HomeEuropean FootballBundesligaBayer Leverkusen 5-0 Werder Bremen: Alonso's side dethrone Bayern Munich as Bundesliga...

Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 Werder Bremen: Alonso’s side dethrone Bayern Munich as Bundesliga champions

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Bayer Leverkusen won their first Bundesliga title with five matches to spare as Victor Boniface’s penalty, a second-half strike from Granit Xhaka and a late Florian Wirtz hat-trick ensured Xabi Alonso’s side dethroned Bayern Munich with a 5-0 win at home to Werder Bremen.

Nigeria striker Boniface put Leverkusen, who are unbeaten in any competition this season, on course to become champions by hammering in a 25th-minute penalty after visiting full-back Julian Malatini was adjudged to have impeded Jonas Hofman following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check.

Amine Adli struck the crossbar before the break, and Xhaka curled in a fine finish to give Leverkusen breathing space in the 60th minute.

Leverkusen’s triumph has looked a foregone conclusion for weeks but Wirtz fired a 23-minute hat-trick to make their decisive victory all the sweeter in the finest achievement yet of Alonso’s first managerial role.

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Werder Bremen had suffered four consecutive defeats entering Leverkusen’s potential party, and it never looked likely that the 13th-placed visitors would spoil their opponents’ occasion.

Boniface blasted the opener with a rocket of a spot kick which measured 101km/h. That was just the start of another spectacular performance which culminated in Wirtz’s first senior treble.

Leverkusen win Bundesliga

Alonso and his players had to warn the home fans not to spill on to the pitch before full time. The final whistle signalled what may only be the first of Leverkusen’s celebrations this season, with the German cup final to come and a 2-0 lead to protect in the second leg of their Uefa Europa League quarter-final at West Ham on Thursday.

When Alonso took over in October 2022, Leverkusen were second-bottom and had five points from eight games in a season when Bayern would win their 11th consecutive title.

They have won 38 and drawn five of their 43 matches in all competitions in the former Spain midfielder’s first full campaign in charge, making Alonso one of the most sought-after coaches in the world.

Bayern sent public messages of congratulations to Leverkusen and face a battle to finish second, standing level on points with a Stuttgart team who they will visit on May 4.

Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann responded by saying that Alonso’s “stamp is clearly visible” on the newly-crowned champions.

“Bayer Leverkusen is the best German team this season and absolutely deserves the title,” he said.

“The players play as a unit, are tactically disciplined and strong in duels, but at the same time are flexible and creative. The team’s performances are proof of how important the right mix of quality and mentality is.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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