Bayer Leverkusen beat Greece's Aris Saloniki 1-0 at the BayArena tonight. The result puts the Germans on the verge of qualification for the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League. Arturo Vidal scored the only goal of the game in the 90th minute to secure a win for the Germans.
The victory moves Leverkusen on to eight points in Group B, while Aris remain on four points. The Greeks had more ball possession in the early stages of tonight's contest but the first chance of the game came after Leverkusen lost a ball in the midfield in the 11th minute.
Aris' Carlos Ruiz stole a ball from Stefan Reinartz and passed to Toni Calvo, who saw that Leverkusen keeper Rene Adler was a bit too far off his line. Calvo tried a 45-yard shot but the German international got back to tip the attempt over the crossbar. Leverkusen failed to create many chances against a stubborn Aris Saloniki outfit but came close after 26 minutes when Vidal's blast from 28 yards struck the centre of the crossbar.
The hosts had the next scoring opportunity three minutes before the break but Burak Kaplan's looping shot went just over from a tight angle. Adler made a fine save to deny Juan Carlos Toja from long range in the 44th minute to send the teams into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
The visitors nearly took the lead six minutes after the break when Javito beat the offside trap but could not find a way past Adler. Leverkusen struggled to gain control of the proceedings, although they did have a chance in the 73rd minute with Aris keeper Michalis Sifakis saving Tranquillo Barnetta's deflected shot on a counter-attack.
But Aris continued to pressure the hosts, with Javito's shot going just over the bar a minute later. Leverkusen pushed forward looking for the winner and finally got their reward as the game entered the 90th minute. Simon Rolfes fed Sidney Sam, whose ball into the box was deflected by Sifakis directly to Vidal, who shot through the legs of Aris midfielder Michel and into the net. Next up for Leverkusen is a trip to Rosenborg on 1 December, while Aris face a testing trip to Atletico Madrid.