Late Schick double extends Leverkusen’s unbeaten run

Late Schick double extends Leverkusen’s unbeaten run

Leverkusen, Germany: Patrik Schick scored two goals in stoppage time to rescue Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten run and their dreams of a remarkable treble with a 3-2 (5-4 aggregate) home win over Qarabag in their Europa League last-16 second leg on Thursday.

The win keeps Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen unbeaten after 37 matches this season, sending them through to the last eight of the Europa League.

With Leverkusen 2-1 down on the 90-minute mark, the Czech striker — who scored in stoppage time in the first leg to level the scores at 2-2 — scored in the 93rd and 98th minutes to turn the game on its head.

Goalscorer Schick praised his team’s desire on an “unbelievable night”.

“The team has done it once more,“ he said of the extended unbeaten run. “It’s no coincidence. We fight until the last minute, the team spirit that we have at the moment is unbelievable.”

After fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in Baku, Leverkusen, one of the favourites to win the Europa League, were heavily tipped to beat the Azerbaijani outsiders at home.

After going to half-time locked at 0-0, Qarabag took the lead midway through the second-half, Abdellah Zoubir turning in a cross from Leandro Andrade.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men shortly after when Elvin Jafarguliyev was sent off, his yellow card upgraded to a red by VAR for a challenge on Frimpong.

Despite the disadvantage, Qarabag doubled their lead just five minutes later through Juninho.

Leverkusen pulled a goal back through Jeremie Frimpong shortly after to keep hope alive.

Striker Schick, who had been criticised for not scoring in seven league games since December, got a boot to an Alex Grimaldo cross to level the scores after 93 minutes.

With the match seemingly headed for added time, Schick scored again, heading in another Grimaldo assist for a remarkable win.

“It might not have been our best performance today, but we won with heart and with passion” Alonso told Germany’s RTL network.

“Anything can happen in football.”

The win keeps unbeaten Leverkusen’s dream of a remarkable treble alive, with Alonso’s side 10 points clear in the Bundesliga with nine games to play and in the German Cup semi-finals.

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