Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 AS Monaco: Leverkusen end group stage on a high

Vladlen Yurchenko, Julian Brandt and a Morgan de Sanctis own-goal helped Bayer Leverkusen beat AS Monaco 3-0 in their final UEFA Champions League group game.

Yurchenko opens the scoring in some style

In what was a slow beginning - to be expected given that neither side had anything to play for other than pride - it was Leverkusen who had the better of the opening stages. Javier Hernandez had the first chance of the match, as a clever cut-back was curled towards the top corner by the Mexican, yet Morgan de Sanctis pulled off a fantastic save.

The hosts were keen to kick on after that and a cross from Julian Brandt wasn't dealt with fully by de Sanctis, though Julian Baumgartlinger couldn't apply the finish as the ball landed closer to the corner flag than the goal. Stefan Kießling was next to try his luck after a mazy run and dribble, with his decision to pass rather than shoot proving fatal.

Monaco were being pushed further and further back but the final pass or finish was sorely lacking from a Leverkusen perspective. Yurchenko tentatively poked over the bar before de Sanctis and his back-line somehow managed to keep out and scramble away a close range effort from Hernandez.

The opening goal had been coming for the entire half and with the simple chances being passed up, it was only natural that a stunning goal would break the deadlock. Yurchenko was afforded far too much room and the Ukrainian youngster proceeded to find the top corner with unerring ease from 25 yards, with de Sanctis helpless.

The only action of note involving Monaco was the occasional foray up the pitch and a pair of bookings for Jemerson and Gabriel Boschilla. A yellow card that means the former will miss whoever the principality-based outfit are drawn against on Monday. 

Brandt and own-goal seal the win

There were no personnel changes at the break but there would soon be a new addition to the scoresheet, with Brandt helping himself to Leverkusen's second. A wonderful move began with Baumgartlinger and ended with Hakan Calhanoglu dribbling at the Monaco defence, with Brandt's effort being deflected in over the despairing de Sanctis.

After that, Monaco finally got their act together and began to attack. A superb sliding interception from Tin Jedvaj cut out what would have been a certain goal, although that was only after Jean struck the post from close range after some tidy play on the left. However, Leverkusen soon regained their stranglehold on the game.

The latter stages of the game were of little interest, as substitutions stopped the flow and gave both sides fresh legs to deal with one another. There would be one final nail in the coffin, as Abdou Diallo brought down Hernandez in the area. Wendell stepped up, hit the bar with his spot-kick but saw it deflect in off de Sanctis' back.

Leverkusen ended the group stage a point behind Monaco, and will certainly rue those several missed chances to get another win on the board. However, they can still look forward to the last 16 draw on Monday.

VAVEL Logo