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UEFA Champions League
December 10, 2013
• Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, Donostia-San Sebastián
Referee: T. Hagen
• Attendance: 23408
Ö. Toprak 49'
That's it from me, Harry Slavin. Thanks to all of you who followed the action tonight and be sure to join me, along with Bayer Leverkusen, for more Champions League football in the New Year. Until then, goodbye!
FULL-TIME: SOCIEDAD 0-1 LEVERKUSEN. Toprak's goal at the beginning of the second half is enough to see Sami Hyypia's men into the last 16 of the Champions League. They survived a late scare and join Manchester United as the teams emerging from Group A.
90' + 5'
Yellow CardG. Castro
90' + 4'
The referee blows his whistle, Bayer are through!!!
90' + 3'
Yellow CardJon Gaztañaga
90' + 3'
A reckless challenge from Gaztanaga leaves Kruse in a crumpled heap by the corner flag. It's a booking for the sub and spot of treatment for Kruse.
90' + 2'
ANSOTEGI!! A great chance for Sociedad as the defender meets a free kick but can only find the side netting! Heart-in-mouth stuff for Bayer!
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
We are into FOUR minutes of stoppage time in San Sebastian. Son is off for the final few minutes. On comes Kohr.
...but Son can't get his shot away! The South Korean is clean through but doesn't have the legs to get clear and is forced to turn away from trouble inside the box, before he is dispossessed by Carlos Martinez.
A Real Sociedad free kick turns into a corner as Pardo's shot is blocked. The set piece is headed clear and now Bayer can break...
Derdiyok is on to replace Kiessling for the final few minutes. Kiessling is very unlucky to be departing the field with nothing to show from his efforts. He'll be hoping his team-mates don't have the same feeling in just a few minutes time. They're holding on for now.
Griezmann! Sociedad's star player turns on the edge of the box once more and gets his shot away but it's straight at Leno and the keeper clutches gratefully onto the ball.
Bayer are getting visibly nervous as we edge ever closer to full-time. They are falling deeper into their own half and are having to rely on counterattacks as their only form of respite.
A final change for the hosts as Seferovic is on for the sterile Agirretxe. Ten minutes left for Bayer hopes to be reailsed, or dreams to be shattered.
In all honesty, Ansotegi is lucky to be staying on this pitch. The Sociedad captain rushes across to stop the surging run of Emre Can. He succeeds with a sliding challenge that sends Can into orbit. Referee Hagen deems only a booking is necessary though.
Yellow CardJon Ansotegui
The hosts push forward again and Agirretxe gets his first real sight of goal. He takes a little too long to get his shot away though and Donati gets across to block the effort.
This is why Bayer need that second goal. La Real are still a threat here and Griezmann test the palms of Leno once more. This time the shot-stopper has to get down smartly to hold a header from the winger.
Another wasted chance for Son, this time his finishing letting him down rather than his final pass. A deep cross drops to him inside the box and he has time to chest the ball down before snatching at his shot and sending it over the bar.
Just twenty minutes left in San Sebastian. Son has led a few surges for Leverkusen into the Sociedad half but he hasn't made the most of the support. You feel that the hosts might even need that second goal yet.
Huge goal for Leverkusen. But it hasn't come in Spain. Manchester United have just taken the lead against Shakhtar Donetsk thanks to Phil Jones and that puts the Germans well in driving seat for second spot.
Mikel González Martínez
Another chance for the hosts. Griezmann is able to control a long pass into the area and does well to turn sharply and get his shot away, dragging it wide of goal on this occasion though.
Important stop from Leno! Pardo arrives at the back post and his volley into the ground has to be tipped over by the Leverkusen keeper.
Gorka Gorka Elustondo Urkiola
Arrasate looks to freshen things up for the hosts as Prieto comes on for Elustondo.
Kiessling just cannot catch a break this evening. The striker stoops to meet another great cross from Castro but Zubikarai spreads himself and makes another great stop.
Yellow CardEmre Can
Third booking of the evening for a Leverkusen player as Can is the latest player to take down Vela.
Castro now has a chance as Son slips the ball to him on the right-hand side of the box. He gets his shot away but it's deflected behind for yet another corner.
More chances for the visitors and they've just hit the post again! Kiessling rises to meet Kruse's corner but smashes his header off the post as Bayer strike the upright for the second time this evening.
A big reaction on the bench from Hyypia when that went in as the former as the Leverkusen coach is out of his seat. It's a big a step towards the next round but they need to keep their eye on the ball in Spain and their minds away from Manchester.
GOOOOAAALLLL!!! Breakthrough for Bayer! From the resulting corner the Sociedad defence can clear their lines and when the ball bobbles between three of them, Toprak nips in to blast the ball into the bottom corner. As it stands, Leverkusen are going through.
WHAT. A. SAVE!!! Kiessling rises to meet a deep cross and Zubikarai has to show lightning quick reactions to tip the ball behind!
We are back up and running then. Leverkusen start with a swift attack down the right but Martinez is up to clear the cross away. There's a change for Bayer too at the break as Kruse comes on for Hegeler.
Both sides are back out at the Anoeta Stadium. Just forty-five minutes for the visitors to secure a place in the knockout stages. Can Rolfes and Co. finally break the deadlock?
FOOTBALL FACT-ORY: It's been a much better visit this time at least for Leverkusen than their last trip to Spain. Their last visit to the country saw them thumped 7-1 by Barcelona as they were blasted out of the last 16 of the Champions League back in 2012.
HALF-TIME: SOCIEDAD 0-0 LEVERKUSEN. Goalless at the break then but I don't think anyone is sure how. Rolfes and Vela have been guilty of missing the best chances, while Castro has rattled the Real woodwork. With the same scoreline coming out of Old Trafford at the break, there is still all to play for.
Yellow CardMarkel Bergara
WHAT A CHANCE FOR VELA!!! Think Gascoigne '96 against Germany and you've got it. Griezmann sends an inviting ball across the face of the call and it looks a dead cert that the former Arsenal striker will put the hosts in front. Somehow, he doesn't, and after a booking for Bergara, we're going into the break level.
Lars Bender forces Zubikarai into another save from distance as the keeper beats away the midfielder's effort, getting enough on it to evade the onrushing Hegeler. Leverkusen finishing the half strong here.
Son Heung-Min was the hero for Leverkusen on Saturday as he netted the winner in their 1-0 win over Dortmund. He gets his first sight of goal this evening here but Zubikarai is behind the shot to parry it away from danger.
La Real really have nothing to lose this evening and it's almost as if they've just realised as they take the upper hand. Griezmann and Vela are being given a lot more freedom to run at the Bayer defenders with those two bookings for Rolfes and Bender. That could be a telling factor in this one.
Sami Hyypia grimaces as he watches Griezmann threaten his back four once more. The Frenchman unleashes a swerving effort that fades just wide of Leno's near post. The Finn knows that wasn't far away.
Griezmann lines up a shot from the free kick and Donati bravely gets his head in the way of it. The defender has a good old rub on his scalp after blocking the ball. That was bound to sting!
Yellow CardSimon Rolfes
Yellow card and it's another Leverkusen player in the book. Rolfes slides in on a Vela as the Mexican motors past and the captain joins his team-mate Bender in the book.
Griezmann has scored some memorable goals for La Real and he almost comes up with another here. He skips away from the attentions of a few black shirts on the edge of the box before finding space and releasing a venomous effort that Leno isn't able to hold. Luckily for the German keeper though, Vela isn't able to control the rebound.
A smattering of chances at either end as this game begins to open up. Leverkusen have the two chances as Rolfes drags wide before Kiessling blazes over from a tight angle in the area. Sandwiched in between is a Vela effort that loops over the crossbar as the hosts look to remind Hyypia's men that they're still a very real threat.
Over halfway through the first half now and still no sign of that first goal. The visitors know they realistically need to win to have any real chance of qualification and are showing it with plenty of endeavor. No end product as yet though.
Big chance for Leverkusen! Carlos Martinez gives away a free kick on the left-hand edge of the area. Castro lofts the ball into the six-yard box but Toprak and Rolfes almost get in each others way as the captain ends up steering his header over the bar.
Important piece of keeping from Leno! The keeper has to be quick off his line as Griezmann is found with a long ball. The Frenchman tries to chest the ball down but it's just too far ahead of him and Leno goes in bravely to win the ball.
Bayer find a little bit of space and create a couple of half chances as they search for the opening goal. Rolfes firs over on the half-volley from Castro's free kick, while Son Heung-Min breaks down the right flank but can't get the ball under control as he looks for Kiessling in the middle.
A couple of fouls dog the play as both sides look to stop the other from building any momentum. Jose Rangel and Agirretxe are the latest perpetrators.
Yellow CardLars Bender
First booking of the evening goes to Lars Bender as he slides in on Carlos Vela from behind. It did look as though he may have got some of the ball but Norwegian ref Tom Harald Hagen doesn't agree.
WOODWORK!!! Castro rattles the post with a great free kick after Kiessling was brought down on the edge of the box. The ball is recycled and swung back in for Kiessling but Zubikarai is alert to produce a decent save.
Chances for a pop at goal for both sides, but neither is taken. Rolfes scuffs his shot wide from just outside the area for Bayer and at the other end Griezmann goes for the spectacular - setting himself up for the volley but firing high and wide.
Real Sociedad are just beginning to take the game to their opponents at the moment. They win a corner as Jose Angel's impressive run. Pardo swings it in but Leverkusen clear the danger.
Ruben Pardo sends in a dangerous looking cross from the left and Leno feels the need to punch it clear as the ball misses everyone and threatens to find the far corner.
Both sides have set up in a similar fashion this evening but there are two very different reasons behind the need for a result for both clubs. Bayer start brightly as Emre Can gets down the right but a fine tackle from Jose Angel on his Champions League debut halts his progress.
Away we go! It's crunch time for Bayer in Group A.
The players are out at the Anoeta Stadium. There is a moment for fans and players from both sides to join in a tribute to Nelson Mandela, as is the case at every match tonight. The players are ready and we are about to get underway!
Sociedad coach Jagoba Arraste hands first outings in the Champions League to goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai and left-back Jose Angel. Meanwhile the Germans will have to do without the attacking influence of Sidney Sam due to a thigh problem and Stefan Reinartz has failed to recover in time from an ankle knock to feature.
BAYER LEVERKUSEN: (4-3-3) Leno; Donati, Spahic, Toprak, Can; Bender, Rolfes, Castro; Hegeler, Kiessling, Son.
REAL SOCIEDAD: (4-3-3) Zubikarai; Martinez, Ansotegi, Gonzalez, Jose Angel; Elustondo, Bergara, Pardo; Griezmann, Agirretxe, Vela.
We are only 15 minutes or so from kick off in the North of Spain. The teams have been announced, so let's take a look at them just now.
Bayer are relying on a favour from Group A leaders Manchester United tonight and will only grab second spot if they can better Shakhtar Donetsk's result in England. Hyypia has admitted that his bench will definitely have one eye on Old Trafford this evening, stating in the press conference that he will 'follow' events on his mobile. "If in the 75th minute we are still drawing with Real Sociedad and something happens in the other match we can take more risks and look for a win," The former Liverpool defender said.
I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all the action from Anoeta Stadium in Spain as Sami Hyypia's side set out tonight with the goal of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament. They'll find it tough against a Sociedad side playing for pride after a poor campaign.
The final round of Champions League fixtures are here and, as ever, they're going to bring plenty of drama. Welcome along to the coverage of Real Sociedad against Bayer Leverkusen, as the German side look to secure their place in the last 16.
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