Leverkusen set to take tough Barcelona test
BARCELONA - The Associated Press
Bayer Leverkusen attacker Eren Derdiyok vies for the ball during his team’s German first division match against Bayern Munich. Bayer won the game 2-0. AP photoTrailing 3-1, Bayer Leverkusen is facing the formidable task of becoming the first club in nearly three decades to overturn a two-goal deficit at Barcelona to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.
Barcelona goes into tonight’s game with a number of injury concerns but is comfortably on course to reach the quarterfinals for the fifth straight season. The champions have progressed 31 of 33 times when opening a two-leg series with a victory away from home, and not since a 4-1 loss to Metz in 1984 has the Catalan club failed to close out a two-goal lead at the Camp Nou.
Leverkusen has won three straight league matches since losing to Barcelona. But the German club hasn’t won away from home in Europe in nearly a decade.
Barcelona is unbeaten in 13 European home games with 11 victories and the Spanish league club has won nine straight games over German opposition, outscoring its opponents 24-4 on that run.
“Realistically, we don’t stand much of a chance. But we want to give Barcelona a game,” striker Stefan Kiessling said.