Coach Sami Hyypiä praised his Bayer 04 Leverkusen side for displaying "real character" in the 1-0 win at Real Sociedad de Fútbol which sealed a runners-up finish in Group A.
Article top media content
Jagoba Arrasate, Real Sociedad coach
The campaign has served us well in terms of our growth and evolution as a team. We've played in the best club competition, the most demanding. We did some positive things. We also made mistakes at both ends of the pitch while tonight we conceded from a strategic move.
We wanted to play well and to win, but the victory wasn't to be tonight. We were at a good level, though. You always hope things will turn out better. There have been games where we deserved more, but we have a point to show for our efforts in the group and I don't want any excuses.
In the first half both teams played well, it was even, but we started the second period very badly. Bayer Leverkusen scored at this point and while we tried to equalise, it ultimately wasn't possible.
Sami Hyypiä, Leverkusen coach
Once again my team showed real character. I had the feeling my players were a little tired in the opening phase of the game, but we eventually managed to find our rhythm. The end result certainly doesn't describe the pattern of play very well – we should have scored more goals.
I told my players at half-time that we would score a goal from a set piece and that we only needed to believe in ourselves. When I heard that Manchester United were 1-0 up in their game [against FC Shakhtar Donetsk], I knew we didn't have to risk more than was necessary.
I'm very happy with this result and my players. We played slowly in the first few minutes, maybe because of fatigue, but we improved and dominated the match. We created many chances and one of these resulted in our goal and our victory. The most important thing is that we won and we progress to the next stage of the Champions League.
Now we await the draw [on Monday]. We have to believe in our possibilities. We have won the last three matches and play two more games before Christmas. We want to keep winning.