Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 BATE Borisov: Big win for Bundesliga side
Last Updated: 16/09/15 10:55pm
Hakan Calhanoglu scored a brace either side of Javier Hernandez's first goal for Bayer Leverkusen as the German side made a winning start in Champions League Group E by seeing off BATE Borisov 4-1 at home.
Leverkusen took the lead in the fourth minute through a delightful Admir Mehmedi effort, only for their Belarusian opponents to draw level nine minutes later via Nemanja Milunovic's deflected header.
An even bigger deflection saw the hosts go back in front two minutes into the second half when Calhanoglu's shot diverted in off Dzyanis Palyakow.
Hernandez, signed last month from Manchester United, then wrapped things up in the 59th minute, marking his first Leverkusen start with a tidy right-footed finish, before Calhanoglu converted a 75th-minute penalty.
The stand-out aspect of this fixture in the opening stages was poor defending, with instances at either end leading to goals.
The first saw Hernandez send a cross into the danger zone, Illya Aleksiyevich botch an attempted clearance and the ball bobble off Calhanoglu to Mehmedi, who prodded in nicely with the outside of his foot.
The second came soon after a low Kevin Kampl shot was pushed away by Syarhey Chernik with Hernandez lurking, as BATE equalised with their first attempt of the game.
Milunovic was able to rise and meet Ihar Stasevich's corner, sending a header goalwards with the only real action from the Leverkusen defence being Roberto Hilbert inadvertently helping the ball in off his chest as his goalkeeper Bernd Leno was left wrong-footed.
As Leverkusen looked to respond, Mehmedi shot wide and Jonathan Tah put the ball over from close range when he really should have done better.
The pressure paid off shortly after the restart in fortuitous circumstances as Calhanoglu collected the ball from Karim Bellarabi and saw his shot bounce up off Palyakow's boot and loop past the deceived Chernik.
Leverkusen continued to create and just before the hour mark Kampl slipped in Hernandez, who had just been denied by Chernik but this time slotted past him coolly.
The home side were then awarded a penalty when Calhanoglu's free-kick was handled by Filip Mladenovic, and the Turkey international made no mistake from the spot.