Bayer Leverkusen Set New 33-Match Unbeaten Record, Go 11 Points Clear

Feb24,2024






A long-range shot from Robert Andrich took Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen to a 2-1 home win against Mainz on Friday, setting a new German record of 33 matches unbeaten. Andrich's goal was assisted by a goalkeeping error by Mainz's Robin Zentner, who allowed the ball to slip through his hands and into the net. Leverkusen were nervous and made several uncharacteristic mistakes, but the win put them 11 points ahead of Bayern Munich for the first-ever Bundesliga title.

“We have to be honest and say we didn't play a good game and were a bit lucky to win, but we won't complain about the three points,” Andrić told DAZN.

Bayern, which on Wednesday announced its plans to part ways with coach Thomas Tuchel in the summer, hosts RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Leverkusen, who have won 29 and drawn four of their 33 matches this season, broke the record set by Hansi Flick's Bayern between 2019 and 2020 – a run that also included a Champions League victory.

Coach Xabi Alonso said, “I don't care (about records) before they happen, but once they happen, I'm really proud.”

“It's great that we got this far. You don't get medals for it but it's good to go through that process.”

“We are making great achievements, but we don't want to stop.”

The upcoming vacancy at Munich, as well as links to Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp, has dominated discussion of Alonso's future this week.

Alonso dismissed the rumours, saying that any discussion of a return to the clubs he represented during his playing career was “only hypothetical”.

After the match, Andrić told DAZN, “We don't know anything about it, but we take it seriously.”

“It's like rumors about a player. As long as everything is going well in the dressing room, they can talk about what they like outside of it.”

Granit Xhaka gave the hosts the best possible start when he fired a dipping rocket from the edge of the box after just three minutes, his first goal in Leverkusen colours.

“I was under a lot of pressure from my teammates, who reminded me that I hadn't scored a goal yet,” Xhaka told DAZN.

'more to come'

“I'm very happy and I hope there's more to come.”

However, Leverkusen's excitement was short-lived, as second-bottom Mainz counter-attacked after just four minutes.

Nadim Amiri, who started the season at Leverkusen before moving to Mainz in search of game time, was the architect of the equaliser, floating in a free kick which was deflected in as a header for Dominik Kohr.

In a flurry of performances this season, the goal sapped the momentum of Leverkusen's play, causing the team's normally sharp passes to miss the target.

The pressure showed when Jérémie Frimpong and Alonso both saw yellow late in the first half and objected to the decision not to draw a foul on the Dutch winger.

Mainz had a golden opportunity to take the lead early in the second half when the normally reliable Edmund Tapsoba played a pass straight to Lee Jae-sung, but the midfielder blasted home.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, midfielder Andrić took a long shot from outside the box.

Zentner, who had effectively kept Leverkusen in check throughout the match, made a routine save that helped the hosts regain the lead.

At the end of the match, Mainz were reduced to 10 men, with Jesic Ngancum showing a straight red for diving his studs into the calf of Xhaka, just 15 minutes after coming on.

The decision ended Mainz's hopes of a comeback and ensured that Leverkusen took another major step towards the league title for the first time.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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