Xabi Alonso’s invincibles: Bayer Leverkusen finishes the Bundesliga undefeated

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen can now be compared to Fabio Capello’s Milan, Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal and Antonio Conte’s Juventus. The German team has managed to finish undefeated in the Bundesliga. Nobody has beaten them in Germany this season, not even Bayern Munich. The German team’s last defeat dates back to May last year, when they lost on their visit to Bochum. Since then, 28 wins and 6 draws. Figures that translate into obtaining the league. The icing on the cake of the season may come in the coming weeks when they play the Europa League final against Atalanta and the Cup final against second division Kaiserslautern.

The surprising data left by Xabi Alonso’s team is of greater merit than those legendary Milan, Arsenal or Juve squads. Leverkusen is not Bayern Munich. It is not even a Borussia Dortmund that from time to time takes a Bundesliga in its pocket. This is his first league championship. So, Bayer Leverkusen will go down in the history books as one of the greatest feats in sport.

This Sunday they beat Augsburg at home 2-1 and sealed a round Bundesliga. Atalanta is already waiting in Dublin, where they will try to win their first Europa League. And in two weeks they will face Kaiserslautern to try to sign a double or treble that will be remembered for centuries in North Rhineland.

The ten goals scored in injury time that saved the ‘invincible’ banner will remain in the fans’ memories. There were seventeen among all the competitions. But to the seventeen goals we must add another fourteen scored between the 80th and 90th minute. Draws or victories ‘in extremis’ that came in the second part of the season, because in the first months Xabi’s Bayer was a roller that passed above anyone.

Due to the overload of matches, his legs began to weaken. Leverkusen lost a certain point of brilliance in some matches in the last two months, but they made up for it with an iron mentality.

Heroic

There are many footballers who have contributed to this record, although two of them stand out above the rest in this section. The first is Patrik Schick, who became the great hero of the round of 16 tie against Qarabaj. In the first leg he scored in the 92nd minute to tie the game and in the second leg he scored two more goals in stoppage time (93rd and 97th) to turn the game around and give his team the pass. The second is Josip Stanisic. The Croatian is a discard from Bayern who arrived on loan to Leverkusen without making too much noise. His season is being sensational and the goals against Dortmund in ’97 and against Roma in ’96 have elevated him. When many footballers would have gotten nervous, Stanisic, a defender, had the coolness of the great forwards to leave the team sitting. Roma defender with a cut and finish with mastery.

Bayer Leverkusen has already achieved an undefeated record in the Bundesliga. Now he has to do what no one has ever achieved: do it in all competitions. He only has two games left, the finals. The Cup match will face Kaiserslautern, from the second division, and the Europa League match against Atalanta. Gasperini’s team seems the only one capable of finishing undefeated and slightly bittering what in any case will be a season for the ages.

2024-05-18 16:47:25
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