Two quick goals give Leverkusen 2-0 win over Zenit in Champs League
LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Giulio Donati and Kyriakos Papadopoulos scored in a five-minute span in the second half as a 10-man Leverkusen held on to beat Zenit 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Donati scored in the 58th and defender Papadopoulos sealed the win in 63rd.
Papadopoulos headed in off a free-kick cross from Hakan Calhanoglou, who also had a role in Donati's goal. Papadopoulos scored only three minutes after coming on as a substitute for Emir Spahic.
Leverkusen defender Wendell was sent off in 79th minute for handling the ball, his second booking of the match.
"We were very disciplined and we were determined," Leverkusen's coach Roger Schmidt said. "They are a strong team, they have very fast players and you have to be very careful. They played with long balls and waited for mistakes so we had to stay very alert."
Leverkusen leads Group C with six points. Monaco drew 0-0 with Benfica to jump to second with five. Zenit has four and Benfica one.
On the first goal, Leverkusen won the ball in its half with a hard tackle by Karim Bellarabi on Hulk that looked like a foul, and Donati finished the swift counterattack with a crisp shot from just outside the box that Yuro Lodygin got his fingers on but could not stop. Donati usually has a backup a role but he started Wednesday's match and scored his first Champions League goal.
"Yes, that could have been ruled a foul," Schmidt said of the tackle on Hulk.
Papadopoulos scored with a powerful header from a good cross by Calhanoglou.
Song Heung-min had a good effort saved, again off a pass from Calhanoglou.