With perfection mere games away, Bayer Leverkusen set new unbeaten European record

Having secured the league title and having booked their spots in two finals, namely the UEFA Europa League final and the DFP Pokal final, Leverkusen are staring at a treble, and at the unthinkable: finishing the season unbeaten in all competitions.
Last Updated : 10 May 2024, 08:25 IST
Last Updated : 10 May 2024, 08:25 IST

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Records are meant to be broken. While it's unlikely that Bayer Leverkusen set out to shatter some of the longest-held records in European football when they began this season, the sublime German side has managed to do precisely that, racking up win after win with no end in sight.

Continuing their impeccable form this season, Leverkusen snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat against Roma on Thursday, scoring a 97th minute equaliser to extend their unbeaten run.

The 2-2 draw with Roma on Thursday not only earned the German side a spot in the UEFA Europa League final on an aggregate score of 4-2, but also took them to a record 49-game unbeaten streak, the longest-ever in Europe.

With 40 wins and 9 draws in 49 competitive games this season, Leverkusen on Thursday surpassed Benfica's 48-game unbeaten streak set between 1963 and 1965, a record that stood for almost 60 years.

And they did it in style. The Xabi Alonso-led side scored has an impressive 82 times in 32 games in the Bundesliga, conceding just 23 times in the process. In the Europa League, Leverkusen scored a whopping 31 times in 12 games, and if that wasn't enough, the German side netted 23 times in five games in the DFB Pokal to book their spot in the final.

Over the course of these 49 games, Leverkusen also clocked an xG of 108.8, averaging 2.22 per match, and demonstrating their offensive prowess over the course of what has been a relatively long-drawn season for the club.

Leverkusen have shone on the defensive front as well, and have recorded 22 clean sheets in these 49 matches, an impressive 44.89 per cent success rate.

But they aren't done just yet.

Having secured the league title, ending Bayern Munich's dominance for 11 years, Leverkusen are on track to become the first side in Bundesliga history to finish a league season unbeaten, if they can win their final two league games.

Further, having booked their spots in two finals—namely the UEFA Europa League final and the DFP Pokal final—the German side are also staring at a treble, and at the unthinkable: finishing the season unbeaten in all competitions.

Before you ask, it has never been done before. Ajax came close in 1994-95 with unbeaten streaks in the Eredivisie and the Champions League, but lost in the KNVB Cup. A few years back in 2016-17, Scottish side Celtic came close, grabbing a domestic treble, but tasted defeat in the Champions League where they were knocked out in the group stage.

So, can Xabi Alonso's men dare to do what no one's ever done before? Going by what they delivered so far, it would seem that impossible is truly nothing for Die Schwarzroten.

Published 10 May 2024, 08:25 IST

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