Leverkusen boss Bosz hoping for a Champions League miracle

Berlin (AFP) –


Despite three defeats in their first games, Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz is optimistic they can beat Atletico Madrid on Wednesday to kindle their slim knock-out phase hopes and pull off a Champions League miracle.

Defeats to Lokomotiv Moscow, Juventus and Atletico leave Leverkusen without a point at the bottom of Group D with only three games left.

It has been more than 15 years since a team managed to progress in the Champions League despite losing their first three games when Newcastle United managed to finish second in 2002/03 group stages by winning all of their last three games.

Nevertheless, Bosz wants a win over Atletico, who beat his side 1-0 in Madrid a fortnight ago and are level on seven points with Juventus at the top of the group, to belatedly kick-start their European campaign.

"The chance is small, but it is still there," said Bosz defiantly on Tuesday.

"There are still nine points available in the group.

"I am a fighter and I'll only say it's over when it really is.

"We want to stay in European competition after the winter break, so we need points."

After Atletico, Leverkusen face a tough away match in Moscow against Lokomotiv, then host Cristiano Ronaldo-led Juventus in their final group game.

Having only lost to a goal by Alvaro Morata at Madrid in their last game, Leverkusen defender Sven Bender is cautiously hopeful of their chances against Atletico.

"We stayed in the game in Madrid, have what it takes to beat Atletico and we want to give everything to win on Wednesday," said the former Germany defender.