Substitute Admir Mehmedi grabbed a late leveller to earn Bayer Leverkusen an unlikely point in a 4-4 goal feast against Roma. The hosts stormed into a 2-0 lead, before Roma turned the match on its head to lead 4-2 with just six minutes left.
However, after Kevin Kampl had curled a superb strike past Wojciech Szczesny in the Roma goal to put his side back in it, Medmedi popped up at the back post to complete the second comeback of the night.
Bayer were fasted out of the blocks, and took an early lead after Vasilis Torosidis handed in the box to concede a penalty, which former Manchester United hitman Javier Hernandez converted with aplomb.
Roma couldn’t cope with the hosts high pressing game, and after giving the ball away cheaply Hernandez punished the Giallorossi to double Bayer’s lead, and tighten their control of the encounter. However, against the run of play, Roma skipper Daniele De Rossi had other ideas, and got his side back in it with a back-post finish after Bayer failed to clear a corner. The momentum swung completely in the visitors’ favour, and De Rossi made the pressure tell, bundling home from a Miralem Pjanic free-kick to level proceedings. After the break Roma picked up where they had left off, and Pjanic completed the comeback with a sublime free-kick, leaving Bernd Leno no chance in the Bayer goal.
The hosts pressed for an equaliser, but left themselves open to the counter, as Gervinho outpaced the Bayer backline to square for Falque to seal the points, or so it seemed. Out of the blue, Kampl curled past Szczesny, before Mehmedi sensationally tapped home to send the BayArena into raptures. The result is not the end of the world for Rudi Garcia’s men, but the meeting of these two in Rome in two weeks time holds greater significance now for winless Roma, with Group E finely poised.