LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AFP) – South Korea’s Son Heung-Min scored a goal and set up another to help Bayer Leverkusen kick-start their Champions League campaign in Wednesday’s 3-1 win at home to Portugal’s Benfica.
Zenit St Petersburg and Monaco’s goalless draw earlier on Wednesday means Leverkusen remain third in the Group C table, a point adrift of both their rivals.
Benfica are bottom after a second straight defeat following their 2-0 loss to Zenit in Lisbon.
The win over Jorge Jesus’ Benfica was the perfect antidote to Bayer’s opening 1-0 defeat by French side Monaco a fortnight ago, according to Leverkusen captain Lars Bender.
Leverkusen made a bright start as Germany midfielder Bender hit the post with Benfica’s Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar beaten after a superb cross from Son.
The Germans grabbed their first goal when Cesar failed to hold on to Son’s shot from 20 metres out and striker Stefan Kiessling pounced on the loose ball to put Bayer ahead with 25 minutes gone.