Voeller hails Bayer's comeback

LEVERKUSEN • Bayer Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller believes his side scored a moral victory over AS Roma despite wasting a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The former Germany striker, who played for and coached the Italian club in the past, said Leverkusen's sloppy performance was forgotten with two late goals.

The result earned a point, boosting morale and keeping them in second place in Group E on four points, with Roma in last place on two.

"We are, of course, the small moral winners here, especially with the way we came back," the 55-year-old told reporters.

"But we believed in it and it was extremely important to remain ahead of Roma in the group.

"But we also have to admit that we lost the plot after the Italians scored their first goal."

Leverkusen took a two-goal lead through striker Javier Hernandez after 19 minutes only to see Daniele de Rossi score twice in nine minutes to level.

Roma rode roughshod over Leverkusen after the break, scoring twice more to seemingly put the game to bed.

But it was the hosts' turn to stage a comeback and strike in the 84th minute, with Kevin Kampl's long-range effort keeping their hopes alive.

It took them only two more minutes to score again, Admir Mehmedi drawing them level.

"A game like that will do us a lot of good," said Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt, whose team are struggling in the Bundesliga with just two wins from their last seven league matches.

"It is amazing to see the team come back like that. This was far from a normal football game. It is for games like this that you come to the stadium."

Roma coach Rudi Garcia was not as thrilled that his side were involved in the joint highest-scoring draw in Champions League history.

"We are disappointed but the result remains positive under the circumstances," he told reporters.

"It was a great game for those who were at home watching this on television, but not for the two coaches."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'Voeller hails Bayer's comeback'. Print Edition | Subscribe