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

Manchester United.

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

Kruse.

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.”