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Leverkusen script history

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4453. This is the number of days that have passed since any team other than Bayern Munich lifted the Bundesliga title. Another way to say it has been 12 years, 2 months and 11 days since Borussia Dortmund lifted their second league title under Jurgen Klopp. However, like all things, eras came to an end and Leverkusen produced an immaculate display to thrash Wolfsburg 5-0 at home Bayern’s dominance came to an end as Bayer Leverkusen won their first title in their history.

The defending champions form this season was far from their best this season. However, that should not take anything away from the new champions. In fact, Xabi Alonso’s men are yet to lose a  single game this season. Yes, a single game across all competitions be it home or away.

Such a season is bound to bring some exciting stats and records that will have been broken. So, let’s take a look at an amazing 2023-24 season of the Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Bayer Leverkusen 2023-24 stats 

Six Alex Ferguson once famously remarked ‘Attack win you games. Defence win you titles’. Leverkusen appear to have taken this quote by hard as they only let in 19 goals, the least in Bundesliga and the second-least across the top five leagues (behind Inter Milan). This stat looks more impressive when we learn that on the Expected Goals (xG) metric, Leverkusen were expected to concede 26.5 goals.They have also kept 15 clean sheets in 29 games.

The massive improvement in their defensive stats has been a collective effort. As mentioned earlier, Leverkusen have massively overperformed on the xG metric largely down to the impressive Lukas Hradecky in goal. The Finnish also boasts of a 79.35 per cent, the third-best in Europe (after Gianluigi Donnarumma of PSG and Yann Sommer of Inter Milan).

However, the team have also conceded just 242 shots, the least across Europe largely down to their impressive backline. In addition, they have also allowed the opposition 444 touches in their box, 34 less than the second-best team in Europe.

A major reason for this brilliant defensive display is that Leverkusen are rarely dominated on the ball. They keep the ball for so long that the opposition rarely had a chance to create something.

Xabi Alonso has been a huge proponent of high press football something akin to Gegenpressing. This is reflected in how Leverkusen have dominated in the opposition’s half. According to the Gegenpressing Intensity (GPI), a metric which measures the intensity of high pressing by a team.

At the time of writing this article, Leverkusen have a GPI rating of 55.69, second only to Liverpool. Playing with such intensity the team rarely allows opposition time on the ball even in their half. This is reflected in another metric; the Field Tilt. This measures how much possession a team has in their rival’s half. Leverkusen have been simply brilliant here having 69.7 per cent possession, bettered only by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Analysing Leverkusen;s title winning campaign, one interesting thing comes to notice. According to the Expected Points (xP), Leverkusen should have been one point behind Bayern Munich  However, Leverkusen showed that champions mentality. Several time across the season they won a game after playing a game at far from their best, something every champion team does.

They are also currently on a 43-game unbeaten streak, the fourth-longest in European football history. Six more games and they will beat Benfica’s record of 48 games set between 1963-65. And if they manage to win the Europa League and DFB Pokal they could become the first team in history to finish the season undefeated across all competitions.

Even if they don;t manage to win the two competitions they could still get the ‘invincibles’ tag if they finish the season without a defeat.

Bayer Leverkusen’s next game in the league comes on the road to Borussia Dortmund. In the Europa League they will travel to face West Ham United in the quarter-final. They will also face FC Kaiserslautern in the final of the DFB Pokal.

Back in the 2001-02 season, Bayer Leverkusen were in the race to win the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and DFB Pokal. However, they ended the season without winning any of them. This time though they have won on one front, now the onus will be to go on and win the remaining two to win a treble and get their name etched in the golden pages of footballing history

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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