LEVERKUSEN SECURE EURO SPOT
Bayer Leverkusen moved up to fifth in the Bundesliga, securing their place in the Europa League next season at the expense of Hannover, whose own place in Europe will now be decided on the last day of the season.
Stefan Kiessling scored the all-important goal 15 minutes from the end to take Leverkusen above Stuttgart in the table and into a position which would take them straight into the group stage of the Europa League next season.
Hannover had their own chances, but they now go into the final game of the season against Kaiserslautern needing to win to be sure of their place in Europe.
Leverkusen, who have been transformed since Sami Hyypia and Sascha Lewandowski took charge, showed the progress they have made with Kiessling missing a hat-trick of chances to score inside the first 20 minutes.
Andre Schurrle was also slightly wayward with his shooting as Leverkusen just lacked the finish to go with their build-up play.
Hannover did the opposite, putting the ball into the back of the net in the 35th minute despite having done little in terms of build-up play, but referee Tobias Welz ruled out Didier Ya Konan's goal due to an offside decision against Sergio Pinto.
Michael Ballack came on to play his last home game for Leverkusen, but it was now Hannover's turn to attack and Bernd Leno was called into action to deny Manuel Schmiedebach on the hour mark.
Christian Schulz was also denied by Leno shortly before Kiessling netted the only goal of the game against the run of play.
Emanuel Pogatetz unwittingly set up the Germany international to put Leverkusen in front in the 75th minute.
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