From Neverkusen to Neverlusen, Bayer lift the Bundesliga

2 min read

This weekend there was one fixture which was the focal point for football fans across Europe. Bayer Leverkusen versus Werder Bremen. An opportunity to make history and win their first ever Bundesliga title was on the table for Xabi Alonso’s side. Despite Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over Köln the day before, with Bayern only able to achieve a maximum of 78 points, a win for Leverkusen would take them to 79 points and seal the title.

With the BayArena unsurprisingly sold out for this game all eyes were on the men in red and black, and they didn’t disappoint. After early pressure from the home side the breakthrough came when Jonas Hofmann was taken down in the penalty area by Julián Malatini, Victor Okoh Boniface then dispatching the penalty calmly to get the ball rolling. Alonso’s side went close to doubling their lead after Amine Adli rattled the bar from close range. This being Adli’s last contribution as Leverkusen went into half-time leading 1-0 and Florian Wirtz replaced the attacker at the break.

The pressure continued from the home side in the second half, and it paid off on the hour mark as Granit Xhaka’s curling effort from outside the box found the back of the net to make it 2-0. It was in almost the same spot around eight minutes later Florian Wirtz picked up the ball and smashed into the back of the Bremen net to make it three. This was only the beginning for Wirtz. He doubled his tally for the afternoon when played through in the 84th minute. One on one with the goalkeeper, Wirtz calmly slotted it home and the celebrations began. With fans running on to the field to celebrate this goal with Florian, it was only a matter of time until we saw a full pitch invasion… and that came just five minutes later.

As red smoke filled the BayArena and full-time neared Alejandro Grimaldo played Florian Wirtz through. Bearing down on goal with two already under his belt it was an opportunity for Florian to score his first ever senior hat-trick, and boy did he take it. Smashing the ball past keeper Michael Zetterer to make it 5-0 to Bayer Leverkusen. Fans swarmed the field of play to celebrate with their side as “Neverkusen” was no longer, Bayer Leverkusen had finally won the Bundesliga!

It will be interesting to see how Xabi Alonso’s side approach the rest of the campaign. With an unprecedented treble potentially on the cards will Leverkusen focus on winning all three? They have their place in the DFB Pokal final booked versus second tier strugglers Kaiserslautern, and are now the bookmaker’s favourites for the UEFA Europa League too. Or will they aim to protect their unbeaten season? Doing this would be the first time a Bundesliga side has gone unbeaten in a season and would lead to a good chance at claiming the highest ever Bundesliga points tally too. The current record is 91, set by Bayern Munich in 2012/13, which is attainable for Leverkusen who can hit a maximum of 94 points. Or could they do it all? Currently on an unbeaten run of 43 games in all competitions, I wouldn’t bet against them…