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Bayer Leverkusen shut out by Juventus

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While Bayern Munich pounded Tottenham Hotspur, Bayer Leverkusen struggled mightily against Juventus.

Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen: Group D - UEFA Champions League Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

As part of our comprehensive coverage, we are following each Bundesliga side that has qualified for the Champions League.

Bayer Leverkusen knew it was in for a battle with Juventus, but Die Werkself could not get on track in Italy. The Old Lady battered Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 behind goals from Gonzalo Higuain (17’), Federico Bernardeschi (61’), and Cristiano Ronaldo (88’) as the Italians out-classed the German side.

Leverkusen actually managed to out-possess Juventus (55% to 45%), but had no ability to capitalize on that advantage. In fact, Leverkusen did not register a single shot on goal. Maybe the Peter Bosz’s makeshift lineup without the injured trio of Leon Bailey, Karim Bellarabi, and Lars Bender disrupted the squad too much, but it was likely just a strong imbalance of talent that made the biggest difference.

Juventus is good...and deep. It would have taken a near-perfect game with a full squad for Die Werkself to challenge the Serie A power. That did not happen.

Points of discussion

  • Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt appears to be shaking off some early trouble with Juventus and turned in a very good effort. De Ligt is a class talent, but he seems to have become a target for fans and media looking to disparage his game. Something tells me that he’ll still develop into one of the world’s best despite some early hiccups in Italy.
  • The showdown between Kai Havertz and Cristiano Ronaldo never really amounted to much of a battle. Ronaldo is still damn good, while Havertz did not move the needle much in this one.
  • Havertz is starting to get some De Ligt-type criticism for not producing in games like this. While some of that is warranted, Bayer Leverkusen just does not have the arsenal of talent to keep up with a team like Juventus.
  • Bayer Leverkusen is now sitting firmly in last place of the group with a match-up against Atlético Madrid forthcoming. Atleti downed Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 yesterday. Die Werkself is going to have to fight hard and hope for a minor miracle to finish in third place in this group.
  • Bayer Leverkusen’s squad depth is an issue and could be a major hindrance in the Bundesliga if the team sustains several injuries.