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Leverkusen holds firm Bundesliga summit with gritty draw against Stuttgart

Posted : 10 December 2023

Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen extended their lead at the summit of the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against fellow high-fliers Stuttgart. Leverkusen playmaker Florian Wirtz emerged as the hero in the second half, leveling the score and securing a crucial point for the visitors. The draw maintains Leverkusen's unbeaten record this season, making them the only club in the league yet to taste defeat in the first 14 games. They now sit four points clear at the top, capitalizing on Bayern Munich's shocking 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt the previous day.


The top-of-the-table clash lived up to expectations, with an enthralling first half where Stuttgart dominated much of the proceedings. Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky made several crucial saves, and Edmond Tapsoba executed a desperate goal-line block to thwart Stuttgart's relentless attacks. Despite the early pressure, Leverkusen remained dangerous on the counter, with Amine Adli hitting the woodwork and Victor Boniface missing a chance. Stuttgart deservedly took the lead just before halftime, with Josha Vagnoman setting up Chris Fuehrich for a tap-in.


🇩🇪 Wasted opportunity as Stuttgart and Leverkusen share spoils |  OneFootball


Xabi Alonso's halftime intervention spurred Leverkusen into action, and they quickly leveled the score after the break. Florian Wirtz showcased brilliance with a first-time finish, capitalizing on Boniface's physical play against Dan-Axel Zagadou. The equalizer shifted the momentum in Leverkusen's favor, and they had the upper hand in the second half, with Granit Xhaka hitting the post from long range and Jonathan Tah coming close to securing victory with a well-timed half-volley.


Reflecting on the match, Alonso acknowledged his team's improvement in the second half, stating, "The best thing about the first half was that we only went 1-0 down. We were much better in the second half." Leverkusen now prepares to face Eintracht Frankfurt, the team that stunned Bayern Munich, in their upcoming fixture, while Stuttgart faces another tough test against Bayern in their second top-three clash within a week.


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