Leverkusen: Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack came off the bench to seal Bayer Leverkusen`s 2-0 Champions League win over Belgian champions Genk on Wednesday to put the Germans second in Group E.
Having gone down 2-0 to group leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, Leverkusen picked themselves up from the defeat with midfielder Lars Bender scoring the opener in the first half.
Ballack, who turned 35 on Monday, netted the second in added time to claim his first goal in more than 18 months, having spent much of this season on the bench due to the after-effects of back-to-back injuries in 2010.
The three points ease some of the pressure on Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt, whose side also lost their last two German league games following the defeat by Chelsea.
"It was an important victory for us," said Dutt. "When you have lost the last three games, there is no such thing as an expected victory.
"We weren`t prepared to take a few risks and that was obviously to do with our self-confidence.
"Not everything worked out for us on the pitch, but I saw a certain mentality from the players."
This was Genk`s first defeat of the season in any competition, after they held Valencia to a goalless draw at home a fortnight ago in their Champions League opener.
Leverkusen took the lead after Genk`s Brazilian defender Nadson blocked a shot from Stefan Kiessling and Germany squad member Bender was on hand to slam home his shot from a tight angle on 30 minutes.
After the break, Germany forward Andre Schuerrle was denied Leverkusen`s second after he fired straight at Hungary goalkeeper Laszlo Koeteles with an hour played.
Genk`s Belgium striker Marvin Ogunjimi almost put his side level with just over 12 minutes left when he managed to get a powerful header on target, but Leverkusen`s teenage goalkeeper Bernd Leno pulled off a good save.
Ballack came on for the last 12 minutes and sealed the win with a superb volley that clipped a defender and Koeteles on its way into the goal in the 91st minute.
Leverkusen host Valencia in their next group match on October 19, the same night that Chelsea host Genk.