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Nov 4, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
Roma
3-2
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
Salah (2'), Dzeko (29'), Pjanic (80' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)
Mehmedi (46'), Hernandez (51')
Toprak (79')

Live Commentary: Roma 3-2 Bayer Leverkusen - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary as Roma earn a 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League clash.
2

Roma kept alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League by claiming a 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the Stadio Olimpico.

Mohamed Salah gave the Italians the perfect start by racing through to score in the second minute, before Radja Nainggolan set up Edin Dzeko to add a second

Admir Mehmedi then pulled a goal back for Leverkusen just a minute into the second half, and they were back on level terms when Javier Hernandez broke clear of the defence and fired low past Wojciech Szczesny.

However, Roma were awarded a penalty for Omer Toprak's push on Salah, that saw the defender sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Miralem Pjanic stepped up and fired a low strike past Bernd Leno to secure the three points and move Roma ahead of their opponents in the group.

Find out how the action unfolded below.


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Hello everyone! Our Champions League coverage continues with two teams who played out a thrilling 4-4 draw last month. Will there be the same sort of excitement this evening, as Roma welcome Bayer Levekusen to the Stadio Olimpico?

The Giallorossi will be hoping to get their European hopes back on track after picking up just two points in their three group games. However, they have been flying high back home in Italy and are just a point off the top spot in Serie A, although they did suffer a 1-0 defeat to rivals Inter Milan at the weekend.

Meanhwile, Bayer are slightly better placed than Roma to make it through to the knockout stages and a victory in Rome would leave them on the verge of a last-16 spot. They have enjoyed a fairly mixed set of results recently, though, with a 2-1 defeat to Wolfsburg on Saturday leaving them seventh in the Bundesliga.

ROMA XI: Szczesny, Rudiger, Digne, Manolas, Nainggolan, Pjanic, De Rossi, Florenzi, Dzeko, Salah, Gervinho

BAYER LEVERKUSEN XI: Leno, Tah, Papadopoulos, Wendell, Toprak, Donati, Calhanoglu, Kampl, Mehmedi, Kiessling, Hernandez

ROMA SUBS: De Sanctis, Leandro Castán, Maicon, Torosidis, Iturbe, Falque, Vainqueur

BAYER LEVERKUSEN SUBS: Kresic, Ramalho, Boenisch, Brandt, Kramer, Yurchenko, Bellarabi

There we have our teams for this evening's match. As you can see, there's plenty of firepower in the attack for Roma, with Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah and Gervinho leading the way. Daniele De Rossi is also back to captain the side, after missing the weekend's defeat to Inter, while Alessandro Florenzi takes Maicon's place at full-back.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, have made a couple of changes to their side with Omer Toprak and Stefan Kiessling coming in for Christoph Kramer and Karim Bellarabi. It means that former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez keeps his spot up front, having scored 8 goals so far this season.

In what was arguably the best Champions League match of the season so far, Roma and Leverkusen played out an extraordinary 4-4 draw at the BayArena. Javier Hernandez's double saw the Germans raced into an early lead, before a brace from Daniele De Rossi hauled Roma level before the break.

In the second half, Miralem Pjanic and Iago Falque struck to complete the turnaround for the Italians, but the action was not over. With six minutes left to play Kevin Kampl curled a strike into the top corner and moments later Admir Mehmedi slotted in at the back post to bring the scores level and secure Leverkusen a point.

Leverkusen´s players celebrate scoring during the Group E, first-leg UEFA Champions League football match Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Roma in Leverkusen, western Germany on October 20, 2015. © Getty Images


It does appear as though these teams are fighting it out for second place in the group, with Barcelona expected to beat BATE Borisov at the Camp Nou in tonight's other match. Should the game here in Rome end in a draw or a Leverkusen win, then the Spaniards will ensure their place in the last 16 by picking up all three points.

KICKOFF! We are underway at the Stadio Olimpico!

GOAL! Roma 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen (Mohamed Salah)

We could be in for another great night of football as Roma take the lead in the second minute. The hosts break quickly, with Salah racing onto Dzeko's through ball from the halfway line. He then drives into the box and keeps his composure, before slotting an effort past Leno to give his side the perfect start.

Leno is almost left embarrassed as he receives a back pass, before hammering his clearance straight at Dzeko. For a moment the keeper has his heart in his mouth, but fortunately for Leverkusen the ball cannons off the Bosnian and goes wide of the post.

Garcia will be delighted at the start his team have made to the game and it is such a contrast to their opening last month. In the previous meeting, Leverkusen had raced into an early two-goal lead, but it is the Italians who are looking for another goal here.

Roma are looking such a threat on the counter attack and they have so much pace going forward. Gervinho and Salah are so dangerous when they are coming forward down the flanks, and it is causing Leverkusen no end of problems.

CHANCE! What a chance this is for the Germans to draw level. Calhanoglu whips in a great free kick from the right that picks out Hernandez at the back post. However, the Mexican is unable to get enough on the ball and his faint touch helps it over the bar.

Leverkusen are playing such a high line and it has already cost them once this evening. They are almost punished again as Nainggolan threads a ball through the middle for Gervinho to run onto, but the Ivorian is denied by a very tight offside call.

This is a bit of a worry for Roma, as Nainggolan is clutching his knee after the ball is struck at him from close range by Donati. It would be a huge blow for him to go off, as the Belgian has been one of the club's standout performers over the past year.

SHOT! Pjanic has already scored some fantastic free kicks this season, including in last month's game in Germany, and he fancies his chances from all of 35 yards. He gets plenty of power on his effort, but it fails to trouble Leno and heads comfortably into his grasp.

Almost another good chance for Roma, as Pjanic battles his way past a couple of challenges and gets to the byline down the right. The Bosnian then stands up a cross looking for the run of Dzeko in the middle, but Leno reads the delivery well and shows good hands to claim the ball.

It's still goalless in tonight's other Group E match over in Spain, but that does little to Barcelona's place at the top of the table. As things stand, Roma are up to second on five points, with Leverkusen just behind on four.

GOAL! Roma 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen (Edin Dzeko)

Leverkusen have already been punished once for playing a high line and they concede an almost identical goal here. This time Dzeko charges through the middle onto Nainggolan's pass and holds his nerve to slide a low effort into the corner and past the stranded Leno.

CHANCE! It really should be three for Roma as they break through the Leverkusen defence, with Salah charging down the right. He then looks up and spots an unmarked Dzeko at the back post, but from just a few yards out, the Bosnian turns his effort over the bar. That could have effectively sealed the points with just a third of the match played.

There has been a goal at the Camp Nou and unsurprisingly it's Barcelona who have taken the lead over BATE. Neymar has grabbed the goal for the European champions from the penalty spot and it has lifted his side to within touching distance of the last 16.

I just wonder if Schmidt will make any changes to his team at the break, as they have been sliced apart time and again by Roma this evening. Their back four has looked so exposed and the high line that they are playing has proved suicidal at times.

CHANCE! Leverkusen have shown signs of coming back into the match over the past few minutes and they come close to pulling a goal back with Hernandez racing into the box to meet a delivery from the right. However, despite making good contact on the volley, his effort is far too close to Szczesny, who is able to make the save and hold onto the ball.

Roma seem happy to allow their opponents time on the ball, before eventually closing them down in the final third. It is playing firmly in their grasp, as when they win the ball back they are getting plenty of men forward to break on the counter.

There are going to be a couple of minutes added on before the break.

HALF-TIME: Roma 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen

We expected to see goals and plenty of action this evening, and Roma are certainly living up to the billing. The Giallorossi have produced a superb attacking display to take a 2-0 lead into the break, but some of the defending from the visitors has been shocking.

Roma's forward from Bosnia-Herzegovina Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match AS Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen on November 4, 2015© Getty Images


Over in Spain it is still 1-0 to Barcelona, but they are not quite through to the last 16 yet. If things stay the same, they will be five points ahead of Roma and six clear of Leverkusen, with just a point from their final two games needed to secure progress.

That would leave Roma and Leverkusen to fight it out for second spot, although BATE Borisov are still in with a change of going through to the last 16, thanks to their shock win over the Italians in September. Should they finish level on points, then Roma would posses the superior head-to-head record.

RESTART! Roma take the kick off and get the second half started. There has also been a change made at the break by the visitors, with Bellarabi coming on for Kiessling.

GOAL! Roma 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Admir Mehmedi)

It's game on as Leverkusen pull a goal back within a minute of the restart! Mehmedi is the man who scores, as he is found in space outside the box by Kampl, before rifling a powerful effort into the net past Szczesny. In the build up to the goal the ball appeared to go out of play by the right touchline, but it was not spotted by the linesman.

Roma will be furious if they throw away another two-goal lead against Leverkusen, and it's the Germans who are looking dangerous at the moment. With the way the last match between the teams finished, who knows what the score will be by the end of tonight's action!

GOAL! Roma 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen (Javier Hernandez)

This is amazing as Leverkusen complete the comeback six minutes into the second half! Bellarabi does well to spot the run of Hernandez ahead of him, before slipping the Mexican through on goal. The striker then holds his nerve to fire in a low strike beyond the reach of Szczesny and into the far corner of the net. What on earth will happen next in this incredible game?

There was no indication in the first half that Leverkusen could fight their way back into the match, but they have been brilliant since the break. They are now looking a danger every time they come forward, and the home side look absolutely shell-shocked.

SUB! Roma make their first change of the evening with Maicon brought on to replace Florenzi.

CHANCE! What a big chance for Leverkusen to take the lead as Bellarabi beats the offside trap and races through on goal. He then sets himself to shoot, but Manolas gets back brilliantly to make a vital challenge. Moments later the visitors have another good opening, but Mehmedi's low drive from out wide is parried to safety by the keeper.

YELLOW CARD! Papadopoulos picks up the first booking of the night for blocking off Salah as the Egyptian looked to drive past him.

PENALTY APPEAL! Roma scream for a penalty when Dzeko goes down in the box during a free kick after appearing to have his shirt tugged by Tah. It is hard to see exactly what happened in a very crowded area, but the visitors have got away unscathed.

SHOT! Salah hasn't been as big a threat for Roma in this half as he was before the break, but he is found on the edge of the box. He then spins and tries to get a shot away, but his final effort is tame and skids well wide of the far post.

SUB! It's a second change for Roma, with Gervinho heading off to be replaced by Iturbe.

SHOT! Roma are showing more of their first-half form now and De Rossi sees his low strike from the edge of the box blocked. The ball then drops kindly to Nainggolan, but the Belgian gets his effort all wrong, and hammers a strike well over the top.

Bellarabi has made such a great impact since coming on and he latches onto a ball down the left before whipping in a cross for Hernandez. Szczesny gets in front of the Mexican to claim the ball at his feet, but he momentarily loses the ball, although the referee awards a free kick for a foul on the keeper.

SUB! This is a blow for Leverkusen as the impressive Bellarabi has picked up an injury and has to be replaced by Kramer.

SUB! Yet another substitute is forced off with an injury, as Maicon limps off the pitch, with Torosidis on to replace him at right-back.

PENALTY TO ROMA AND RED CARD TO LEVERKUSEN! Drama at the Olimpico as Roma are given a penalty following an almighty scramble. They looked set to score as the ball deflected through to Salah at the back post. As the Egyptian was about to slot the ball in, Toprak pushed him to the ground, and is shown a red card for denying a very clear goalscoring opportunity.

GOAL! Roma 3-2 Bayer Leverkusen (Miralem Pjanic)

Pjanic steps up to take the penalty after a long wait and makes no mistake with a firm effort low into the corner. Leno dived the right way and was close to keeping it out, but the sheer power on the shot helped it into the net.

Even with 10 men there is every chance of Leverkusen salvaging a late equaliser. Roma have been caught out on a number of occasions in this second half and their players are sure to be nervous as they try to cling on for a vital three points.

Leverkusen are bossing possession at the moment, but they are struggling to find a way through the Roma defence. The hosts have got everyone back behind the ball and they are thumping it clear whenever they manage to win it back.

SUB! It's a final change of the night for the visitors, with Brandt coming on to replace Mehmedi.

There are going to be four minutes of stoppage time. Will we see any more drama in this brilliant game of football?

YELLOW CARD! Torosidis is eventually shown a card by the referee for a late challenge on Calhanoglu after Leverkusen had been allowed to play the advantage.

YELLOW CARD! Roma pick up another booking in added time, as Szczesny is shown a yellow card for time-wasting.

FULL-TIME: Roma 3-2 Bayer Leverkusen

A wonderful game of football comes to an end, and it's Roma who have come out on top. The Italians survived after throwing away a two-goal lead to claim a 3-2 win thanks to Miralem Pjanic's late penalty. It has kept alive their hopes of making it through to the knockout stages, and they are now ahead of Leverkusen in the group.

Barcelona have won in this evening's other group match, with a double from Neymar and a strike from Luis Suarez seeing off BATE Borisov. They are now on 10 points and almost through to the last 16, with their next Champions League match against Roma in three weeks. Right, that's all for tonight's coverage, but we'll back with Europa League action tomorrow. Until then, goodbye!

Roma's midfielder from Bosnia-Herzegovina Miralem Pjanic (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a penalty during the UEFA Champions League football match AS Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen on November 4, 201© Getty Images


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Leverkusen's head coach Roger Schmidt reacts after the UEFA Champions League group E first leg football match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bate Borisov in Leverkusen, western Germany on September 16, 2015
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