Champions League

Bayer Leverkusen hammers Donetsk

Champions League: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Champions League: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
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Stefan Kiessling shrugged off the controversy over his "ghost" goal to score twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk which put Bayer Leverkusen in a strong position to progress in the Champions League.

Five days after he got the winner against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga with a shot which went through a hole in the side-netting, the striker started and completed the scoring with two legitimate efforts.

He got the Germans up and running with a header midway through the first half and tapped home a fourth 19 minutes from time as they ran riot after the break. Simon Rolfes had doubled the lead from the penalty spot shortly after half-time and Sidney Sam quickly added a third as the Ukrainians were swept aside.

The win moved Bayer above their Group A rivals at the halfway stage, lifting them up to second place behind Manchester United on six points. Kiessling claimed on Tuesday that the criticism he had received over Friday's incident, when his 'goal' was incorrectly awarded, had been harsh and he wanted the fuss to blow over.

He played his part in helping that happen as he gave the hosts the lead with the first real chance of the match in the 22nd minute. Son Heung-min's shot was blocked, but the ball broke to Giulio Donati, who whipped in a cross from the right which Kiessling met in the center of the area and headed into the bottom left corner.

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Emre Can sent an overhead effort over the bar following a Sam corner and Kiessling sent another header, this time from a Sebastian Boenisch ball in, too high as Leverkusen threatened a second before the break.

If Shakhtar had hopes of mounting a second-half fightback, those were dashed within 20 minutes. First Darijo Srna's foul on Kiessling in the 49th minute gave Rolfes the chance from the spot, which he duly took, rolling the ball into the bottom right corner.

And Sam added a third in the 57th minute, firing a low shot into the corner from inside the area after being found by Son. Three became four in the 71st minute when Can's ball across from the right gave Kiessling a simple finish from close range.

Minutes later Shakhtar at last offered a threat, but Douglas Costa's shot was punched away by Bernd Leno as the hosts cruised to three points.

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