Record-Breaking Leverkusen Hungry For More

Bayer Leverkusen fans
Bayer Leverkusen fans

In a history-making night for the German champions, Bayer Leverkusen advanced to the Europa League final after a dramatic 2-2 draw against AS Roma, securing a 4-2 aggregate victory. The result marked Leverkusen’s 49th consecutive match without defeat across all competitions, breaking Benfica’s European record set between 1963 and 1965. Coach Xabi Alonso lauded his team’s resilience and ambition, declaring that they deserve all three titles available to them this season.

Leverkusen, who have already clinched the Bundesliga and reached the German Cup final on May 25, found themselves two goals down against Roma before mounting a thrilling comeback. An own goal by Roma defender Gianluca Mancini in the 82nd minute provided a lifeline for the German champions, and substitute Josip Stanisic netted the equalizer just before the final whistle, sending the team into the record books.

Xabi Alonso praised his squad for their unwavering spirit, saying, “We’ll play two finals in a week as a result. We showed great character today after their second goal. I looked my players in the eye afterwards and saw that they wanted more.

“We still have the chance to win three titles. And my boys deserve all three titles.”

Croatia international Josip Stanisic described reaching the final as one of the most significant moments of his career. “We knew what was at stake, we really wanted to get to the final and I think you could see that over 90 minutes today.”

“I don’t think we would have cared in the end if we lost and still progressed because we really wanted to get to the final, but it’s even nicer this way.”

Team captain Granit Xhaka was ecstatic to lead his team to the Final, adding “It’s pure goosebumps! You dream of an atmosphere like this. You dream of games like this. As a kid, you want to be in these games and then when you equalize just before the end and get to the final, it’s incredible.”

Roma coach Daniele De Rossi lamented the missed opportunity to reach a second consecutive Europa League final, reflecting on the disappointment of conceding late and losing a spot in Dublin, saying “When you manage to get it back from 2-0 down and go close to the miracle, knowing nobody has ever beaten them this season, it hurts to see us concede a goal like that. It hurts.”

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