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Bayer Leverkusen Crowned Champions Of Bundesliga, Ending Bayern Munich’s Reign

 

Bayer Leverkusen lifted the Bundesliga title for the first time in their 120-year history on Sunday, a 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen breaking Bayern Munich’s 11-year stranglehold on the German top flight.


Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen knew victory would secure the title with five games to spare, and there were no signs of nerves in a dominant performance.

A hat-trick from Florian Wirtz and goals from Victor Boniface and Granit Xhaka extended their unbeaten run to a stunning 43 games in all competitions.

Leverkusen’s maiden title, coming after five second-place finishes in their history, keeps their dream of a remarkable treble alive while shedding their unwanted ‘Neverkusen’ nickname for good.

With 10 minutes to go, the long-suffering fans began making their way to the sidelines and a few jumped the gun, storming the pitch with the match still ongoing.

Leverkusen’s players ushered the fans back and some obliged, albeit briefly, with the stands swiftly emptying on the 90-minute mark as tearful fans made their way onto the grass to celebrate with the players.

Leverkusen are now on 79 points — the best tally after 29 games in German league history — and are 16 clear of second-placed Bayern and third-placed Stuttgart.

“It’s impossible to describe. Personally I can’t quite grasp what we did. I needed to go back to the locker room to clear my head,” Xhaka said. “We’ve already started the party with the supporters.”

Xhaka, who arrived from Arsenal in summer having disappointingly missed out on the Premier League title after leading for much of last season, said the side “could not imagine what we would achieve at the start of the season.”

Xabi Alonso, who took over as coach when Leverkusen was in the relegation zone in October 2022, reflected on ending Bayern’s dominance.

“Perhaps it’s healthy for the Bundesliga, also for German football, for another team to win,” said Alonso, who won three Bundesliga titles with Bayern as a player from 2015-17.

“It’s a great joy and we have to enjoy it. We need a bit more time to realise what we’ve achieved. But it’s a super moment and yes, we’ll see what happens next,” Alonso said, referring to the other trophies that his team can win this season.

“But now is the time to celebrate.”

The Nigerian international, Victor Boniface opened the scoring from the spot in the 25th minute as Leverkusen stamped their authority on what turned out to be a momentous outing. The hosts never looked to be under threat by Ole Werner’s side from minute one to 90 and added a second goal courtesy of former Arsenal midfielder Xhaka on the hour mark.


Wirtz, who was introduced at half-time, added the finishing touch to a resounding 3-0 triumph with a thunderous right-footed effort from outside of Werder Bremen’s penalty area before adding two more to his season tally in the final 10 minutes of the German top flight affair.

Such is the monumental occasion for Alonso and his men, the sight of two long-range efforts bulging the back of Werder Bremen's net was a welcome sight. Xhaka, who has enjoyed a quietly brilliant season in Germany's top division, set his side on the way to a monumental day in their history and struck in the 60th minute.

Boniface, carrying the ball with little pressure around him, saw the 31-year-old isolated in space and played an inch-perfect pass into his vicinity. Without a second thought, Xhaka opened up his body and curled his left-footed effort beyond Werder Bremen goalkeeper Michael Zetterer.


Then Wirtz stepped up with Leverkusen two goals in front. The German international, one of the best young talents in world football, picked the ball up in the middle of the park and marauded forward with only one idea in his mind. Letting rip with his thunderous right foot, the Leverkusen fans behind the goal were sent into elation as Zetterer had little to no chance of getting to it.

The young midfielder then added to his tally in the 83rd minute and then added Leverkusen's fifth in the 90th minute, notching his first-ever senior hat-trick. In what has been a sensational season for Die Werkself, Wirtz's emergence as a world-beating midfielder has stood out among many other aspects of their title-securing campaign of dreams.

In celebration of their unforgettable day, the Leverkusen contingent inside BayArena ensured to make the most of the occasion. Swarming the pitch upon the final whistle, the scenes were incredible. The fans filled the pitch from goalmouth to goalmouth and were in fine voice as they came to terms with what their side had achieved. A brilliant moment for all involved.

Alonso's side will now switch their attention back to the Europa League, preparing to head to West Ham for the second leg of their quarter-final, before returning to league action next Sunday.

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