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Rediff.com  » Sports » PIX: Leverkusen stretch unbeaten run to 50; PSG lose

PIX: Leverkusen stretch unbeaten run to 50; PSG lose

Last updated on: May 13, 2024 10:27 IST
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IMAGE: Amine Adli, left, celebrates with team-mate Jonathan Tah after scoring Bayer Leverkusen's third goal against Bochum at Ruhrstadion, Bochum, on Sunday. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen crushed hosts VfL Bochum 5-0 on Sunday to stretch their remarkable unbeaten run across all competitions this season to 50 consecutive matches.

 

On Thursday Xabi Alonso's team, aiming for a treble of titles, surpassed Benfica's long-standing European unbeaten record set from 1963 to 1965 with a 2-2 draw against AS Roma that sent them through to the Europa League final.

On Saturday they did not ease off against lowly Bochum, scoring twice late in the first half versus the last Bundesliga team to beat them in the previous season.

IMAGE: Bayer Leverkusen's players celebrate after stretching their remarkable unbeaten run across all competitions this season to 50 consecutive matches. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Patrik Schick put Leverkusen in the driving seat in the 41st minute and Victor Boniface doubled their lead with a penalty in first-half added time, with Bochum down to 10 men following a straight red card for Felix Passlack in the 15th minute.

Amine Adli made it 3-0 in the 76th and Josip Stanisic added another in the 86th with a low drive before delivering an assist for Alejandro Grimaldo to score in stoppage time with a tap-in.

Leverkusen, who face Atalanta in the Europa League showpiece match and Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final, have 87 points with one Bundesliga game left this season.

Bayern Munich, 2-0 winners against VfL Wolfsburg earlier on Sunday, are 15 points behind in second place.

Toulouse spoil PSG title celebrations

IMAGE: PSG's players celebrate with the French Ligue 1 trophy after their match against Toulouse at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Paris St Germain were left stunned after they were beaten 3-1 by Toulouse on Sunday, with the newly-crowned champions slumping to only their second Ligue 1 defeat this season.

Luis Enrique's side struggled for form after their midweek Champions League semi-final loss to Borussia Dortmund and remain on 70 points from 32 games, six clear of second-placed AS Monaco with two games remaining.

"This defeat spoils the party a bit. It's always frustrating, even if you're champion, to lose like that in front of your home crowd," PSG forward Ousmane Dembele told Canal+.

"We need to rethink things after a defeat and not lose like that at home, even if we are champions."

Kylian Mbappe, who confirmed on Friday that he will leave PSG at the end of the season, opened the scoring after eight minutes with a fine finish into an open goal following a pinpoint clearance from goalkeeper Arnau Tenas.

"He gave so much to the club, he did so much," Dembele said referring to Mbappe.

"We're happy with everything he's done, he's grown up well at PSG, he's achieved so much, he's a PSG legend. We're proud of him."

IMAGE: PSG's Kylian Mbappe poses with his parents Fayza Lamari and Wilfried Mbappe along with actor and comedian Jamel Debbouze. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Toulouse equalised five minutes later through Thijs Dalling, who coolly slotted home from close range before Yann Gboho put the visitors ahead with a superb curling effort into the top right corner in the 68th minute.

Frank Magri's stoppage-time strike sealed the win for Toulouse, who are 10th in the standings with 43 points.

PSG visit Nice on Wednesday before their final league game against Metz and the French Cup final on May 25.

"There's still the Cup final, a big match against Nice. We have to give 100% in every match and show a good image of Paris St Germain," Dembele added.

Elsewhere, second-half goals from Kassoum Ouattara and Youssouf Fofana earned Monaco a 2-0 away win over Montpellier to secure second place and a return to the Champions League.

They will return to the group stage of the Europe's premier club competition for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Ligue 1's second-top scorer Jonathan David scored a first-half brace to earn Lille a 2-1 win at Nantes to close in a Champions League spot as they climbed to third place, ahead of Brest on goal difference. They are level on 58 points with Brest, who drew 1-1 with Reims on Friday.

Bayern beat Wolfsburg in final home game

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's Dayot Upamecano, in red, in a keen tussle for the ball with VfL Wolfsburg's Lovro Majer. Photograph: Angelika Warmuth/Reuters

Second-placed Bayern Munich beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 with teenager Lovro Zvonarek scoring on his first start in their final Bundesliga home game of the season on Sunday as they eased towards the end of a trophy-less campaign.

Bayern have 72 points, two ahead of third-placed VfB Stuttgart with one game remaining. Unbeaten champions Bayer Leverkusen, on 84, visit VfL Bochum later on Sunday.

Four days after Bayern's Champions League semi-final exit to Real Madrid confirmed their first season without silverware in over a decade, the Bavarians put in a solid performance against the Wolves despite a string of changes to Thomas Tuchel's team.

They were missing striker Harry Kane, nursing a minor back problem, and were also without Serge Gnabry, who was injured in their defeat by Real, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala.

It was a day of milestones with Manuel Neuer making his 500th Bundesliga appearance, only the fourth goalkeeper in the league's history to reach the mark.

Zvonarek, the 19-year-old Croatian who had only made a handful of substitute appearances for the team, scored four minutes into his first start, drilling home for the lead.

Leon Goretzka doubled the advantage nine minutes later with the hosts quickly taking full control of the game.

Bryan Zaragoza also thought he had netted on his first league start for the Bavarians but the 22-year-old Spaniard's effort was disallowed for offside.

The hosts took their foot off the gas with Tuchel's Bayern career coming to an end next week, a year earlier than his contract, after a disappointing domestic campaign that also included a German Cup exit to third-tier club Saarbruecken.

Late Rabiot goal salvages draw for Juventus

IMAGE: Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic heads the ball as Salernitana's Lorenzo Pirola tries to block him. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Juventus snatched a 1-1 draw at home to relegated Salernitana courtesy of a late Adrien Rabiot goal that cancelled out a first-half header from Niccolo Pierozzi in Serie A on Sunday.

Juve are fourth on 67 points with two matches left, six points ahead of Atalanta who have two games in hand.

Salernitana shocked the Allianz Stadium as unmarked Pierozzi headed home after 27 minutes following a corner.

But Juventus dominated the rest of the match and equalised in stoppage time when Rabiot slid the ball home at the back post after a corner was flicked on.

Bottom side Salernitana were doomed to the drop last month.

Juve play in the Italian Cup final against Atalanta on Wednesday in an effort to save a disappointing season and stop their winless streak at six matches in all competitions.

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Source: REUTERS
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