Soccer

Leverkusen beats Lazio 3-0 to advance in Champions League

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) Bayer Leverkusen advanced to the group stage of the Champions League by beating 10-man Lazio 3-0 on Wednesday.

Leverkusen will be the fourth German club in the group stage following its 3-1 aggregate victory.

Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring in the 40th minute, Admir Mehmedi doubled Leverkusen's lead in the 48th and Karim Bellarabi completed the victory in the 88th.

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Lazio*s defender Mauricio was sent off in the 68th minute after collecting his second booking within eight minutes. Mauricio was also partly to blame for Leverkusen's second goal. The first came after a mix-up in the Lazio defense, while Leverkusen's man advantage paid off for the third after a quick counterattack.

Leverkusen joins Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach in the group stage.

Leverkusen played without forward Son Heung-min, who was in London for a medical ahead of an expected transfer to Tottenham.

From the start, Leverkusen played its high-pressure game, giving Lazio little time to settle down.

Stefan Kiessling hit Lazio's crossbar with a header while Keita missed a couple of chances at the other end before Calhanoglu struck the first goal.

After bouncing around the Lazio defense, the ball fell kindly for Calhanoglu to drive home from outside the box.

Mauricio mistimed his challenge as Mehmedi broke through to bury the ball into the roof of the net and then made it worse for his team by clipping Kiessling to be sent off.

Leverkusen controlled the match and substitute Julian Brandt fed Bellarabi for the third goal, with the two Leverkusen players emerging alone in front of goalkeeper Etrit Berisha. With Berisha coming off his line, Ballarabi calmly slotted into the empty net.