Bayer Leverkusen and SC Paderborn 07 played out an enthrilling 2-2 draw at the BayArena this afternoon. Two first-half goals seemed to be all that we were going to get however, the final ten minutes saw a further two goals, providing mixed emotions for both sets of supporters.
Both teams enjoyed an impressive start to their Bundesliga campaigns. However, Leverkusen have struggled for goals so far this season, despite the signings of Josip Drmić and Hakan Çalhanoğlu however, they are playing some beautiful, attacking football under Roger Schmidt, who took over from Sami Hyypiä in the summer.
Meanwhile, Paderborn have impressed many Bundesliga neutrals this season, having made their debut in the league against 1.FSV Mainz 05 on the opening day of the season, earning a 2-2 draw.
Schmidt was forced to make one change to the team that drew 0-0 against SC Freiburg, Bosnian, Emir Spahic missed the game through suspension and, was replaced by Ömer Toprak. For the visitors, André Breitenreiter made two changes to the team that lost to Borussia Monchengladbach - In came Christian Strohdiek and Marvin Bakalorz for Mario Vrančić and Stefan Kutschke.
Leverkusen seem to be breathing a new life under Schmidt as Stefan Kießling nearly put the home side ahead after just three minutes however, the forward was just inches away from Karim Bellarabi's cross, who has flourished since returning from his loan spell at Eintracht Braunschweig.
Paderborn's first shot on target came after 13 minutes, Uwe Hünemeier's costless-kick forced Bernd leno in to his first save, as the visitors started to grow into the game. The Bundesliga debutants started well against a Champions League team. A mistake from Leno gifted Paderborn the opener midway through the first-half. The German under-21 rushed out of his area, Manuel Neuer-esque, missed the ball - for Süleyman Koç to place the ball in to an empty net.
Heung-Min Son had the chance to equalise just eight minutes later for the home side after the ball fell to him in the penalty area however, the South Korean failed to take his opportunity. A succession of corners follow for Leverkusen, however they had little options in the box to capitalise.
Kießling again came close to getting on the scoresheet for Leverkusen after been put through by Bellarabi, only for the former to smash his effort against the post. Persistence however did pay off for the home side just minutes before Günter Perl brought the first-half to a close. Captain for the day, Lars Bender pounced on a Bellarabi shot, which was parried by Lukas Kruse in to the feet of the German international.
Leverkusen came out the better team of the two, with Bellarabi continuing his fine game, forcing a save from Kruse, albeit from range. Çalhanoğlu and Bender both had attempts but neither failed to trouble the Paderborn keeper.
Bender was replaced by Levin Öztunali and the home then side seemed to be in control of the game as stand-in captain, Toprak missed the ball completely from two-yards out following a corner from Çalhanoğlu.
Substitute Drmić was through on goal just mintues after coming on, however a last ditch tackle from Hünemeier denied the Switzerland international.
Things started to heat up as Leverkusen had the ball in the back of the net after 70 minutes however, Perl had blown the whistle for Öztunali's push on Heinloth, to the disgust of the Leverkusen supporters behind the goal. Straight up the other end of the pitch and Bakalorz was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Wendell.
Moritz Stoppelkamp thought he had won it for Paderborn with three minutes left of normal time to play. The German is living Paderborn's dream as he puts the 10 man visitors in front, to the delight of travelling support.
However it wasn't over there, Bellarabi equalised at the death for Leverkusen sending the BayArena in to delirium. The German fires past Kruse to earn Leverkusen a point. A mad stoppage time saw Kruse then pull off another save to deny Toprak of the winner in the dying embers.
The result sees Leverkusen drop down to fourth whilst their counterparts, Paderborn climb up to eight in the Bundesliga.