Leverkusen 2-1 Augsburg (May 18, 2024) Game Analysis

Bayer Leverkusen lift the the Bundesliga Meisterschale after their 2-1 win over Augsburg.

Champions Bayer Leverkusen beat Augsburg 2-1 on the last matchday Saturday to become the first team in the history of the Bundesliga to complete a full season without a loss.

Xabi Alonso’s treble-chasing team also stretched their European record unbeaten run across all competitions this season to 51 matches in a perfect dress rehearsal for next week’s Europa League final against Atalanta.

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Leverkusen, who also face Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final May 25, finished top on 90 points with 28 wins and six draws, 17 points ahead of second-placed VfB Stuttgart.

At the other end of the table Cologne were relegated, joining Darmstadt, following a 4-1 defeat at Heidenheim. VfL Bochum will go into a relegation playoff.

Bayer Leverkusen overcame Augsburg to round off their unbeaten Bundesliga season. Marius Becker/picture alliance via Getty Images

“It’s an exceptional season that we’ve made, not just in Germany but I think in Europe,” Alonso said. “We remember the [2003-04 Arsenal] Invincibles in the Premier League and Juventus [in Serie A in 2011-12], so we deserve this part of history in European soccer.”

Leverkusen got off to a strong start and Victor Boniface intercepted a ball from Augsburg keeper Tomas Koubek to tap in for the lead in the 12th minute as the home fans prepared to kick off the city’s big party to celebrate the club’s maiden league title.

Robert Andrich, part of Germany’s Euro 2024 preliminary squad, doubled the advantage from close range in the 27th but Augsburg came out fighting after the break and cut the deficit with Mert Kömür just past the hour.

Both teams had their share of chances but it was always going to be Leverkusen’s day, with fans hoping their first ever Bundesliga trophy will be the first of three titles in what is already a remarkable season.

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A choral “Hallelujah” played over BayArena’s PA system at the final whistle and a plane trailed a “German Champion” banner over the stadium as fans sang the players’ praises. The sellout crowd of 30,000 was on its feet as Leverkusen’s players received the club’s first ever league winners medals.

Alonso, who took over in October 2022 with Leverkusen in the relegation zone, punched the air to a roar from the crowd as he received his medal. He has already pledged to stay next season after interest from Bayern Munich.

Goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky climbed into the stands and handed the trophy to fans to lift. He led a club chant into a microphone as Alonso climbed up to join him.

Alonso was asked if Leverkusen’s achievements in the Bundesliga had sunk in yet. “I believe it, but I need more time, and for now we don’t have much time,” he said. “For tomorrow we have our next big target.”

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report

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