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UEFA Champions League
October 2, 2013
• 2:45 PM
• BayArena, Leverkusen
Referee: S. Karasev
• Attendance: 27462
S. Rolfes 45'+
J. Hegeler 90'+
C. Vela 51'
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. I hope you enjoyed that game as much as I did! Enjoy the rest of your night.
FULL TIME - Leverkusen 2-1 Real Sociedad: A majestic strike from Hegeler secures a valuable three points for the hosts in what was an extremely close encounter at the BayArena. The Spaniards may feel aggrieved to have lost it so late on after an improved second-half display, but they paid the price for a lack of creativity in the first 45 minutes.
90' + 4'
The final whistle goes!
90' + 2'
Goal Jens Hegeler
STUNNING! HEGELER WINS IT! An absolutely exquisitely-struck free kick from a right-of-centre position curls away from the keeper and sails into the top corner of the goal. That is Leverkusen's 100th Champions League goal and it was certainly worthy of that milestone.
90' + 1'
Bravo makes a hash of clearing Hegeler's cross into the box and in their attempts to get the ball away, Real Sociedad concede a free kick 25 yards out.
We are heading for stoppage time now. Can either side find a winner?
Hegeler has been brilliant in the few minutes he has been on, supplying some great passes, but his attempt to find the net from a free kick 25 yards out is sent straight into the keeper's arms.
Another chance for Leverkusen! Kruse does manage to take the ball past Bravo this time and the keeper wipes him out in the process. The referee plays the advantage as it runs on to Kiessling, but his shot on goal is blocked by Carlos Martinez and he cannot put it in at the second time of asking.
Awful from Kruse! A great ball through the heart of the defence finds the second-half substitute but his first touch sends it straight into the arms of Bravo. He just needed to take it round him there!
WHAT A CHANCE! Wollscheid plays Agirretxe on and the striker latches onto a lofted ball over the top. On the edge of the box he takes a moment too long to pull the trigger and that enables Can to come in and get a foot in from behind and clear away the danger.
Good news for both these teams as Shakhtar Donetsk have drawn level against Manchester United in the group's other game. A win would put either club right back in the mix for qualification if it stays that way.
That is a waste from Can! Leverkusen break down the left and rather than put the ball into the box, the substitute attempts to bend an effort into the far corner. It was a poor idea and he gets nowhere near to finding the net.
Vela has been far more effective since switching to the left flank after the break. One thing that has clearly been important down that side is the support from De La Bella throughout. He has been tireless.
La Real have won just once in seven outings in La Liga this season and Arrasate's men are without a win in their previous six competitive games. Are they going to be able to bring an end to that run with a late goal tonight?
Sam goes for goal with an effort from distance but he is unable to work Bravo. The Leverkusen man has been rather disappointing this evening and has struggled to get involved since the restart.
DE LA BELLA! Tame effort. The visitors may have wanted someone a bit more clinical on the ball inside the area, as the left-back guides a rather weak effort towards the far corner which Leno holds.
Can dances his way into the area and plays a great ball straight across the face of goal, but none of his team-mates gamble to try and get onto the end of it. La Real then break themselves and Leno is forced to parry a powerful shot from Griezmann behind for a corner. This is becoming an increasingly open game.
Carlos Martinez is finally starting to look a bit more convincing with the ball at his feet, lofting a pass down into the corner for Griezmann to chase. The Frenchman's delivery is far too deep and Leverkusen counter...
Agirretxe comes on for the visitors and receives a rapturous ovation from the corner of the ground containing the Real Sociedad fans. He is certainly a popular fellow among them.
Vela chases down a long ball over the top of the defence but he is unable to get to it before it bounces into the awaiting hands of Leno. Still, far more positive movement from the Mexico international.
STAT: Should Leverkusen find another goal this evening, it will be the club's 100th strike in the Champions League proper.
SO CLOSE!! Rolfes nearly gets his third Champions League goal this season as he attempts to curl Son's cutback into the top corner from 20 yards. His effort is always rising, though, and shades over the roof of the net.
La Real seem to have built on their inefficiencies in the first half and are now starting to utilise possession effectively, creating chances to test Leno.
WHAT A SAVE!! Vela has really come to life in the second half after being non-existent before the break, and he latches onto an excellent pass from Zurutuza. His touch seems to let him down as he comes in from the left and Leno blocks his shot, which looked destined for the bottom corner.
OVER THE TOP!! Elustondo picks up a loose ball on the edge of the box and does excellently to take it past a pair of black shirts. He is forced to dig out a shot from 15 yards but a deflection diverts it over the roof of the goal.
The second half seems to be following a similar pattern to that of the first, with the visitors controlling possession. Leverkusen, meanwhile, are failing to create as much as they did before the break so momentum seems to be swaying the way of the Spaniards.
Yellow Card Carlos Vela
STAT: Leverkusen achieved a 100 per cent home record in their last two group stage campaigns in the Uefa Champions League.
Sami Hyypia will no doubt have hoped his side had held onto their lead for longer than that! The travelling fans are delighted, though, and are waving their scarves around frantically to show their support.
Yellow Card Bernd Leno
Penalty save Bernd Leno
Missed Penalty Carlos Vela
Goal Carlos Vela
SAVED! BUT VELA SCORES ON THE REBOUND!! The Mexican sees his initial effort from 12 yards saved as Leno gets down into the corner. He can only push the ball straight back into the danger area and Vela follows up and prods it into the net.
PENALTY TO LA REAL!! Hilbert brings down Vela inside the area with a challenge from behind and the visitors have a chance to level...
De La Bella is doing a good shot of supporting Griezmann tonight, and that seems to be where Leverkusen are most vulnerable, particularly when Hilbert moves forward. The Frenchman attempts to squeeze a shot on goal from the corner of the box and Leno saves.
Son must do better there! Markel is caught in possession inside his own half and Leverkusen instantly break. Kiessling plays it to the South Korean but this time his effort is miles away from hitting the target.
We are back under way at the BayArena!
Welcome back! The two sides are back on the pitch and the second half will begin shortly.
HALF TIME - Leverkusen 1-0 Real Sociedad: On the balance of play the German's probably deserved their lead. The visitors have enjoyed the majority of possession but have created far less than their opponents, who lead through Rolfes' strike on the brink of half time. Join me in 15 minutes for the second half to see if they can make their time on the ball count.
45' + 2'
There is barely time to get the game back under way as the referee blows for half time.
45' + 1'
Goal Simon Rolfes
GOOOOAAALL!! Leverkusen make the set piece count! Sam dinks the ball into the area and Rolfes powers a header on target. Bravo manages to keep it out but the midfielder follows up and pokes the ball into the net at the second time of asking.
Yellow Card Mikel González Martínez
Yellow card for Gonzalez as he brings Son down just outside the area on the near side. Perhaps a final chance for the hosts to take the lead before the break...
KIESSLING! Off target again! The striker does superbly to close Carlos Martinez and come away with the ball out on the left. He ducks inside another defender but slices his effort narrowly wide of the far corner.
That is a let off for Bravo! The keeper fails to deal with a corner from the far side, only managing to punch the ball as far as Rolfes. Fortunately for him the midfielder strikes it on the volley and is unable to guide his effort inside the post.
Bender has been pulling out into the wide areas all evening and Rolfes spreads the play from the left to pick him out. He, in turn, feeds Sam who attempts to bundle his way into the box but comes up against a blue-and-white wall.
An excellent cross by De La Bella flashes just in front of Seferovic but he made no attempt to connect with it. The Switzerland international should have been anticipating that.
WIDE OF THE GOAL! Son's movement has been impressive tonight, and once more he finds space from which to let an attempt on goal fly. His sweetly-struck effort swerves through the air but at the last moment bends wide of Bravo's goal.
An important block from Carlos Martinez takes the sting out of Son's shot from 20 yards, enabling the keeper to gather comfortably. The right-back has not been convincing in possession this evening, but that was certainly a telling contribution.
Another good stop from Leno! Pressure on the keeper seems to be rising and this time he is forced to keep out Elustondo, whose powerful effort from the top of the box was certainly on target.
Good goalkeeping! La Real counter with a long ball over the top towards Seferovic, who is played onside by Hilbert. Leno is forced to leave his goal and manages to beat the striker to it, heading away the danger.
Oh dear! Boenisch has his chance to put the ball in the box scuppered by a rather sizeable divot out on the left of the pitch. Still, his side win a corner for his efforts.
Rolfes has completely controlled the midfield tonight. He threads a great pass down the line to Boenisch who drills the ball into the danger area. Bravo, however, shows good anticipation to step out and grab hold of the delivery.
A vital interception from Toprak stops Griezmann from playing Seferovic through one-on-one with Leno. The Liga outfit are starting to grow into this game now.
SO CLOSE! Sam comes inside from the left and sends a left-footed effort at Bravo's goal. It looks to take a nick off of Markel which sends it outside of the post. The keeper pulled his hands away so must have been sure it was not going in.
SHAKY!! Griezmann strikes the ball with pace and attempts to curl it inside Leno's near post. The keeper gets across to stop the effort from going in, but only keeps it out by what can only be described as an attempted volleyball play. It may not have been orthodox, but it worked.
Boenisch gives away a cheap free kick as he tumbles Vela to ground, despite the Mexican running towards the sideline. This gives Griezmann a great chance to whip a cross in from the right.
HE MUST SCORE!! The resultant corner is whipped into the area and Kiessling rises above Inigo Martinez to meet it. You would expect the striker to tuck it away from 12 yards, but he puts it wide of the target.
GREAT SAVE!! A loose ball 25 yards from goal is struck well by Rolfes. His shot takes a deflection off of Sam but Bravo does excellently to get down to his left and parry the ball behind for a corner.
Great tracking back from Kiessling as he chases De La Bella all the way down to the corner flag. He stops the left-back from getting a cross into the area, but concedes a corner in the process. Nevertheless, a brilliant work ethic shown from the striker there.
A poor clearance from Bravo gifts Reinartz possession roughly 40 yards form goal. With the keeper slightly out position, the German plumps for goal, however his effort never looked like finding the net and bounces safely into the Real Sociedad custodian's hands.
Real Sociedad's previous visit to Germany ended in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Stuttgart in the 1988-89 Uefa Cup. They have never been victorious away to German opposition. They will need to improve a bit if they are to rectify that tonight.
The was lovely from Sam! He rolled his foot over the ball before quickly poking it through the legs of Inigo Martinez. The German was blocked off in his attempts to get to it on the other side of his opponent, but the referee deemed there was no foul. Strong defending.
Awful pass from Wollscheid! He tries to play the ball back to his own keeper from the half way line but completely mishits it. Leno tries to keep it in but can only divert it out for a throw in. Sportingly, though, Carlos Martinez returns the favour with an equally poor pass that runs straight out of play!
The Spaniards are enjoying a good spell in possession here and they look to probe down the Leverkusen right. It is Seferovic who exploits the space behind Hilbert but he rushes to get a cross into the area which, with minimal support, is dealt with simply by Leno.
Sam strikes it... straight into the wall! Not a great effort from the forward and Wollscheid's follow-up fairs no better, flying high over the target without worrying Bravo.
This is great pressing from the hosts. They win the ball back inside the Sociedad half and as Markel attempts to recover it, he brings Kiessling to ground with a rash challenge. The striker could probably have kept going, but this still offers a great opportunity...
Kiessling is offside again! It is a much tighter call this time as he attempts to peel away from Carlos Martinez, but the officials look to have got that one right.
La Real fight back quickly as Seferovic comes away with the ball from the right side of the pitch. He attempts to slide a pass in behind the defence for Griezmann but Leno races off his line to beat the Frenchman to it. Great vision from the striker there.
Brilliant take from Son! He plucks a long ball from Hilbert down inside the area and pulls away from his marker to get a shot on goal. Bravo had his angles covered, though, and managed to block the effort at his near post.
We have already had a couple of lovely moments of skill from Rolfes in the opening two minutes: firstly his lofted pass picked out Kiessling in the area and moments later he looped the ball over his marker on the spin and fed Son. The South Korean broke forward and fed the Leverkusen striker, but he failed to keep himself onside.
We are under way at the BayArena!
The pre-match formalities are all but over so kick off will be upon is imminently.
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch and the goosebump-inducing Champions League anthem rings around the BayArena.
Sami Hyypia admitted to the press that his side will need to be "compact and organised" on order to get a result against La Real tonight, who he labelled a technically good team. They will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their last meeting with Spanish opposition. A 10-2 aggregate defeat, including a 3-1 home loss, to Barcelona in the 2011-12 Champions League may still be a sore spot for the fans.
Xabi Prieto, Esteban Granero and Dani Estrada are all out injured for the visitors tonight. Leverkusen, meanwhile, had some better news, as Lars Bender was passed fit to play and Jens Hegeler was able to make the bench.
Real Sociedad bench: Zubikarai, Ansotegi, Cadamuro, Javi Ros, Ruben Pardo, Castro, Agirretxe.
Real Sociedad (4-3-3): Bravo; C. Martinez, Gonzalez, I. Martinez, De La Bella; Elustondo, Markel, Zurutuza; Vela, Seferovic, Griezmann.
Leverkusen bench: Palop, Spahic, Donati, Can, Hegeler, Kruse, Derdiyok.
Leverkusen (4-3-3): Leno; Hilbert, Wollscheid, Toprak, Boenisch; Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes; Sam, Kiessling, Son.
Leverkusen were beaten 4-2 at Manchester United on the opening day while La Real suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Skakhtar Donetsk. A defeat for either outfit tonight could leave them three points adrift at the bottom of the table. So, lets find out who the coaches have selected this evening...
Hello and welcome to tonight's live commentary on this Champions League clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad at the BayArena. Both of these sides lost their Group opener in their previous outing so will be desperate to pick up their first points of their respective campaigns this evening. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through the action.
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