Fresh from scoring the fastest Bundesliga goal in history, Bayer Leverkusen needed barely a minute against visitors Copenhagen. A 4-0 cruise books a lucrative ticket to the Champions League for the Pharmaceuticals.
After netting in a Bundesliga-record nine seconds against Borussia Dortmund, Leverkusen needed around 70 on Wednesday to open their account against FC Copenhagen. Son Heung-min's left-footed opener, from a tidy Stefan Kiessling assist, cemented the club's position of superiority following the 3-2 win in Denmark last week.
A Hakan Calhanoglu free kick, which took a nasty deflection, leaving keeper Stephan Andersen a spectator, doubled Leverkusen's lead in just the seventh minute - putting any Danish dreams of a comeback to bed.
Leverkusen have enjoyed a dream start to the season under new coach Roger Schmidt, sauntering through the German Cup's first round, beating Borussia Dortmund on Bundesliga opening day, and now securing Champions League millions for the season. Stefan Kiessling has been at the forefront of this fast start - and Wednesday's game was no exception.
Half an hour into the match, as Leverksuen broke with speed from a Copenhagen corner, Danny Amankwaa conceded a clearcut penalty for a push in the area. Kiessling stepped up to the spot to calmly net his eighth goal in four competitve games this season.
Cameras caught a frustrated Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken hitting out at the roof of the dugout during the first period, hurting his knuckles in the process. North Rhine-Westphalia has not been a happy hunting ground for the Norwegian, who suffered an ill-fated spell of less than a year in charge of nearby Cologne ending in 2012.
Kiessling nets number nine
With both sides' destinies set, the second half was a comparatively stale affair. Leverkusen played with less pace, while Copenhagen markedly improved on their first-half disarray. Youssef Toutouh even rattled the crossbar of Bernd Leno, hardly the busiest man on the pitch in the Leverkusen goal, shortly after the restart.
The only goal of the second half fell to Kiessling. The striker's first touch to control a long diagonal ball out of defense was exemplary, creating an easy finish for the big number 11. Kiessling couldn't chase his hat-trick and a 10th goal in four matches; new signing Josip Drmic soon replaced the Leverkusen lad to make his debut in the Champions League.
Only the paltry attendance of 23,300 was a letdown for Bayer Leverkusen, although sporting director Rudi Völler was keen to praise the atmosphere despite the turnout. Schmidt's side entertain Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday, and Völler said to expect a packed house by then.