bundesliga

Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen extend incredible unbeaten record

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Xabi Alonso's Bundesliga champions have extended their new German record for consecutive competitive matches without loss to 43 games in 2023/24.

When Leverkusen ran out 2-1 winners over Mainz on Bundesliga Matchday 23 to make it 33 games unbeaten, the Bundesliga champions surpassed Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich team of 2020 and 2021 in the record books for the longest run without defeat by a German side in all competitions. Another remarkable fact is that Die Werkself have achieved the feat inside a single campaign.

Watch: Highlights of Leverkusen's record-breaking win

Following their DFB Cup semi-final triumph against Fortuna Düsseldorf, Alonso's side extended their run to 40 fixtures without loss so far this season and they tacked on one more to that number with victory away to Union Berlin on Matchday 28. That equalled the record for longest unbeaten start to a Bundesliga season set by Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich. The total reached 42 after they scored two late goals in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg against West Ham United.

Among the many late-late show highlights during Bayer's incredible run were a derby win at Cologne, a dramatic late draw in their Europa League round of 16 first leg away at Qarabağ, a 2-0 success over Wolfsburg, an even more amazing comeback to win at home to Qarabağ, and then see off Freiburg 3-2 on Matchday 26. 

The late drama continued the following game as they came from behind in the 88th minute to snatch victory at home to Hoffenheim and move 13 points clear of defending champions Bayern in their unrelenting pursuit of a maiden Bundesliga title. Indeed, the Werkself then moved to within one win of lifting the Meisterschale with that aforementioned win away to Union meaning, the division leaders have only dropped points in four of their 29 league fixtures to so far this term.

What’s more, they are the only team across Europe’s top five leagues per UEFA coefficient yet to taste defeat in 2023/24, while their points and goals tallies (79 and 73, respectively) are club records at this stage of a league season.

Leverkusen have now also matched Juventus's European record for the longest unbeaten streak at 43 games across 2011 and 2012.

The club’s only previous major honours were the 1987/88 UEFA Cup and 1992/93 DFB Cup. They are five-time Bundesliga, three-time DFB Cup and one-time UEFA Champions League runners-up, giving rise to the unwanted ‘Neverkusen’ and ‘Eternal Bridesmaids’ nicknames that Alonso’s class of 2023/24 have now shaken off in astounding fashion.