Metalist see off Bayer
Metalist Kharkiv emerged victorious from the battle of the two sides to have already qualified from Group K with a 2-0 win.
Last Updated: 22/11/12 8:39pm
Metalist Kharkiv emerged victorious from the battle of the two sides to have already qualified from Europa League Group K, as Jonathan Cristaldo and Cleiton Xavier scored to see off Bayer Leverkusen.
Both teams were already through to the next phase prior to kick-off thanks to their respective unbeaten records, but thanks to their South American duo it was Myron Markevych's men who continued their run.
One-cap Argentina international Cristaldo opened the scoring immediately after the half-time break, with Cleiton Xavier putting the issue beyond doubt five minutes from time.
Their German opponents were below par as they fielded an experimental line up, but it did not matter.
They were rarely able to set the tone at the Metalist Stadium, with the Yellow and Blues doing the early running and going close through Cristian Villagra.
Willian was the next to chance his arm, skimming a shot just wide from the edge of the box, while Marco Torsiglieri should have done better with a close range strike.
The pressure continued and Torsiglieri was denied by Bernd Leno, before the visitors finally stirred as Oleksandr Goryainov twice went close.
Metalist poured forward at every opportunity at the other end - Leno kept out Cleiton Xavier's header - and in the 46th minute they deservedly went ahead as Cristaldo kept his head to slot in Fininho's pass.
Fernandes led Leverkusen's response, with occasional assistance from Okan Aydin, but it took Renato Augusto to really work Cristian Villagra in the home goal, with his 18-yarder deserving of more.
Leverkusen continued to hunt for a way back, but it would not come and, after they had failed to cash in their possession, Cleiton Xavier took in Taison's pass and did the rest to kill off their challenge.