Germany international striker PATRICK HELMES of Bayer Leverkusen, who scored three goals for the Werkself against the Scandanavians in the earlier UEFA Europa League meeting in mid-September, leaps over a sliding BK Rosenborg Trondheim defender as the sod flies from the freezing turf at the Lerkendal Stadion in Norway. (Gorm Kallestad/AFP/Scanpix)
UEFA Europa League
0 – BK Rosenborg Trondheim (NOR)
1 – Bayer Leverkusen (GER) ——————– Sam 35′
A solitary goal ten minutes before the halftime whistle was made to stand up in sub-zero temperatures as visiting German side BAYER LEVERKUSEN defeated Norwegian host BK ROSENBORG TRONDHEIM 1-0 in Group B of the UEFA Europa League.
Bayer Leverkusen, who stand third with just two losses this season in the Bundesliga, went ahead in the 35th minute when 22-year-old winger SIDNEY SAM controlled a pass from STEFAN REINARTZ and lined-up a dipping left-footed drive to beat BK Rosenborg Trondheim’s once-capped Sweden international goalkeeper DANIEL ORLUND.
It was the first goal of the season in Europe for the former Germany U-21 international, who is second on Bayer Leverkusen with five goals in the Bundesliga this term after returning from a two-season loan spell with 1.FC Kaiserslautern.
Germany international goalkeeper RENE ADLER was rested on account of a stiff back by manager JUPP HEYNCKES and, thus, 20-year-old understudy FABIAN GIEFER, who has three career Bundesliga starts but has not played this season, made his first-ever appearance in Europe for Bayer Leverkusen.
37-year-old veteran Finland international and former FC Liverpool defender SAMI HYYPIA was needed by the visitors to clear the header of BK Rosenborg Trondheim’s aging 34-year-old Norway international STEFFEN IVERSEN, the one-time Tottenham Hotspur striker, off the line only a minute into the second half.
Geifer, however, did hold a final header from Iversen, who has collected 78 caps and scored 21 goals for his country in his career, in the 89th minute to preserve the victory for Bayer Leverkusen.
With the win, the Werkself maintained leadership of Group B and will play European football this coming spring. Greek side FC Aris Thessaloniki upset Atletico Madrid in Spain to draw level on seven points with the La Liga club. In the last round, the defending UEFA Europa League champion Atletico Madrid will visit Bayer Leverkusen in Germany while BK Rosenborg Trondheim, who have just one win in five games thus far, are headed to Greece.
34-year-old Norway international striker STEFFEN IVERSEN of FK Rosenborg Trondheim, who scored 41 career Premier League goals and lifted the 1999 League Cup with Tottenham Hotspur, cannot finish with the Bayer Leverkusen net unguarded at the Lerkendal Stadion (Gorm Kallestad/AP/Scanpix)
FK ROSENBORG TRONDHEIM : Orlund – Lustig, Bjarsmyr, Demidov, Dorsin – Henriksen, Annan, Skjelbred – Moldskred – Iversen, Prica
BAYER LEVERKUSEN : Giefer – Vida, Friedrich, Hyypia, Kadlec – Balitsch, Reinartz, Bender – Sam (Kaplan 68′), Helmes (Castro 85′), Jorgensen (Derdiyok 76′)
The Bayer Leverkusen reserves brace themselves on the bench for the December away UEFA Europa League match with BK Rosenborg Trondheim in Norway. (Gorm Kallestad/AP/Scanpix)