Bayer Leverkusen Makes History with First Bundesliga Triumph

Leverkusen's 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen secured the Bundesliga title with five games left, breaking Bayern's streak of 11 consecutive championships.
Bayer Leverkusen Makes History with First Bundesliga Triumph | Bundesliga

In a momentous victory yesterday, Bayer Leverkusen clinched their inaugural Bundesliga title after 120 years. The 5-0 triumph over Werder Bremen shattered Bayern Munich’s decade-long dominance. Led by Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen displayed remarkable composure, securing the title with five matches to spare.

The match witnessed an outstanding performance, with Florian Wirtz netting a hat-trick alongside goals from Victor Boniface and Granit Xhaka. Their unbeaten streak extended to an impressive 43 games across all competitions. This triumph not only ends Leverkusen’s long-standing ‘Neverkusen’ stigma but also keeps their hopes of a treble alive.

As the clock ticked towards the final minutes, fans, overcome with emotion, began spilling onto the pitch prematurely. Leverkusen’s players swiftly guided them back, but as the game reached its conclusion, tearful supporters flooded the field to rejoice with their victorious team.

Leverkusen now sits atop the league with a record-breaking 79 points after 29 games, boasting a formidable 16-point lead over Bayern Munich and Stuttgart in second and third place respectively.

Arriving at the BayArena 90 minutes prior to kick-off, the Leverkusen bus navigated through a sea of black and red-clad fans lining Bismarck Street. Temporary signs reading ‘Xabi Alonso Street’ adorned the route, paying homage to the revered club coach.

Looking ahead to Thursday’s Europa League clash against West Ham, Alonso made seven changes to the starting lineup, opting to bench stars like Wirtz, Frimpong, and Grimaldo, the latter experiencing his first league benching of the season. Boniface, returning to the starting lineup after a mid-December hiatus, swiftly made his presence felt by netting the opening goal.

Midway through the first half, a challenge on Hofmann resulted in a penalty after VAR intervention. Boniface calmly converted, igniting celebrations among the home supporters. Hofmann almost doubled the lead just before halftime, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Despite a spirited start to the second half from Bremen, Leverkusen extinguished any hopes of a comeback when Xhaka unleashed a thunderous strike from distance, prompting jubilant scenes in the stands. Wirtz, brought on at halftime, mirrored Xhaka’s feat with another long-range effort, further solidifying Leverkusen’s grip on the match.

With seven minutes left, Wirtz added another goal before completing his hat-trick in stoppage time, marking a resounding victory that erased Leverkusen’s ‘nearly men’ reputation in emphatic fashion.

Elsewhere, Freiburg secured a crucial 1-0 win against Darmstadt, deepening the woes of the relegation-threatened hosts. Darmstadt’s dismal form leaves them languishing at the bottom of the table, facing an uphill battle to avoid immediate relegation with just five games remaining.

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