Nothing to separate top-six contenders Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen missed the chance to close the gap on the UEFA Champions League qualification places after being held to a goalless draw in Wolfsburg.
On a five-match winning run in the Bundesliga but perhaps feeling the after-effects of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg draw with Union Saint-Gilloise, Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen lacked their usual pep. Moussa Diaby had a goal-bound attempt charged down, while a deflected Sardar Azmoun strike came back off the crossbar with the clearest opening so far. Bayer duo Adam Hlozek and Nadiem Amiri chanced their arm from range in the latter part of a low-key first half, albeit failing to find the target. For their part, Wolfsburg were tenacious in the tackle and will have been encouraged by their efforts to keep Diaby and Co. at bay.
Wolfsburg finally tested Lukas Hradecky when Omar Marmoush was played in over the top for a shot at the goalkeeper that wouldn't have counted due to an offside. Leverkusen took a similar route soon after, with Koen Casteels sticking out a boot to deny Diaby's low drive on the run. The introduction of Florian Wirtz helped Bayer find another gear as Kerem Demirbay's deflected strike drew a flying save from Casteels. With the game opening up, Hradecky had to be alert to Wolfsburg substitute Patrick Wimmer's shot on the turn. Casteels then denied substitute Amine Adli a late winner as Bayer ended the weekend in sixth, seven points adrift of the top four but four better off than ninth-placed Wolfsburg.
- Alonso has made the best start to his tenure of any Leverkusen head coach (39 points after 20 Bundesliga matches).
- Casteels leads the Bundesliga for clean sheets, with 11.
- Wolfsburg are winless in five at home (D4, L2) – their longest such run since 2020 (seven games).
- The respective home team has failed to win in the last 13 Bundesliga meetings between these clubs (five draws, nine away wins). The only fixture to ever see a longer run without a home win was Stuttgart vs. Cologne (19 between 2001 and 2016).
- Only Bayern Munich (44) and Borussia Dortmund (42) have earned more points than Leverkusen (39) in the 20 matchdays since Alonso took over. In the last 16 games, no team has picked up more (35, same as Dortmund).
- Die Werkself are unbeaten in their last seven league visits to Wolfsburg (W5, D2) and have kept clean sheets in the last five.
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Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Svanberg, Bornauw, Van de Ven, Otavio (Paredes 54' (Lacroix 79')) - F. Nmecha, Guilavogui, Gerhardt (Baku 79') - Marmoush (Wimmer 70'), Wind, Kaminski
Unused subs: Pervan, Cozza, Ambros, Waldschmidt, Pejcinovic
Out: Arnold (unconfirmed), Franjic (muscular), L. Nmecha (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapie - Andrich, Demirbay - Diaby, Azmoun (Wirtz 62'), Amiri (Tah 78') - Hlozek (Adli 78')
Unused subs: Pentz, Bakker, Sinkgraven, Fosu-Mensah, Hudson-Odoi, Bellarabi
Out: Lunev (back), Palacios (muscular), Schick (groin)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
Bayern pip Dortmund to title with Cologne win
Jamal Musiala scored late in Cologne as Bayern claimed their 11th straight title, despite being second at the start of play.
Bundesliga place on the line for Stuttgart and Hamburg
Stuttgart host HSV on Thursday in the first leg of the play-off to determine who will compete in next season's Bundesliga.
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