Jens Hegeler’s last minute free kick was enough to give Bayer Leverkusen a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
Jagoba Arrasate kept faith with a misfiring frontline for the match with the German side, opting to start with Carlo Vela, Haris Seferovic and Antoine Griezmann.
But it was the home team who got off to the brightest start, forcing La Real on to the back foot almost immediately. Son Heung-Min forced Claudio Bravo into a save within the first two minutes, with Sebastian Boenisch doing the same just a few moments later.
The Basque side were really under the cosh now, and conceded more efforts on their goal when first Philipp Wollsheid and then Sidney Sam struck towards the target – neither though, troubled Bravo too much.
The Anoeta team were really struggling to contain the Werkself, but once more, the Bundesliga side were wasteful in front of goal. Simon Rolfes struck from range, but hit it over, and Stefan KIessling went close, only to find Bravo in top form.
Sami Hyypia’s men almost paid for their profligacy late on, but Griezmann was adjudged to be in an offside position as he struck the ball into the back of the net.
Their wastefulness didn’t come back to bite them though as right on the stroke of half time, Rolfes tapped in from close range after his initial header was saved.
After the break, Real Sociedad came out with much more purpose and quickly pulled one back through Carlos Vela. The Mexican was fouled by Roberto Hilbert inside the area for a penalty, but having missed the resulting spot kick, the former Arsenal man tapped in the rebound.
The match’s pace increased dramatically as both sides looked for the winner. Spaces were opening up all over the pitch, but neither team could make the most of some gilt-edged opportunities late on.
With the very last kick of the game however, the German side did get their winner as Jens Hegeler curled a free kick past Carlos Bravo and into the back of the net.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Real Sociedad:
Scorers: Rolfes 45 (BL) Hegeler 90 (BL); Vela 51 (RS)
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno, Hilbert, Wollsheid, Toprak, Boenisch (Can 70), Reinartz, Bender, Rolfes, Sam, Kiessling, Son (Kruse 69)
Real Sociedad: Bravo, C.Martínez, Mikel, Inigo Martínez, De La Bella, Markel, Elustondo, Zurutuza, Vela, Seferovic (Agirretxe 69), Griezmann (Castro 84)