The German top-tier football league has been always dominated by the country’s most successful club Bayern Munich but this season unbeaten leaders Bayer Leverkusen can turn the tables. One third of the 2023-24 Bundesliga season will be completed soon as Bayer Leverkusen are leading the Bundesliga after winning 10 matches in 11 weeks. Xabi Alonso’s men have 31 points to be above favorites Bayern Munich, and scored 34 goals to have a 24-goal difference. Bayern Munich, who won their 11th straight Bundesliga title in May, are also unbeaten in the league this season and they have 29 points to be on Leverkusen’s tail. Like in the previous seasons, the Bavarians are still favorites for the 2024 German title. In matchday four, Bayern Munich were held to a 2-2 home draw with Leverkusen. The visitors came from behind twice. Exequiel Palacios scored the late equalizer at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Sept. 15 as the sides shared points. The teams’ next meeting in Bundesliga will be at Leverkusen’s BayArena on Feb. 10
. Still there is a long way in the 34-week Bundesliga campaign that will end in May but Leverkusen are now thrilling their fans and football circles in Europe. Leverkusen have never won the Bundesliga but the Werkself finished it second for many times, with the last in 2011 when Borussia Dortmund were the German champions. They reached final in the 2002 UEFA Champions League. Leverkusen won the 1988 UEFA Cup, the club’s sole international success. Introduced in 1971, Europe’s second-tier UEFA Cup was rebranded the UEFA Europa League in 2009. Leverkusen equal record for best start to Bundesliga season After a large win over Union Berlin by 4-0 at BayArena on Nov. 12, Leverkusen have leveled the record for the best season start in the Bundesliga, which was previously set by Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the 2015-16 campaign. Leverkusen won 10 matches and draw once in the first 11 weeks, taking 31 of most possible 33 points. Regarded one of the best head coaches in football, Guardiola has been a Manch
ester City manager since 2016 to win five English Premier League titles and the English club’s first UEFA Champions League title in June in Istanbul. Guardiola, who won the Spanish La Liga for multiple times as a Barcelona midfielder and head coach, has already bagged successive Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich in 2014-2016. In the 2015 fall, Guardiola’s Bayern Munich had 31 points in 11 matches, and scored 33 goals but conceded four. They never looked back. At the end of the 2015-16 season the Bavarians secured the German league title. Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal and Brazil winger Douglas Costa were the big names to arrive in Munich in the 2015 summer. They were joined by 19-year-old French winger Kingsley Coman, and 20-year-old defensive midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who are now Bayern Munich’s integral parts. Leverkusen’s boss Alonso was a Bayern Munich midfielder during that season. Leverkusen’s key players in offense: Boniface, Grimaldo, Hofmann and Wirtz Having scored 34 goals in 11 weeks,
Leverkusen is the most prolific team in goalscoring after second-place Bayern Munich, who have tallied 42 league goals so far. Spanish head coach Alonso, an ex-Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder, has many key players, who shaped Leverkusen’s offense this season. Nigerian forward Victor Boniface, Spanish left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, German winger Jonas Hofmann, and the team’s German star Florian Wirtz are playing important roles in the team’s success. Boniface is leading Leverkusen with seven goals, and he has five assists. Having joined from Portugal’s Benfica on free transfer in July, Grimaldo, who plays on the left flank, scored six goals – including two from freekick – to contribute Leverkusen’s offensive play. Grimaldo also made four assists. Hofmann, who had played for Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany, had five goals and five assists for Leverkusen. Attacking midfielder Wirtz, another Leverkusen member to make impact, had three goals and produced five assists this s
eason. In addition, Jeremie Frimpong, a Leverkusen right-back, tallied three goals and five assists. Germany’s Jonathan Tah is playing as a central defender but is also on Leverkusen’s score sheet for several times. Tah scored three league goals.
Source: EN – Anadolu Agency