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 By PA Sport

Bayer Leverkusen and Roma play out eight-goal thriller

Bayer LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
AS RomaAS Roma
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Bayer Leverkusen and Roma battled out a 4-4 draw in a thrilling Champions League Group E clash in Germany that saw both sides produce remarkable comebacks.

The hosts had raced ahead early on thanks to a brace from Javier Hernandez, who scored from the penalty spot in the fourth minute, then tucked away another effort in the 19th.

But Daniele De Rossi drew the match level with a double of his own before half-time, striking in the 30th and 38th minutes.

Miralem Pjanic subsequently put Roma in front with a superb 55th-minute free kick, and substitute Iago Falque appeared to settle things by making it 4-2 with 17 minutes to go.

However, Kevin Kampl pulled back a delightful goal in the 84th minute and two minutes later Admir Mehmedi -- who Leverkusen had brought on as a substitute -- notched a close-range equaliser.

It means the home side remain second in the group -- with four points from three games -- while their Italian opponents, two points worse off, stay bottom.

An already lively contest saw its first goal when Hakan Calhanoglu's cross struck the outstretched arm of Vassilis Torosidis and Hernandez converted the resulting spot-kick by sending goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way.

Miralem Pjanic's free kick put Roma ahead 3-2 but they could not hold the lead.

Calhanoglu was then involved again as Leverkusen extended their lead, playing a through-ball from which Hernandez shot against Szczesny's legs before burying the rebound, Roma being made to pay for ponderous defending.

Roma's fightback began when a poor punch from Bernd Leno sent the ball to Kostas Manolas and he headed to De Rossi, who chested it down before firing in.

And after Hernandez saw a header bounce agonisingly over at the other end, De Rossi then reacted first to a Pjanic free kick to level things up, bundling in from close-range.

Roma's sudden momentum carried into the second half and before Leverkusen knew what was happening, Pjanic had brilliantly looped another free kick straight into the net.

The visitors continued to threaten and only moments after seeing a header come off the top of the bar, Falque got on the scoresheet, slotting in from Gervinho's pass.

But Leverkusen were far from finished, with Kampl sending a beauty into the top corner and Mehmedi then almost immediately levelling after tapping in at the far post from Wendell's cross to make it 4-4.

They might even have won it in the dying seconds, but Hernandez struck his hat-trick opportunity narrowly wide.

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