Leverkusen, led by Xabi Alonso, secured a commanding 3-0 victory against Bayern Munich, extending their Bundesliga lead to five points.

Bayer Leverkusen, under the guidance of coach Xabi Alonso, moved a step closer to breaking Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominance with a resounding 3-0 victory on Saturday. The festive atmosphere of carnival season in the Rhineland added to the joy of Leverkusen fans, many of whom were dressed in costumes, as Alonso’s team effectively thwarted Bayern’s scoring opportunities.

This triumph marked Leverkusen’s 31st unbeaten game of the season across all competitions—a remarkable turnaround for a team that was in the relegation zone when Alonso assumed control in October 2022. Celebrating the significant win, Alonso joined the jubilant Bayer Leverkusen players and fans, highlighting the team’s growing level, resilience in challenging matches, and exemplary player commitment.

Alonso remarked on the team’s progress, emphasizing the importance of strong team spirit and unwavering player dedication. Despite the setback, Bayern, the 11-time defending champion, remains optimistic about their title aspirations. Coach Thomas Tuchel expressed determination, stating, “We’ll be the last ones to stop believing.”

The match, delayed by fan protests, witnessed an unexpected contributor to Leverkusen’s success. Loaned-out right back Josip Stanišić, previously with Bayern, scored the opening goal in the 18th minute. Leverkusen extended their lead with an assertive counterattack in the second half, as Grimaldo and Tella combined for the second goal. Jeremie Frimpong sealed the comprehensive victory with a third goal in stoppage time.

Alonso’s tactical mastery was evident as Leverkusen effectively neutralized Bayern’s attacking prowess. Despite Bayern fielding five specialist forwards, including the prolific Harry Kane, they struggled to break through Leverkusen’s resolute defense.

Alonso’s strategic adjustments, including a switch to a back four and deploying Stanišić in an unfamiliar defensive role, played a crucial role in the triumph. Leverkusen’s front three of Tella, Wirtz, and Adli earned praise for their relentless running without the ball, causing turnovers.

In other Bundesliga matches, Union Berlin overcame Wolfsburg 1-0 in a game marked by fan protests against the league’s investment deal. Leipzig drew 2-2 with Augsburg, losing ground in the Champions League race. Heidenheim secured a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt settled for a 1-1 draw against Bochum, and Borussia Moenchengladbach and Darmstadt played out a goalless draw.

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