Bayer Leverkusen qualify from Europa League with 3-0 win over Rapid Vienna
Bayer Leverkusen booked their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League with a 3-0 home win over Rapid Vienna.
Last Updated: 08/11/12 10:14pm
The Germans led after just three minutes, through Jens Hegeler, but had to withstand a valiant Rapid response before making the game safe in the space of eight second-half minutes.
Andre Schurrle volleyed home his side's second on 58 minutes before Manuel Friedrich got on the scoresheet moments later.
Victory coupled with Metalist Kharkiv's success over Rosenborg ensured both teams sealed their place in the last-32 with two games to spare.
Bayer got off to the perfect start with just over three minutes on the clock. Youth product Hegeler, who spent the past two seasons on loan at Nurnberg, guided home a free header after Junior Fernandes had hit the woodwork.
Bayer made all the early running and Daniel Carvajal also hit the frame of the goal on 12 minutes before Rapid, pointless and the bottom of Group K, defied their lowly status to worry the hosts for the rest of the half.
Michael Schimpelsberger and Terrence Boyd were both narrowly off target around the half-hour and Bayer were just happy to go into the break ahead when Christopher Trimmel had the woodwork rattling again with a header.
Bayer boss Sami Hyppia hauled Sidney Sam off at the break for Gonzalo Castro and his side responded with a dominant second period.
They were 2-0 up within eight minutes of the restart when Schurrle produced a fine volley from the edge of the area that bounce in.
Castro then almost made his mark as he shot over before Friedrich put the hosts out of sight with 66 minutes gone. Omar Torak fed Friedrich in the middle of the area to head in from six yards.
Friedrich could have added another moments later only to head Castro's free-kick over but by then Bayer's passage was safely secured.