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Aris and Leverkusen cancel each other out

Aris Thessaloniki FC 0-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Leverkusen remain top of Group B after they kept ther unbeaten away run this season going against a team yet to lose at home in Europe.

Patrick Helmes (left) challenges Kristi Vangeli of Aris
Patrick Helmes (left) challenges Kristi Vangeli of Aris ©Getty Images

A meeting of a side unbeaten at home in Europe and a team yet to lose on their competitive travels this season ended, perhaps predictably, in stalemate.

Neither Aris Thessaloniki FC, now without a home defeat in UEFA competition after 23 games stretching back to 1970, nor in-form Bayer 04 Leverkusen could find a way to goal. The tight nature of the game is reflected by the new UEFA Europa League Group B table, where Leverkusen are a point ahead of Aris and holders Club Atlético de Madrid, with Rosenborg BK only one back.

These sides could not have more contrasting weekend form, Leverkusen coming from two down to win 3-2 at VfL Wolfsburg while Aris were beaten 4-0 by visitors AEK Athens FC. However, Aris kept a clearly confident Leverkusen at bay in the first half despite the boost to the visitors of captain Simon Rolfes's first start since a January knee injury, having scored twice at Wolfsburg when brought on with 20 minutes left.

Michal Kadlec did force Aris goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis to dive low to block a free-kick in the closest effort of the first half. The cautious pattern of the game did not change after the break, though on 57 minutes Sergio Koke shot just past the post after Carlos Ruiz's clever pass had left him on his own in the box. Juan Carlos Toja, from distance, came close for Aris with 12 minutes left but a draw was the right result between two teams who meet again in Germany on 4 November.