Bayer Leverkusen provided their fans with one more epic late show on Sunday. - © Christof Koepsel
Bayer Leverkusen provided their fans with one more epic late show on Sunday. - © Christof Koepsel

Matchday 30 talking points: Leverkusen leave it late again, Bayern back to their best


Josip Stanišić's 97th-minute equaliser for champions Leverkusen, Bayern going goal crazy and a relegation battle with drama aplenty: brings you the Matchday 30 talking points...

1) Leverkusen with one more late show 

After an unforgettable week down Leverkusen way, Xabi Alonso's newly crowned Bundesliga champions looked to have finally met their match in the form of Borussia Dortmund this weekend. The celebrations that followed the previous Sunday's confirmation of their very first Bundesliga title win were followed with a draw against West Ham United that took the Werkself into the UEFA Europa League semi-finals. 

All the was left to cap a perfect seven days for Bayer04 was to stretch that famed unbeaten run of theirs to 45 games at the Signal Iduna Park on Matchday 30. However, when Niclas Füllkrug ended his personal top-flight drought with an 81st minute goal to break the deadlock in BVB's favour, the visitors were entering familiar territory: behind with not long to go.

For that reason, it should perhaps have come as little surprise that the late-late show specialists found a way. Yet even by their standards, the seventh minute of time added on was pushing it. Stanišić netted from a Florian Wirtz corner to make it 20 times Leverkusen have scored from minute 86 onwards in all competitions this season.    

Watch: B04 leave it late again 

2) Bayern back to their best

A campaign for the Munich giants that has seen more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster is on track for a potentially unbelievable ending. Granted, the Meisterschale is going to Leverkusen, but in the week that Bayern outlined their credentials of winning the UEFA Champions League by knocking Arsenal out to make the final four, they showed their best Bundesliga form in a thumping 5-1 win at Union Berlin

Even with twinkle-toed playmaker Jamal Musiala rested, Bayern conjured up a powerful display of attacking football that quite simply blew Union away. Harry Kane curled a delightful free-kick for his 33rd goal of the season before Thomas Müller - who did not feature in the Champions League tie in midweek - showed his continued worth with a brace on his 400th Bundesliga start.

Anyone expecting Bayern to ease up on their final few Bundesliga fixtures in order to focus on potential Champions League glory are set to be sorely mistaken. If anything, the conclusion of the title race has liberated the Bavarians' attacking machine. 

Watch: Bayern hit five in Berlin

The 87 goals to Bayern's name after 30 matches makes them comfortably the league's top scorers this season and then some. Their average of 2.9 goals per game puts them on course to finish the campaign with 99 goals - within touching distance of all the all-time record of 101 goals in a season (set by Bayern in 1971/72), while Kane still has every hope of breaking Robert Lewandowki's historic best for goals in a season. 

3) Füllkrug firing again 

After enduring six Bundesliga games without a goal, and nine in all competitions without finding the net, Füllkrug is scoring, and soaring, once again with two goals in two games for BVB. The 31-year-old netted in Dortmund's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Atlético Madrid in the week as the German giants advanced to the competition's semi-finals and he battered a volley home to end his top-flight dry spell against Leverkusen in Sunday's 1-1 draw. 

The Black-and-Yellows's top scorer in the Bundesliga with 12 goals this campaign, Füllkrug has found form ahead of next weekend's blockbuster against RB Leipzig, a game that pits fourth against fifth in a battle that has all the elements to be one of the matches of this fascinating season. 

Niclas Füllkrug is among the goals again for Borussia Dortmund. - IMAGO/Jerry Andre

4) Drama in battle to beat the drop

In a campaign of twists and turns, so much can hinge on a favourable result at this stage of the season for teams involved in the scrap for survival. Union Berlin were among those left more fearful at the end an eventful weekend after their big home defeat.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, were among the winners with Jonas Wind's first goal since November coming with impeccable timing as they leapfrogged the Berliners with a 1-0 win over Bochum in a relegation six-pointer - and Ralf Hasenhüttl landed his first home win in charge of the Wolves. 

There were less cheerful scenes in Cologne as the Billy Goats were surprisingly beaten by bottom-of-the-table Darmstadt in another crunch encounter, despite the Lillies going into it without a win in 22 Bundesliga games. The 2-0 victory saw the visitors survive another matchday - as their relegation would have been confirmed with a defeat.

Things are looking up for Mainz, too, after a 1-1 draw at Freiburg extended the 05ers unbeaten sequence to five games and took Bo Henriksen's side out of the bottom three, at least on goal difference. Next weekend's fixture against Cologne represents both teams' next relegation six-pointer. 

Wolfsburg's 1-0 win over Bochum was their first victory at home since November. - Stuart Franklin

5) On song for Europe

A few sides' European ambitions gained a boost before a ball was kicked in the Bundesliga this weekend, as the heroics of Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen in their quarter-final ties raised the prospect of a fifth Bundesliga side qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season - a scenario that will see spots in the Europa and Conference League extend further down the Bundesliga table.

Indeed, should Dortmund lift the UEFA Champions League while finishing fifth, it is expected an extra spot in the competition would go to the side finishing sixth. Eintracht Frankfurt ensured they are in pole position to benefit in that eventuality by beating fellow European hopefuls Augsburg 3-1 on Friday evening. 

Watch: Eintracht win big against Augsburg 

The prospect of a European adventure next season clearly added excitement to the air in Hoffenheim too, as the fans saw the Sinsheim outfit trade blows with Gladbach in a belting seven-goal spectacular. Anton Stach's stoppage-time winner pulled Pellegrino Matarazzo's side level on points with Augsburg and well in contention for a qualifying spot for Europe, as are Freiburg, who sit a point further ahead in seventh. 

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