The most pivotal moments of Bayer Leverkusen’s magical title-winning season

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The most pivotal moments of Bayer Leverkusen’s magical title-winning season

Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick celebrates his last-minute winner against Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen's Patrik Schick celebrates his last-minute winner against HoffenheimAFP
Bayer Leverkusen were crowned Bundesliga champions on Sunday to claim their first-ever title after a stunning season that has seen them remain unbeaten to date.

With five games to spare and with the title already secured, it would be easy to think it has been plain sailing for Xabi Alonso’s men. But there have been plenty of challenges for Bayer to overcome along the way.

With the goliath of Bayern Munich now slain and with history well within their grasp, Flashscore takes a look back at some of their most pivotal moments on the way to glory in the league.

September 15th: Bayern Munich 2 Bayer Leverkusen 2

We start with their first major clash of the season against the giants of Bayern. At this early stage of the season, many presumed it would be business as usual for the team that had won the last 11 Bundesliga titles. And going into stoppage time at the Allianz Arena, it seemed it was with Leon Goretzka seemingly winning the game with his 86th-minute goal.

However, Leverkusen started a season-long trend of late, late goals as, in the 94th minute, Exequil Palacios stepped up to score the leveller from the spot and keep their unbeaten start going. Little would they know how important that would be.

January 13th: Augsburg 0 Bayer Leverkusen 1

Nearly four months and one Christmas break later, Leverkusen still had a zero in the loss column. This incredible momentum across every competition saw them atop the table, but as the second part of the season dawned, their title credentials were set to be tested to the maximum.

Their first game back from the break in the Bundesliga was away to Augsburg and a familiar face stepped up once again with a winner at the death.

The game was heading for a drab goalless draw until Palacios poked home from inside the box to silence the home fans 70 seconds from time. Alonso’s men were making a habit of late goals to turn games, a trait that any champion-elect wants to have in their armoury.

Leverkusen are champions of Germany
Leverkusen are champions of GermanyFlashscore

January 20th: RB Leipzig 2 Bayer Leverkusen 3

A week later, Leverkusen were on the road again, facing up against Europe-chasing RB Leipzig - a sterner test than their opponents seven days before. But the script felt like a repeat as again, it was Leverkusen scoring late on to send their travelling fans into raptures.

Behind twice in the contest, the unrivalled, unmatched and undaunted character of Leverkusen shone brightly once more as they scored in the 91st minute to take all three points and remain top of the table.

The only difference this time around was the goalscorer. Instead of Palacios, it would be the turn of Piero Hincapie to slide in and convert a corner. So far in the season, this was the Ecuadorian’s only goal, not that he would mind when they lifted the trophy.

February 10th: Bayer Leverkusen 3 Bayern Munich 0

This was the moment of Leverkusen’s title-chasing season. At home against their biggest rivals Bayern, Alonso’s men knew only perfection would be enough to halt the mighty Munich machine.

Before the game, the gap between the two sides was just two points in what was turning into a historic season. This was the first time in Bundesliga history that two teams had got to this stage with more than 50 points. This felt like a title decider even though it was just February and Leverkusen put on a display worthy of the crown.

An early 12th-minute opener from Josip Stanisic set the tone for the hosts and they never let up, putting in a dominant display to open a five-point gap on their rivals and spell the beginning of the end for Thomas Tuchel at Bayern.

March 30th: Bayer Leverkusen 2 Hoffenheim 1

Now set for the title, Bayer Leverkusen faced a stubborn Hoffenheim still unbeaten and looking to continue their incredible run.

A goal down through Maximilian Beier with just two minutes to go, Leverkusen roared back in the closing stages first through Rob Andrich and then in the 91st minute through Patrik Schick - a player, who since the winter break, has been the figurehead of the attack.

Once again, Leverkusen showed the same character that has propelled them to a so-far unbeaten season and their first league crown in their history.

Simply unstoppable
Simply unstoppableFlashscore

April 14th: Bayer Leverkusen 5 Werder Bremen 0

Going into this clash, all Bayer needed to do was defeat Bremen to clinch the title nice and early. After a tense first half ended 1-0 thanks to Victor Boniface's penalty, there was still some doubt they’d get the job done.

There were no doubts in the second half, however, as Granit Xhaka’s thunderbolt was followed by a brilliant hat-trick from star playmaker Florian Wirtz to secure a 5-0 thrashing and clinch the title in serious style.

Only time will tell whether they can win a treble and go into footballing folklore as one of the best seasons ever seen in the game.

Josh Donaldson
Josh DonaldsonFlashscore

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