfeev did save a Kevin Volland effort in the 64th minute.
Four minutes later CSKA went close but Aleksandr Golovin’s effort was easily saved by Bernd Leno. There were a few more half-chances for either side but nothing clear-cut in the final stages of the match.