Leverkusen play down 'phantom goal' talk ahead of Shakhtar clash
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and coach Sami Hyypia on Tuesday urged their side to forget about the now infamous 'phantom goal' and concentrate on the Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Stefan Kiessling's effort -- which was awarded despite hitting the side-netting and entering the goal through a hole in the net -- ultimately proved to be decisive in sealing last Friday's 2-1 win at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
The result, which left Leverkusen a point behind Bayern Munich at the top of the table, is being contested by Hoffenheim and a decision will be made by the German Football League (DFL) at the end of the month.
Now the focus turns to a crucial Champions League Group A tie with the Ukrainian title holders at the BayArena, with Leverkusen a point behind their opponents coming into the third matchday.
"We need to somehow try and forget about that goal," said Leno at the eve-of-game press conference.
"The subject has been discussed and the team doesn't want to talk about it anymore," added Hyypia.
Kiessling has been heavily criticised for not trying to change the referee's decision in the game in question, but he is being supported by his teammates.
"He is confident and will know how to deal with the situation," proferred Lars Bender, the midfielder who will not face Shakhtar.
The striker, who has now been credited with six league goals this season, is set to play alongside Sidney Sam and the South Korean Heung Min Son against Shakhtar.
The other match in Group A sees Manchester United take on Real Sociedad at Old Trafford.