Spanish winger TONI CALVO (Antonio Calvo Andres) of FC Aris Thessaloniki, who moved to Greece in 2007 after a season with Barcelona B in the Segunda Division, has his legs tangled and hits the turf as Bayer Leverkusen’s 21-year-old Croatian defender DOMAGOJ VIDA signals he is not to be held accountable at the Kleanthis Veikelidis Stadium. (Grigoris Siamidis/Reuters)
UEFA Europa League
0 – FC Aris Thessaloniki (GRE)
0 – Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
A game with very limited chances for either club saw visiting German side BAYER LEVERKUSEN draw 0-0 with FC Aris Thessaloniki in Group B of the UEFA Europa League.
FC Aris Thessaloniki, who came into the match with Bayer Leverkusen on the heels of a dreadful 4-0 defeat at home to AEK Athens in the Greek league, continued their remarkable, decades-long unbeaten European record at home in Greece — a run that has reached 23 consecutive games now and stretches back to their debut match in Europe against English side FC Chelsea during the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup competition.
Czech Republic international defender MICHAL KADLEC of Bayer Leverkusen came close to breaking the deadlock just before the first half but had his effort saved by FC Aris Thessaloniki’s diving goalkeeper MICHALIS SIFAKIS, a reserve on Greece’s World Cup entry in South Africa this past summer.
Bayer Leverkusen, with the point pocketed in Greece, remains unbeaten in the round-robin stage of the UEFA Europa League and sits atop Group B, a solitary point ahead of Spanish side Atletico Madrid and FC Aris Thessaloniki.
Czech Republic international defender MICHAL KADLEC of Bayer Leverkusen tries to negotiate the FC Aris Thessaloniki midfielder pair of the Frenchman RICARDO FATY (14), an off-season acquisition from Italian Serie A side AS Roma, and the Spanaird JAVITO (20), another former Barcelona B player, at the Kleanthis Veikelidis Stadium. faty (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP)
FC ARIS THESSALONIKI : Sifakis – Vangeli, Guiaro, Lazaridis, Michel – Faty, Toja – Javito, Toni Calvo – Ruiz, Koke (Mendrinos 70′)
BAYER LEVERKUSEN : Adler – Vida, Friedrich, Reinartz, Kadlec – Bender, Balitsch (Vidal 61′) – Rolfes (Derdiyok 76′) – Kaplan, Jorgensen – Helmes
Guatemala international striker CARLOS RUIZ – El Pescadito (The Little Fish) – of FC Aris Thessaloniki, who played seven years in Major League Soccer for Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas and FC Toronto before moving to Greece this summer from Mexican outfit FC Puebla, chest traps the ball in front of Bayer Leverkusen defender STEFAN REINARTZ at the Kleanthis Veikelidis Stadium in Greece. (Grigoris Siamidis/Reuters)