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Leverkusen remains undefeated with latest attack on DortmundU

Vaseline 2 months ago

Josip Stanisic scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time as Bayer Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run to 45 games in all competitions with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Leverkusen were crowned Bundesliga champions for the first time last week and looked set to lose their unbeaten record when Dortmund’s Niclas Fuellkrug scored with nine minutes remaining.

However, as they have done so often this season, Leverkusen scored late, with Stanisic’s goal coming from a corner deep into extra time.

It was Leverkusen’s fourteenth goal this season after the 90th minute, keeping their dreams of becoming the first team to go through a Bundesliga season unbeaten alive.

“It’s not easy to play when you are already champions, but we have challenged ourselves to remain undefeated this season and that is our goal,” Leverkusen midfielder Granit Xhaka told DAZN.

Leverkusen have had another excellent week after securing the German title by beating West Ham and reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League.

“I feel good, almost as good as last week,” said Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso.

“To score like that at the end was very emotional and to celebrate in front of our fans. Not losing… it’s nice.”

Both sides looked heavy on their feet after their midweek European matches, with Dortmund having reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with a thrilling victory over Atletico Madrid.

Neither side managed to create a clear chance in the first half, with Leverkusen’s Alex Grimaldo and the hosts’ Marcel Sabitzer coming closest.

With less than ten minutes to go, Fuellkrug put Dortmund on track to do what no other team has managed this season.

Sabitzer sent a cross across the goal to Fuellkrug, who fired a volley past Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky into the back of the net.

Alonso brought on Victor Boniface in search of a late goal and the Nigerian was shown a red card for his involvement in a scuffle, but it was overturned by VAR.

Late in stoppage time, Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel saved a free-kick from Grimaldo, leading to a corner headed in by Bayern Munich loanee Stanisic.

The draw leaves Dortmund two points behind fourth-placed RB Leipzig in the race for a guaranteed Champions League final spot, although the German teams’ performances in Europe look set to secure at least a fifth Bundesliga spot.

Dortmund travels to Leipzig next week and will miss Ian Maatsen and captain Emre Can, who received yellow cards, due to suspension.

In Sunday’s late match, Mainz drew 1-1 at Freiburg, lifting themselves out of the relegation places for the first time since August.

Jonathan Burkardt put things in order for the visitors after Michael Gregoritsch’s early goal, moving Mainz into the safety of 15th place and pushing Bochum into the relegation play-off spot.

– Ducksch doubles –
Werder Bremen took a big step towards survival at the top level when Marvin Ducksch scored a brace in a 2-1 home win over high-flying Stuttgart.

The victory, Bremen’s first since mid-February, takes Ole Werner’s side to 34 points, eight points clear of the relegation places in the play-offs and above a group of teams living perilously close to the abyss.

For the third-placed visitors, who are guaranteed at least a Europa League place for next season, the defeat was the first since January.

“That was definitely hard work today,” Ducksch told DAZN. “I have to give the boys a big compliment.”

Stuttgart winger Jamie Leweling brought down Felix Agu in the penalty area in the 27th minute and the referee pointed to the spot.

Ducksch stepped up and pushed the ball past goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel’s outstretched hand.

Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeness made two changes during the break, but Bremen started the second half better. Ducksch completed an intricate full-field passing move to double the lead.

Stuttgart gave themselves hope of at least a point when Deniz Undav, on loan from Brighton, pulled a goal back after 71 minutes, his 17th goal of the Bundesliga campaign.

Top scorer Serhou Guirassy went down in the penalty area in the 87th minute but was ruled out for offside, denying the attacker the chance to equalize from the spot.

AFP