Leverkusen set to take tough Barcelona test

Leverkusen set to take tough Barcelona test

BARCELONA - The Associated Press
Leverkusen set to take tough Barcelona test

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 photo

Trailing 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.