bundesliga

Why are Bayer Leverkusen so good this season?

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Bayer Leverkusen's 5-2 win at Borussia Dortmund took Die Werkself onto a new level, with Gerardo Seoane's men flying high and on form in 2022.

Never before have Leverkusen scored 54 goals over the first 21 games of a Bundesliga season, with the attacking philosophy of their head coach not only catching the eye, but also producing the goods.

Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick have largely been running the show, but it has been a collective effort that has ensured the German youngster and the Czech striker are delivering such impressive statistics. Wirtz, 18, has set up nine goals already this season, ranking him second only to Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller (16).

Six of those assists have fed a third of Schick's 18 goals so far this season, with an intuitive partnership developing. Again, only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (24) has scored more goals in the Bundesliga this season.

Watch: Schick's 17 Hinrunde strikes

Wirtz and Schick are ably supported by the lightning fast Moussa Diaby, who has been tormenting Bundesliga full-backs all season not only thanks to his blistering pace, but also his glue-like close control and dribbling dexterity.

The French winger has nine goals and six assists to his name this season, including his first Bundesliga hat-trick against Augsburg, and ranks in the top 15 quickest players in the Bundesliga this season, hitting a top speed of 21.84 mph (35.14 km/h).

A look at that particular ranking provides further evidence to explain Leverkusen's current form explosion, since there are two other Werkself players who have been clocked at even quicker speeds than Diaby: Jeremie Frimpong (22.22 mph/35.76 km/h) and Mitchel Bakker (22.11 mph/35.58 km/h), Leverkusen's two wing backs.

This can be seen as further evidence of how Leverkusen's attacking play has been so effective this season, with both chipping in with a goal apiece, Frimpong setting up a further six and Bakker three.

When Jeremie Frimpong (r.) turns on the afterburners, there are few who can keep up with him. - Daniel Kopatsch/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Leverkusen's attacking play is aimed at smothering their opponents. With such blistering pace on either flank, skilful individuals capable of taking on and beating their marker, and one of the best providers and the best finishers in the business, Seoane has all the components in all the right places to make his style a success.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that Leverkusen find themselves third in the league and on course for UEFA Champions League qualification after stifling second-placed Dortmund, boasting the joint-second most prolific attack in the league this season.

Watch: Leverkusen take Dortmund apart

They also found the back of the net 14 times in six UEFA Europa League fixtures, qualifying for the last 16 at a canter, and while the Bundesliga title may prove to be beyond their reach this season – Bayern being 14 points away – they still stand a decent chance of success in Europe, with the Seville final just three steps away.

Given the way they are playing, this really could be the year that the club final wins some silverware and shakes off that 'Neverkusen' reputation for being eternal nearly-rans. "That's something that still rankles," said Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Völler, who is set to leave his position after over two decades in the summer. "I still harbour hope that I can bid farewell with a title."

Thanks to the spectacular speed of Seoane's style of play, that may still become reality.