Bayer Leverkusen set European record with 49th straight match without defeat, advance to Europa League final

Bayer Leverkusen’s have now gone 49 matches without a defeat, drawing AS Roma 2-2 on Thursday in the Europa League semifinal second leg. Down 2-0, Xabi Alonso’s men managed to score two goals late to draw the match to surpass Benfica’s record from 1963-1965 and hold the mark for the longest unbeaten streak in Europe in the post-World War II era. The German side advanced 4-2 on aggregate and will face Atalanta on May 22.

In true Leverkusen fashion, they were able to overturn two early Roma penalties for Josip Stanisic to score the equalizer in the 97th minute of play. Xabi Alonso’s men have taken on all challenges in their path already winning the Bundesliga. Now, they can also add both the Europa League and German Cup to their honors as they search to become the first team ever to go undefeated for a full season while also taking part in European competition.

Nicknamed ‘Neverkusen’ due to not winning a Bundesliga title in their 120-year history before this season despite finishing as runners-up five times, it’s now shifting to a new nickname, ‘Neverlusen’. In late-game situations, they’ve been able to turn matches around time and time again.

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From the 80th minute onward, Leverkusen have outscored their opponents 32-5 in all competitions and when it gets down to stoppage time, things get even better for Alonso’s men. After the 90th minute, Leverkusen have outscored their opponents 14-0, turning five matches into victories and another three into draws. In their 49-match unbeaten streak, they’ve won 40 of the games.

This is already up there as one of the best seasons in European soccer history but with an invincible treble on the line, they can accomplish something that has never been done before. With Alonso already on board to continue coaching the team next season despite interest from elsewhere, this story isn’t done being written as they will now face Bochum and Augsburg in the Bundesliga, Kaiserslautern in the DFB Pokal and Atalanta in the Europa League final. The finish is in sight.

Undefeated this season, Leverkusen have not lost since they fell to Bouchum on May 27, 2023.

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