Leverkusen beats Real to reach Champions last 16
Bayer Leverkusen beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the
last 16 of the Champions League along with Group A winner
United’s 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk ensured the English
champions finished top with 14 points, allowing Leverkusen to
overtake Shakhtar and take second place with 10 points.
The Germans were more determined than their Spanish hosts at the
Anoeta Stadium, and their unrelenting pressure to score finally
paid off early in the second half.
Leverkusen finally took advantage of Real’s poor defending on
set plays in the 49th minute when Omer Toprak slammed home a loose
ball from a corner that Real failed to clear.
Real goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai kept the Spanish league club in
the contest with a number of saves. And when he missed, the
woodwork came to the rescue to deny Gonzalo Castro and Robbie
Antoine Griezmann was Sociedad’s lone striker, with the
Frenchman looking to capitalize on the counter without success.
Shakhtar will play in the Europa League, while Sociedad finished
last in the group with one point and without a victory or a goal
scored at its home ground.
”This experience will serve the team, it will help us build as
a team,” Real coach Jagoba Arrasate said. ”We started group play
poorly, but there are positive things to take from the competition
like how we measure up and what we need to do to improve.”