A young Arturo Vidal once scored for Bayer Leverkusen against eventual employers Bayern Munich, but which five Werkself wins over the record champions stick in the memory? - © Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images
A young Arturo Vidal once scored for Bayer Leverkusen against eventual employers Bayern Munich, but which five Werkself wins over the record champions stick in the memory? - © Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen’s top 5 wins against Bayern Munich


Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen meet for the 98th time in competitive action when the Bundesliga’s top two put their 100 percent records on the line at the Allianz Arena on Matchday 4. Can Xabi Alonso’s men got one over the champions yet again?

bundesliga.com takes you through five of Die Werkself’s best wins over the Bavarian giants…

Bayer Leverkusen 5-2 Bayern Munich, 1996/97 Matchday 21

The head-to-head record is admittedly one-sided in favour of Bayern down the years with 60 wins to 20, and you have to go back to 1997 for Leverkusen’s most comprehensive victory as a team featuring Niko and Robert Kovac, Paulo Sergio and Jens Nowotny raced into a 3-0 half-time lead, with the Brazilian and later Bayern attacker opening the scoring inside just five minutes.

Markus Feldhoff wrote his name into Leverkusen folklore with a hat-trick against Bayern in 1997. - imago images/Uwe Kraft

Christian Nerlinger and Mario Basler got two back for Bayern at the BayArena, before striker Markus Feldhoff – keeping the legendary Ulf Kirsten on the bench, alongside Claudio Reyna – struck twice in the closing minutes to bag a hat-trick and a famous 5-2 win for the then third-placed Werkself over the league leaders at the time.

Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 Bayern Munich, 2004/05 Matchday 3

The summer of 2004 had seen World Cup winner Lucio follow the path previously taken a few years earlier by Michael Ballack in making the move from Leverkusen to Munich, but there was little the Brazilian could do early in the 2004/05 season as a Werkself side spearheaded by Dimitar Berbatov and Franca ran riot at the BayArena.

The Bulgarian got the scoring going in the first half before his Brazilian strike partner hit two in quick succession after the restart to take the game well beyond Bayern. Berbatov then bagged his brace and Leverkusen’s fourth with an hour gone. A Ballack goal six minutes from time meant nothing for his team on his return to his former home, with Ze Roberto and Robert Kovac making it four ex-Werkself players on the losing side that day against a Bayer team coached by former Bayern captain Klaus Augenthaler.

Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 Bayern Munich, 2008/09 DFB Cup quarter-final

A result that holds a place in Bayer folklore as it remains the only time they have ever beaten Germany’s most successful side in a cup competition. Construction work at the BayArena meant this quarter-final tie was actually played up the Rhine in Düsseldorf, but it didn’t negatively impact the hosts.

After a goalless first half, things burst into life as Leverkusen struck three times in the space of 16 minutes through Tranquillo Barnetta, Arturo Vidal and Patrick Helmes. Things suddenly got interesting when Bayern had pulled two back only four minutes later thanks to Lucio and Miroslav Klose. The inevitable late push came from the Bavarians but Leverkusen could finally breathe again when Stefan Kießling netted two minutes into added time to settle things. Another notable fact about that game in 2009 was that it was the last time Bayern lost a cup game away from home (excluding penalty shootouts) until the 5-0 defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2021.

Bayern Munich 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen, 2019/20 Matchday 13

Coming into Matchday 13 of 2019/20, it was difficult to know what Bayern we would see. Robert Lewandowski had scored on each of the first 11 matchdays, but the defending champions were in third place after Niko Kovac had been dismissed following a 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 10. Hansi Flick had come in and beaten both Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-0 in his first two Bundesliga fixtures as a head coach, plus 2-0 and 6-0 wins over Olympiacos and away at Red Star Belgrade respectively, with Lewandowski netting four in the latter.

Watch: Bayern 1-2 Leverkusen

However, a resurgent Bayern were no match on the day for Leon Bailey. The Jamaican winger produced two excellent finishes on the break to pounce on errors by the champions. The first with his weaker right foot put Die Werkself in front after only 10 minutes. Thomas Müller equalised on 34, but Bailey restored the advantage only seconds later with a well-placed finish across Manuel Neuer from the left. Lukas Hradecky produced a string of saves to deny the previously rampant Bavarians as Leverkusen inflicted a first defeat on Flick as Bayern boss and one of only two in all competitions under the current Germany coach in the 2019/20 campaign. It was also a first win in Munich for Leverkusen since 2012/13 by the same scoreline. As solace for Bayern, every time they have lost 2-1 at home to Die Werkself, they have gone on to win the treble that season. And three out of the four times they’ve been beaten in this fixture in Munich, they’ve reached the European Cup/UEFA Champions League final.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Bayern Munich, 2022/23 Matchday 25

There were subplots aplenty as Bayern arrived at the BayArena on Matchday 25 last season having seen Borussia Dortmund mount a brilliant comeback in the title race and actually sit ahead of the champions by the time this Sunday fixture kicked off. In the Leverkusen dugout was former Bayern midfield ace Alonso, facing his ex-side for the first time as a coach and doing an excellent job of turning their campaign around.

Watch: Leverkusen 2-1 Bayern

The Spaniard’s side were in fact the dominant team to start and actively peppering the Bayern goal, but it was the visitors who went ahead with their first effort of the game after 22 minutes when Joshua Kimmich’s shot took a wicked deflection off Odilon Kossounou. The second half turned into a remarkable sense of deja-vu. Twice Amine Adli went down in the box from challenges by Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Upamecano, twice referee Tobias Stieler booked him for diving, twice he overturned his decision on review to award a penalty, and both time recently crowned World Cup winner Exequiel Palacios beat Yann Sommer in the left corner as Leverkusen continued their charge up the table and Bayern lost top spot.

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