Live Commentary: Bayer Leverkusen 0-5 Manchester United - as it happened

Man United manager David Moyes gestures on the touchline during the match against Arsenal on November 10, 2013
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Live text commentary as Bayer Leverkusen took on Manchester United in Group A of the Champions League but fell to a heavy 5-0 defeat.

Manchester United powered their way into the second round of the Champions League with a 5-0 hammering away to Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

In a first-half of few chances, Antonio Valencia finished off a fine counter-attack before an Emir Spahic own-goal put them two ahead by the break.

The second half was classic United counter-attacking, with Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and then Nani completing the rout in a rampant showing for United.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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6.47pmHello European football fans. Matchday five of the Champions League continues tonight and the tie of the round takes place at the BayArena with Bayer Leverkusen at home to Manchester United.

6.50pmThis is a huge game for both of these teams. Although both are the favourites to get through to the next round, Shakhtar are not far behind and a defeat for either could see them needing to win next week. A win for either will see them through to the next round.

6.54pmHowever, both sides will be seeing this as a very tough encounter. The Germans might well fancy their chances as they have been impressive in the Bundesliga so far and despite losing 4-2 at Old Trafford showed plenty going forward in that game.

6.58pmLeverkusen have also already managed their best ever Champions League win with their 4-0 victory over Shakhtar. That in itself will be reason enough for David Moyes to urge caution from his team. For them, the draw is better than it would be for the hosts.

7.02pmThey certainly have a history of solidity at the back in Europe. Their 0-0 draw against Sociedad last time out was their 20th scoreless draw in the European Cup, which is the joint-highest with AC Milan. I suspect Moyes would take another one tonight.

7.05pmRight, let's take a look at the teams shall we? I have them ready, so give me a moment to get them across.

7.08pmBAYER XI: Leno; Can, Spahic, Donati, Toprak; Reinartz, Rolfes, Bender; Son, Castro; Kiessling

7.10pmUNITED XI: De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Giggs, Jones; Valencia, Kagawa, Nani; Rooney

7.13pmSo for Bayer, Emre Can continues to fill in at left-back, which could be an area for Antonio Valencia to exploit. The side second in Germany's top flight are without the pace of Sidney Sam, however, which means that utility man Gonzalo Castro will play as one of the attackers behind Stefan Kiessling.

7.16pmIt cannot be said that Moyes has set his side up for a draw, looking at that team. There is no Robin van Persie, of course, which leaves Wayne Rooney as the lone striker with an attacking trio of Valencia, Shinji Kagawa and Nani in behind. Phil Jones and Ryan Giggs are deployed as the central midfield in the absence of suspended Marouane Fellaini.

7.20pmThere is also no Nemanja Vidic at the back for United. Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand are the centre-back pairing with Chris Smalling at right-back. It will be interesting to see how Giggs and Jones do against what is a strong midfield of Stefan Reinartz, Simon Rolfes and Lars Bender. I would expect the Bayer trio to have a strong say there.

7.23pmSo as I've said, a win for either team tonight will mark their safe passage into the second round. However, a draw could be enough if Shakhtar are defeated by Sociedad. That seems unlikely, of course, but I certainly expect a result in this one either way.

7.27pmWe have coverage of all seven games tonight, so if you want to read another as well as mine (of course) then take a look at the options here. Of most interest to this game, however, will be Shakhtar vs. Sociedad, which you can follow here.

7.30pmWith this group so well poised, I do expect a very interesting encounter tonight. As such, the bookies really cannot decide between any of the three possible outcomes. Bayer - the slight favourites - can be backed at about 13/10, while United and the draw are a bit further back at 12/5.

7.33pmFor me, the best money is on the draw. I do anticipate goals, but with a lot at stake cannot see anything other than a 1-1 draw. That's still possible for a punt at 6/1 - but don't go blaming me when I'm clearly wrong...

7.38pmRooney is Britain's all-time leading goalscorer with 29 to his name in European competition. Interestingly, the man he went past on matchday one - Giggs - is in the same lineup. Will he make 30 tonight? I can't see him getting a lot of change out of a solid Bayer centre-back pairing.

7.42pmSo just under five minutes to go until kickoff then. United are currently 10 unbeaten and will do well indeed to extend that tonight. I'm anticipating a very hostile environment against a team flying high at the moment. Moyes's men must try not to concede early, as it could be a long night if they do.

1 minHere we go then. Bayer, in all black, get the game underway.

3 minThe away fans are in fine voice early on as their team enjoy some good early possession. Evra looks for Nani over the top but it's well read by Donati who is across easily to mop up. No chances as yet, it's all tactical so far.

5 minGiggs gives it away to Son, and as the Korean plays a one-two with Kiessling, the Welshman is back well to rob the ball from him. Just a hint there of the pressure that the unusual central pairing of Giggs and Jones might be up against.

8 minRolfes's turn to give the ball away to Rooney. United look to break with Valencia in space down the right, but they cannot work a chance. Now it's Leverkusen's work to pass it around a bit, but we have still seen nothing from either attack so far.

10 minSmalling is caught out there getting tight to Son, which allows his opponent to start a break with a neat one-two with Rolfes. Kiessling is involved and Donati attacks down the right, but eventually the ball goes out for a United goal kick.

12 minUnited's centre-backs are being allowed plenty of space inside their own half - Leverkusen are not pressing them, but rather are looking to soak up pressure and spring a break. Kagawa, in contrast, is looking to put pressure on Bayer whenever he can.

15 minReally nice play in the middle between Son and Castro there, with a couple of one-twos seeing them break forward. However, the final ball is lacking and on the break at the other end Evra wins a free kick. It's very patient stuff from United at the moment.

16 minNani is the first player to get a shot on goal, but his curled effort from just outside the box was never dipping enough to get under the bar. The intent was there, however, which will be encouraging for Moyes.

18 minSon, who has been Bayer's liveliest player so far, has an effort from just outside the box, but it takes a touch off Ferdinand and out for their first corner. From it Spahic meets the cross but directs his header on to the roof of the net.

21 minCHANCE! There hasn't been a lot to talk about, but that was a real chance for Kiessling. Again it's Son he links with but just as he's about to pull the trigger in the box after gliding past Ferdinand Evans makes a brilliant block.

22 minGOAL! Leverkusen 0-1 United (Antonio Valencia)

22 minFrom a real chance at one end to another. It was Kagawa who picked the ball up from deep and drove forwards. He found Giggs, who in turn looked left to Rooney. The striker crossed towards Kagawa, who had continued his run, but it went beyond him to Valencia to turn it in at the back post. Advantage United.

25 minIT was Leverkusen who were set up on the break, but United who delivered the classic counter-attack. Now they have a free kick just outside the box following a foul from Spahic.

28 minSo as it stands, United will be into the next round, but ther eis of course a long way to go. Shakhtar and Sociedad are still level at 0-0 in the other game in this group.

30 minGOAL! Leverkusen 0-2 United (Emir Spahic own goal)

30 minGOAL! Leverkusen 0-2 United (Spahic own goal)

30 minSmalling is claiming it, but he will not get the credit. It will go down as a Spahic own goal, but realistically it's all down to a fantastic delivery from the free kick by Rooney. Leno was rooted and Spahic was the player of many who could have turned it beyond his goalkeeper. Leverkusen have to respond quickly now.

33 minRooney is caught just offside as Valencia looks to clip the ball to him over the top. Spahic just managed to step up in time, but United are on top in every area at the moment.

36 minUnited now have a lot of players behind the ball in a solid - albeit narrow - shape. Leverkusen's set-up allows them to be narrow, howeever, with three quite central banks of three in their midfield and attack. The hosts have a corner here, can they create anything?

40 minIt's not looking likely that Leverkusen will be able to pull one back before the break. They've really had just one chance, and plenty of credit must go to United for shutting them out so far.

43 minPerhaps a late bit of pressure for the hosts to create a chance. They are really cramped for space, though, and as Donati tried to drive down the right he quickly has to change his mind and go back.

45 minJust one minute to be added on at the end of the first half.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Leverkusen 0-2 Manchester United

8.33pmSo that's about as perfect a half away from home as United could have hoped for. They have been solid and then some at the back and although they have not created much, they have really taken their chances when presented with them.

8.37pmIt was a tense start of few chances, but the key was that United managed to go ahead just as Leverkusen were getting on top. Kiessling and Son in particular were created chances, but from a counter-attack Valencia put the visitors in front and United have not looked back.

8.41pmSomething has to change from the hosts or they are well and truly out of this. Can, in an unfamiliar left-back role, has not impressed and really even the recognised defenders have allowed Rooney too much room.

8.44pmI must admit I looked at Giggs and Jones as the central midfield pairing and thought that Son would have a lot of joy, but despite being a little poorly positioned early on they have been really good at helping out their defence. Nothing has got through in the last half an hour.

8.46pmUPDATE: In the other game in the group, Shakhtar are 1-0 up against Sociedad. That's bad news for Leverkusen who will drop to third if things stay as they are.

46 minWe are back underway here, with United kicking off the second half.

47 minEarly chance on the break for United. Valencia races down the right before waiting for Kagawa's run, but the Japanese's touch is awful and it bounces off his foot straight to the grateful Leno.

50 minCLOSE! What a chance for someone to turn it in. A free kick from deep first almost finds the jumping Spahic and it goes out of play for a corner after narrowly going beyong the outstretched leg of Toprak. Rolfes concedes a foul from the corner and the pressure has gone.

53 minUnited have succeeded in silencing the crowd as well. It's an eerie atmosphere now and the players on the field have become very sloppy for the hosts. It would appear that Sami Hyypia was unable to motivate his team enough during the break.

56 minLeverkusen are finally starting to press higher up the field, but it is to little effect so far. The game is not being played at a very high tempo, which suits United down to the ground.

59 minCLOSE! Nani almost wraps up the points! Spahic attempts a suicidal diagonal pass and only finds Nani, who drives into the corner of the box and can only put his low shot wide of the far post.

60 minOFF THE POST! United win a free kick after Spahic pushed Ferdinand, but just prior to that Reinartz's header hit the base of the post. I'm not sure whether it would have counted but that's as close as the hosts have come.

64 minKiessling goes down holding his head after Jones clatters him in an aerial duel. Nothing comes from the free kick again and United break.

65 minGOAL! Leverkusen 0-3 United (Jonny Evans)

65 minEasy as you like from Evans there. Again it's a set piece, this time a corner, that undoes Leverkusen. Evra gets something on his header, before Rooney tries to turn it goalwards. Leno kept that out but he's powerless from the follow-up as Evans sticks it in from two yards out. This one is over.

68 minUPDATE: In the other game in the group Shakhtar are now 2-0 up. It will end up being a very bad night for Bayer, who will find that qualification for the next round will no longer be in their own hands.

70 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Some new players on the field now. Evra makes way for Alexander Buttner for United. For the hosts Jens Hegeler is on for Reinartz.

70 minAlso Eren Derdiyok comes on for Son.

72 minA combination of United defenders just about manage to stop Kiessling getting a shot away as he powered into the box. However, Castro now has a free kick some 30 yards from goal.

75 minUnited are in complete cruise control at the moment. The defenders are seeing plenty of touches to keep them warm, while Buttner has taken up a position firmly in the home side's half. He is very attacking the new left-back.

77 minGOAL! Leverkusen 0-4 United (Chris Smalling)

77 minThat one will not be taken away from Smalling. It's a wonderful clip over two defenders' legs from Kagawa to Rooney and the striker unselfishly helps it into the path of Smalling to his left for an open goal. This is emphatic.

79 minSAVE! Good agility from Leno to turn over a half-volley from Jones that bounced and was arrowing towards the top corner. There are a lot of dejected faces from the German side, and no wonder.

80 minUNITED SUBS: Anderson is on for Rooney, and Ashley Young also takes to the field, with Valencia making way for him.

81 minLEVERKUSEN SUB: A change for the hosts now as Dominik Kohr comes on to the field for Bender.

84 minCHANCE! What a goal that would have been. Anderson picks the ball up on the edge of his own box and carries it some 60 yards through the middle. He plays left to Nani and gets it back but Leno manages to get enough on the scuffed shot to put it wide. Breathtaking counter-attacking.

88 minGOAL! Leverkusen 0-5 United (Nani)

88 minThat is an absolutely brilliant goal to finish this off. Giggs plays the ball over the top to Nani, who has a lot to do with Leno at his feet, but he takes it on to his left and clips it over and into the net. World-class finish and a world-class performance from United.

90 minThere will be three minutes added on at the end of the game. Leverkusen will be wishing the referee had just blown to put them out of their misery.

90+3 minFULL-TIME: Bayer Leverkusen 0-5 Manchester United

9.36pmUnited have pulled off their biggest away win in the Champions League and they have done it in real style. They were masterly all over and have emphatically managed their best showing under Moyes. They are into the second round in style.

9.37pmThanks for joining me here, that's all I have time for. Please stick around on site for reports and reaction of all tonight's games and analyses in around 30 minutes. From me though, it's goodbye.

Leverkusen's goalkeeper Bernd Leno celebrates during the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs Eintracht Frankfurt in the German city of Leverkusen on January 19, 2013
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