Bayer Leverkusen 1 – FC Aris Thessaloniki 0


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Spanish striker and FC Aris Thessaloniki club captain KOKE (10), who played for both French club Olympique Marseille and Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon before signing on in Greece in August of 2006, looks to possess the ball despite the presence of the Bayer Leverkusen pair of defender STEFAN REINARTZ and midfielder SIDNEY SAM (18) at the BayArena in western Germany. (Patrick Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images)
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UEFA Europa League
Group Stage
11/4/2010

1 – Bayer Leverkusen (GER) ———— Vidal 90′
0 – FC Aris Thessaloniki (GRE)

A sloppy goal in the last minute handed host BAYER LEVERKUSEN a 1-0 victory and three vital points opposite visiting Greek side FC ARIS THESSALONIKI in Group B of the UEFA Europa League.

FC Aris Thessaloniki might have gotten the better of play in the first half although Bayer Leverkusen were unlucky when a shot from Chile World Cup midfielder ARTURO VIDAL smacked off the crossbar approaching the half hour mark.

Germany international goalkeeper RENE ADLER made several sharp plays to keep the sheet clean for Bayer Leverkusen.

FC Thessaloniki’s Spanish winger JAVITO (Francisco Javier Peral Periane) found himself put through in the 51st minute but had his effort blocked by the 25-year-old in between the sticks for Bayer Leverkusen; Lithuania international midfielder DEIVIDAS CESNAUSKIS, who had a spell with Hearts of Midlothian in Scotland, also failed in his one-on-one attempt with Adler on the hour mark.

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Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper RENE ADLER, the 25-year-old who was won nine caps to date for the national team of Germany and four clean sheets in UEFA Europa League competition this season, plays the ball with his feet as FC Aris Thessaloniki’s Spanish midfielder TONI CALVO (7) comes flying in at the BayArena. (Frank Augstein/AP)
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Bayer Leverkusen grabbed the winner in the last minute when Germany international midfielder SIMON ROLFES, a second half substitute who has 21 caps (one goal) to his credit, played his countryman SIDNEY SAM into the box on the left; with a nifty move, Sam cut the ball back to make space for a combination cross / shot which FC Aris Thessaloniki’s Greece World Cup reserve goalkeeper MICHALIS SIFAKIS could only parry.

Arriving on the scene was Chile World Cup midfielder ARTURO VIDAL of Bayer Leverkusen, the club leader with four Bundesliga goals going into the match, who managed to bundle the ball through the legs of visiting Brazilian defender MICHEL for his second goal in the UEFA Europa League this campaign.

Bayer Leverkusen took over the top of Group B with the win, one point ahead of second place Spanish La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid; FC Aris Thessaloniki are only just ahead of Norwegian club BK Rosenborg Trondheim in third with four points.

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FC Aris Thessaloniki’s Colombia international midfielder JUAN CARLOS TOJA, who played 45 games with FC Dallas of the United States’ Major League Soccer before signing for Romanian side FC Steau Bucharest in August of 2008, is knocked off the ball by Bayer Leverkusen’s Switzerland World Cup striker EREN DERDIYOK (19) at the BayArena. (Hermann J. Knippertz/DAPD)
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BAYER LEVERKUSEN : Adler – Balitsch, Friedrich, Reinartz, Kadlec – Bender (Rolfes 46′), Vidal – Sam, Kaplan (Barnetta 63′) – Helmes, Jorgensen (Derdiyok 46′)

FC ARIS THESSALONIKI : Sifakis – Vengeli, Guiaro, Lazaridis, Michel – Faty, Toja – Javito, Calvo (Kaznaferis 79′) – Koke (Prittas 90+1′), Ruiz (Cesnauskis 57′)

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Greece World Cup reserve goalkeeper MICHALIS SIFAKIS of FC Aris Thessaloniki stares at the turf as club leading scorer, Chile World Cup midfielder ARTURO VIDAL, signals the game-winning goal for Bayer Leverkusen in the 90th minute at the Bay Arena. (Frank Augstein/AP)
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After fumbling the ball with his feet over his own goal line to give the game-winner to Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the match, FC Aris Thessaloniki’s 29-year-old Brazilian defender MICHEL GABRINI PEREIRA, who spent two seasons with Standard Liege in nearby Belgium several years ago, stares off into the crowd at the BayArena in western Germany. ( Michel, Helmes (Frank Augstein/AP)
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MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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