HomeAlonso: Three points all that matter for Leverkusen history-makers

Alonso: Three points all that matter for Leverkusen history-makers

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The three points were all that mattered to Xabi Alonso as Bayer Leverkusen made a piece of German football history on Friday, reaching 33 games unbeaten with a tense 2-1 win over Mainz.

Granit Xhaka’s early strike was cancelled out by Dominik Kohr in a breathless start at the BayArena, but Leverkusen ultimately came out on top as Robin Zentner fumbled Robert Andrich’s long-range strike into his own net.

The win represented another major step towards Leverkusen’s first Bundesliga title, with Alonso’s men now 11 points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich, who host RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Read our other football news stories here:
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Mainz: Alonso’s men move 11 points clear
Leeds United 3-1 Leicester City: Foxes denied by late turnaround
Arteta says officiating standards up since Newcastle charge

They also set a new record for the longest unbeaten run by any Bundesliga team, having not finished on the losing side in any competition since going down 3-0 to Bochum on the final day of last season.

Alonso, however, was more interested in seeing Leverkusen overcome another tough test of their title credentials.

Speaking to DAZN, Alonso said: “It was really intense game, they came with good energy and it was very demanding.

“In the second half we controlled it a bit more, but it wasn’t spectacular. The three points are great after knowing it wasn’t our best game. We’ll move on and enjoy the victory over the weekend.”

On Leverkusen’s record-breaking unbeaten run, Alonso said: “I don’t care before these records happen but when they do happen, I’m really proud.

“The effort the team put in, the commitment, it’s so easy to work with them. I learn so much from them. You don’t get medals for it but the process itself feels nice.”

Alonso managed to remain calm on the sidelines when former Arsenal captain Xhaka celebrated his opener by feigning injury, though Leverkusen’s medical staff were less composed.

“I know Granit has done it before in training and it made me nervous back then,” Alonso laughed. “The physio came to me but I just said, ‘relax’.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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