Bayer Leverkusen clinch historic Bundesliga title with rout of Werder Bremen

Estimated read time 3 min read

Bayer Leverkusen have secured a remarkable Bundesliga title after beating Werder Bremen in a 5-0 victory that extended the newly crowned German champions’ unbeaten run to 43 games, a record 29 in the league.

Leverkusen’s victory gives them an unassailable 16-point lead at the top of the table and ends Bayern Munich’s push for a 12th successive league triumph.

While Bayern ensured that the title race would be extended by one more day with victory over Köln on Saturday, Xabi Alonso’s side wrapped up the title with five games to spare by beating Werder at the BayArena thanks to a penalty from Victor Boniface, Granit Xhaka’s spectacular second-half strike and a hat-trick from Florian Wirtz.

Hired in October 2022 with Leverkusen in a relegation battle, Alonso has rapidly turned around the club’s fortunes and secured a first Bundesliga title for Die Werkself, who have previously been runners-up on five occasions. With a spot in the German Cup final already secured and with a healthy 2-0 lead from the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final against West Ham, a potential treble remains a distinct possibility.

Victory over Leipzig on the opening day of the season signalled Leverkusen’s intent. The team have since put together two long winning runs of eight and 10 games, respectively. The second of those included a statement 3-0 dismantling of Bayern at the BayArena in February that allowed Alonso’s men to start to pull away at the top.

The Spanish coach, whose contract runs until 2026, has already ended speculation about joining one of his former clubs, either Bayern Munich or Liverpool, this summer. The 42-year-old, who also has ­admirers at Real Madrid and Chelsea, will get his first experience of coaching in the Champions League next season.

Granit Xhaka celebrates scoring Leverkusen’s second goalView image in fullscreen

One of the most impressive things about Leverkusen’s season has been the performances extracted from players previously considered largely unremarkable. With the Nigerian forward Boniface leading the attack and the young German midfielder Wirtz and Xhaka orchestrating the midfield, the team has thrived. Álex Grimaldo, a veteran Spanish defender who arrived on a free transfer last summer from Benfica, has been a revelation at left-back, while the former Celtic defender Jeremie Frimpong has chipped in with goals from the opposite side.

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Throughout Alonso’s squad are players previously unloved in Leverkusen or elsewhere, all of whom are now unlikely Bundesliga champions. And while Wirtz, Boniface and Jonathan Tah might earn admiring glances from bigger clubs this summer, the success under Alonso, in addition to his continued presence at the BayArena for at least another season, means there is no pressure to break up the squad. Repeating this dream campaign might not be achievable, but given what Alonso has achieved so far it cannot be ruled out.

  • Jonathan Liew’s report from Leverkusen to follow


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