Brilliant Leverkusen stretch unbeaten run to 50, Bayern go second without Kane

rugby12 May 2024 19:43| Β© AFP
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Josip Stanisic Β© Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen stretched their season-long unbeaten run to 50 games with a 5-0 win at 10-man Bochum on Sunday.

Bochum defeated a 10-man Leverkusen in May 2023, the last side to beat Xabi Alonso's side in any competition, but the tables turned on Sunday with Leverkusen's goals coming from five different scorers.

Alonso's league champions are just one game away from the first unbeaten Bundesliga season and three games from a remarkable treble.

Bochum lost a man early when Felix Passlack saw red for a last-man foul on Nathan Tella.

With attacking midfield maestro Florian Wirtz missing through injury, Alonso started strikers Victor Boniface and Patrik Schick and both had a goal by halftime.

Schick blasted in an Arthur cross with a superb first-touch finish after 41 minutes. Boniface converted a penalty five minutes later after Tella was fouled in the box.

Amine Adli, brought on for Schick with 20 minutes remaining, headed in a corner to make it 3-0.

Josip Stanisic, who scored in stoppage time to keep Leverkusen's unbeaten run alive against Roma in the Europa League on Thursday, added a fourth with three minutes remaining before setting up Alex Grimaldo's goal in the final moments.

Within three days in late May, Leverkusen face Atalanta in the Europa League final in Dublin before taking on second-division Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final.


Thomas Tuchel's heavily changed Bayern Munich line-up made short work of Wolfsburg at home, winning 2-0 to leapfrog Stuttgart into second spot.

Tuchel made eight changes to the side eliminated from the Champions League with a 2-1 loss at Real Madrid on Wednesday, with England captain Harry Kane, out with back issues, missing his first league match of the season.

If the England captain returns next week, Kane – currently on 36 league goals this season – will have just one match remaining to try and reach Robert Lewandowski's all-time record of 41.

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer was proud with his side for bouncing back after the disappointing and controversial loss to Real.

"We were in control for over 90 minutes and got into the game well, that was crucial," Neuer told DAZN.

"Real was difficult to deal with, today we had to ignore it - we did a good job of that."

The win sends Bayern two points clear of Stuttgart in second with one game remaining.

Croatian midfielder Lovro Zvonarek, aged just 19, celebrated his first start by scoring after four minutes. Leon Goretzka was set up by Thomas Mueller just 10 minutes later.

Four minutes after Goretzka's goal, Spain winger Bryan Zaragoza, also making his first league start for Bayern, had a goal was ruled out for offside.

Bayern, who will finish the season without a trophy for the first time since 2012, gradually took the sting out of the match and handed out further debuts in the final stages.

Israel goalkeeper Daniel Peretz came on late in the second half, replacing Bayern captain Manuel Neuer who was playing his 500th Bundesliga game. Teenagers Matteo Perez Vinlof and Jonathan Asp-Jensen also came on.

"Daniel has given the team so much and shown good performances, he simply deserves to get minutes," said Neuer.

The loss means Wolfsburg are yet to win in the Bavarian capital after 27 games.

Earlier on Sunday, Hoffenheim boosted their chances of qualifying for Europe with a 6-0 demolition of already relegated Darmstadt.

Both Ihlas Bebou and Maximilian Beier scored doubles with Pavel Kaderabek and former Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak adding goals against the last-placed team.