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Thursday, April 5, 2007

UEFA Cup, Bayer Leverkusen 0-3 Osasuna

Osasuna Crush helpless Leverkusen!
Osasuna moved to the brink of a place in the last four of the UEFA Cup with a 3-0 win away to Bayer Leverkusen in their quarter-final first leg on Thursday. Goals by Javier Cuellar - his within 60 seconds of the start - David Lopez and Pierre Webo - with his first touch of the match after coming on as a substitute - leave Bayer requiring a miracle to get into the last four.

The Bundesliga side suffered the worst possible start at a packed BayArena as a David López corner found Cuéllar and the defender beat René Adler with a powerful header to give Osasuna the advantage only seconds into the match. Leverkusen sought an immediate reply as Stefan Kiessling broke down the right wing but Cuéllar was first to his cross with Andriy Voronin lurking just behind.

The home side's best chance of an equaliser came in the 18th minute. Tranquillo Barnetta, picking up the ball on the edge of the area, threaded through a pass for the in-form Bernd Schneider. He controlled well only to see his shot blocked by goalkeeper Ricardo.

Barbarez was also close with a header that glanced just wide but Leverkusen generally found it difficult to break down the visiting defence, with a couple of long shots providing the only other opportunities in the first half.

The second-half started off at a more tranquil pace but came alive shortly before the hour mark when Bayer centreback Juan was left in acres of space but his well-timed shot just inside the box was well saved by former Manchester United goalkeeper Ricardo.

However, Osasuna deservedly took a 2-0 lead in the 71st minute as the outstanding Lopez shot home after a great layback by Milosevic as Bayer went to sleep at another corner. Indeed Lopez had set up the corner as he slipped clear just inside the Bayer half and ran on one-on-one with Adler but the German 'keeper did well to turn it away for a corner.

However the tie was all but ripped from their grasp two minutes after Lopez' goal as Milosevic set up Cameroon striker Webo and with his first touch the substitute lobbed it over the stranded Adler. Leverkusen coach Skibbe added: "The quick goal really put us on the back foot, though Osasuna remained very solid in defence. After the break, we were not able to convert our chances and lacked concentration. It was infuriating to lose 3-0."

UEFA Cup, Bayer Leverkusen 0-3 Osasuna goals video: