October 25, 2012
Leverkusen too strong for Rapid
Bayer Leverkusen retained top spot in Group K of the Europa League with a convincing 4-0 victory over struggling Rapid Vienna at the Ernst Happel Stadion.
Philipp Wollscheid gave the German outfit a half-time lead and then two goals in three minutes just before the hour mark from Gonzalo Castro and Karim Bellarabi ended the match as a contest.
Castro then notched his second in stoppage time to put the icing on a victory that lifts Leverkusen on to seven points and keeps them narrowly ahead of Metalist Kharkiv in Group K.
Rapid, meanwhile, are still rock-bottom and searching for their first point after suffering a third successive defeat.
There was little to separate the sides in the opening half-hour in the Austrian capital but Leverkusen enjoyed a spell of domination in the lead-up towards half-time, during which they took a 37th-minute lead through Wollscheid.
Castro swung over a corner from the right and defender Wollscheid's free header was too powerful for Rapid goalkeeper Lukas Konigshofer to keep out.
After failing to produce much to trouble visiting keeper Bernd Leno in the first half Rapid sought to strengthen their attack at the break, sending on striker Terrence Boyd for defensive midfielder Markus Heikkinen.
However, Boyd barely had a chance to make an impact before his side found themselves 3-0 down.
Castro doubled Leverkusen's lead in the 56th minute following a one-two with Lars Bender and then two minutes later Bellarabi added a third after picking up a pass from Stefan Kiessling and firing through Konigshofer's legs.
Leverkusen almost added a fourth moments later but Bellarabi was unable to finish off a good chance, although the Rapid defence was breached once more before the end when Castro slotted home from 12 yards out.
|Rapid Vienna||Bayer Leverkusen|
|31 Lukas Konigshofer||1 Bernd Leno|
|14 Markus Katzer||27 Gonzalo Castro|
|6 Mario Sonnleitner||24 Michal Kadlec|
|35 Gerson Ferreira||5 Manuel Friedrich|
|8 Markus Heikkinen||2 Daniel Schwaab|
|7 Stefan Kulovits||4 Philipp Wollscheid|
|23 Thomas Prager||6 Simon Rolfes|
|19 Christopher Drazan||38 Karim Bellarabi|
|28 Christoper Trimmel||14 Hajime Hosogai|
|20 Muhammed Ildiz||11 Stefan Kießling|
|33 Deni Alar||9 Andre Schürrle|
|1 Jan Novota||David Yelldell 22|
|4 Thomas Schramml||Ömer Toprak 21|
|27 Harald Pichler||Daniel Carvajal 20|
|36 Michael Schimpelsberger||Lars Bender 8|
|9 Terrence Boyd||Jens Hegeler 13|
|26 Lukas Grozurek||Okan Aydin 19|
|21 Louis Schaub||Junior Fernandes 7|
|Terrence Boyd for Markus Heikkinen (46)||Lars Bender for Michal Kadlec (9)|
|Michael Schimpelsberger for Muhammed Ildiz (63)||Jens Hegeler for Andre Schürrle (61)|
|Thomas Schramml for Deni Alar (78)||Junior Fernandes for Stefan Kießling (70)|
|Daniel Schwaab (52)|
|· Rosters: Rapid Vienna | Bayer Leverkusen|