Leverkusen remains invincible and goes to the final against Atalanta Bergamo

Leverkusen remains invincible and goes to the final against Atalanta Bergamo
Leverkusen remains invincible and goes to the final against Atalanta Bergamo

Trailing 2-0 completely against the run of play by AS Roma, Bayer Leverkusen overturned the second half of the Europa League to snatch a draw (2-2) Thursday evening at home, and qualify for the final.

On May 22 in Dublin, Xabi Alonso’s men, still undefeated this season in all competitions, will face the Italians of Atalanta Bergamo, who dominated Olympique de Marseille (3-0) in the other semi-final. in Italy.

Three days later, Bayer Leverkusen will play their 53rd and final match of the season, at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in the final of the German Cup, in the apotheosis of an already exceptional season with the first German championship title of the club assured from the 29th day, and with this incredible series.

The dream of a historic treble is still possible, for a club which had only won a German Cup in 1993 and a UEFA Cup (ancestor of the Europa League) in 1988 before this season.

So far, the Werkself (the “factory eleven”, nickname of the club team founded in 1904 by the chemist Bayer) has not lost a single one of its 49 matches this season (32 in the league , 5 in the Cup and 12 in C3), with 40 victories and 9 draws.

Thursday evening, in its packed BayArena (30,210 spectators), Leverkusen suffered a huge scare, falling behind after a long hour of play on two penalties conceded by Jonathan Tah (40th) and Adam Hlozek (63rd). ), both transformed by Leandro Paredes.

Stanisic preserves invincibility

This opening score came against the run of play. Leverkusen created the clearest chances, between six and seven, Exequiel Palacios hitting the post (39th), Roma goalkeeper Mile Svilar saving his team from a magnificent double save against Jonas Hofmann and Adam Hlozek (39th), in an action with six Leverkusen players in the Roman area.

With the second penalty scored by Paredes, the counters were reset to zero, after the 2-0 victory of Granit Xhaka’s teammates in the first leg a week ago at the Olympic stadium in Rome.

The deliverance finally came from a corner taken by Alejandro Grimaldo in the 83rd minute. On a rough exit, his only error of the exit, Svilar hit his defender Smalling. The ball fell to Mancini, who scored against his side to requalify Leverkusen less than ten minutes from the end of the match.

But it was insufficient for Xabi Alonso’s players who set themselves the goal of finishing the season undefeated. While Roma tried everything to win an unexpected extension, it was Croatian Josip Stanisic who equalized in the seventh minute of added time.

This is the 16th time this season that Leverkusen has scored beyond the 90th minute, a record in Europe. In the Europa League, they had already snatched the equalizer against Quarabag in the round of 16 first leg, and the victory in the round of 16 second leg.

There are now four matches left for Bayer Leverkusen to achieve the perfect season: two in the league in Bochum on Sunday and against Augsburg in ten days, then the final of the Europa League on May 22 in Dublin against Bergamo and the final of the German Cup three days later against Kaiserslautern, residents of the second division.

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