Man United vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Champions League Live Score, Highlights, Recap
Live UEFA Champions League coverage
Manchester United 4-2 Bayer Leverkusen (ft)
Scorers: Wayne Rooney, 25' (1-0), Simon Rolfes, 53' (1-1), Robin van Persie, 59' (2-1), Wany Rooney, 69' (3-1), Antonio Valencia, 76' (4-1), Omer Toprak, 88' (4-2)
Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini (Cleverley), Valencia, Kagawa (Young), Rooney (Hernandez), van Persie.
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno, Spahic, Boenisch, Toprak, Donati, Reinartz, Rolfes, Can, Sam (Kruse), Son (Bender), Kiessling (Derdiyok).
United make a winning start to their Champions League campaign and take three points from Leverkusen with a good all-round win.
Wayne Rooney was the undoubted star, hitting two goals and claiming an assist, with Robin van Persie and Antonio Valencia the other scorers. Simon Rolfes and Omer Toprak scored in reply for the German side, but Leverkusen were never really at the races today and didn't look like troubling United too much.
Thanks as always for joining me for the live commentary, there will be plenty of reaction to come on the site over the next hour or so, so stay tuned to that and I'll be back tomorrow night with more UEFA Champions League coverage! See you then!
Full time result
Manchester United 4 Bayer Leverkusen 2
90+2'—United careless in possession and Leverkusen send players forward quickly as they search to close the gap. Can can't work space and United eventually close out the attack. Final seconds now.
It's 2-0 to Shakhtar now, so United will be top of Group A on goals scored as things stand.
Three minutes added on
89'—Another open goal miss! Nowhere near as bad this time as Valencia really whacked the cross over the penalty area, but after Leno dives and misses the ball van Persie has the whole goal at his mercy. He reaches the ball on the stretch, but diverts it back across goal and wide from just a few yards out. We could have had 10 goals tonight.
De Gea comes to punch the corner clear and misses it, with Reinartz crashing a header off the bar. It bounces back down into the six yard box and Toprak puts his foot through it, also hitting the bar—but it lands over the line this time and Leverkusen have one back.
United 4 Leverkusen 2
Omer Toprak, 88 mins
87'—Bender works his way down the right side and crosses, but though there is no Leverkusen forward in the penalty area, Ferdinand heads behind for a corner.
United sub: Hernandez on for Rooney
83'—We're well into the final 10 minutes of the game now and United are cruising to victory. They'll go top of the fledgling group table too, with Shakhtar winning only 1-0 at Real Sociedad in the other game in the group.
United subs: Tom Cleverley on for Fellaini. Ashley Young replaced Kagawa shortly after the third goal.
Well that was the goal of the night. From back to front, United counter at pace and sweep the ball forward quickly, with Rooney threading the final through-ball to Antonio Valencia who batters the ball hard and low past Leno for 4-1. Again, the keeper probably should have done better, but take nothing away from the great move which lead to the goal.
Manchester United 4 Bayer Leverkusen 1
Antonio Valencia, 76 mins
Leverkusen subs: Robbie Kruse on for Sam and Eren Derdiyok on for Kiessling
75'—Sam strikes a free kick for Leverkusen and it's over the wall and on target, but easy for De Gea to get across his line to save.
And that's the game, surely. Awful defending from Leverkusen who fail to deal with a long ball from De Gea, Rooney takes a touch into the area and buries his second of the night inside the near post, great finish.
It's also Rooney's 200th goal for Manchester United, who now lead 3-1.
United 3 Leverkusen 1
Wayne Rooney, 69 mins
68'—Valencia hits a wild effort from range which is deflected even further wide. United's set pieces haven't been the best tonight, and the latest corner follows the same pattern, being easily cleared. At the other end Kiessling is tackled by Ferdinand and De Gea has to get down really quickly to make a save from Bender's fierce drive down the centre.
It's Rooney, but it's headed clear by Can in the wall.
66'—Free kick to United after van Persie was fouled by Donati. It's central, just a few yards outside the box, and both home forwards are standing over it. Which to take?! What a conundrum.
64'—Leverkusen sub: Lars Bender on for Son Heung-Min
Just sit yourselves down and look at the technique from RVP for this goal. It's a terrific hit, and United are back in front. Valencia makes tracks down the right, picks out van Persie in the middle and it's a sideways, right-footed volley from the Dutchman. It's straight at Leno and the German has had a 'mare there, half trying to punch clear a ball aimed straight at him and letting it fly in past his head.
United 2 Leverkusen 1
Robin van Persie, 59 mins
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