Bayer Leverkusen Soars: Reflecting on a Stellar Season in German Football 2024

The 2023-24 season has been a historic campaign for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, marking both their 120th year of existence and their 45th consecutive season in the Bundesliga. It’s a season that saw them break records and capture their first Bundesliga title, an achievement that’s been decades in the making. At the heart of this success is a record-breaking 45-match unbeaten run across all competitions, including the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and UEFA Europa League.

Key to Leverkusen’s success has been the tactical acumen of manager Xabi Alonso, who took charge in October 2022 when the team was struggling near the relegation zone. Alonso has reinvigorated the squad with strategic formation changes and a new approach to the team’s play style. The results were almost immediate, with Leverkusen finishing the previous season in 6th place, a remarkable turnaround that secured them a spot in this season’s UEFA Europa League.

Record-Breaking Run

Bayer Leverkusen’s 2023-24 season has been one for the books. It has shown off their strong form and consistency, backed up by some impressive stats that underline their control over German football. Leverkusen won the Bundesliga title for the first time ever, moving up from runners-up five times before. This win is a big deal—it’s changed the club from always being close to finally being champions.

Right from the start, manager Xabi Alonso made a big impact. By Matchday 6, Leverkusen took the lead in the league and didn’t let go, staying at the top for 25 out of 29 matchdays. They weren’t just leading; they were dominating. They kicked off the season by scoring at least two goals in each of their first 12 matches, a new record for the Bundesliga.

The team’s numbers really tell the story. They averaged 2.72 points per game, the highest in the Bundesliga and among all top European leagues. They also set new club records with seven straight wins away from home and ten consecutive wins by the time they hit Matchday 30.

Leverkusen’s balance between defence and attack helped them set new high marks for toughness and consistency. They picked up 38 points in away games over the season, the most for a single season in the club’s history. Their unbeaten run reached 44 matches across all competitions, the longest streak in Europe’s top leagues this season.

These stats don’t just highlight an incredible season for Leverkusen; they also mark a significant moment in Bundesliga history. With their win, Leverkusen became the 13th different team to claim the Bundesliga title, the first new winner since Wolfsburg in 2009. Moving from 17th place when Alonso took over in October 2022 to champions is a story of amazing turnaround and smart strategy, opening a new chapter for Bayer Leverkusen in both German and European football.

In their last match against Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen was on the brink of losing their first match of the season, a situation that caught the attention of football and betting fans. The match was intensely followed, especially as it ticked into the final moments with Leverkusen trailing. However, in a dramatic turn of events, Josip Stanišić scored a last-gasp goal in the 97th minute, preserving Leverkusen’s unbeaten record and maintaining their perfect season.

The thrilling finish kept their record intact and heightened excitement among betting fans. Using a bet365 bonus code could enhance the betting experience for those looking to place bets on the Bundesliga.

Xabi Alonso’s Tactical Mastery

Xabi Alonso has shaped Bayer Leverkusen with a strategic 3-4-3 formation that aims to control the midfield and adjust to various game plans. This setup allows Leverkusen to be more dynamic and cover more ground, adapting easily to different opponents’ tactics.

When Leverkusen has the ball, their approach is similar to the ‘Tiki-taka’ style seen in teams like Manchester City or Barcelona, focusing on building up plays from the back. This method can be risky as opponents often press high, targeting the defenders and goalkeeper. However, when Leverkusen breaks this press, they quickly switch from defence to offense.

Leverkusen players, particularly the wide midfielders, pull into central areas to collect passes, creating overloads that are difficult for opponents to manage. From here, they use quick, short passes to break down defences, swiftly transitioning into attack.

Against teams that set up more defensively, Leverkusen uses elements of ‘Total Football’ to create spaces. Their fast wingers play a crucial role here, moving the ball rapidly to open gaps. The central midfielders and defenders push up to keep the ball moving and maintain pressure.

In tight situations, Leverkusen’s number 10 might drop deeper to draw opponents out, opening lanes for a critical pass through to the wingers or the striker, who position themselves strategically to exploit any newly created spaces.

Defensively, Alonso insists on playing a high-pressure game in the opponent’s half, which minimizes the other team’s chances and controls the game’s tempo. This pressing game, reminiscent of Klopp’s ‘Gegenpressing,’ involves intense efforts from the forwards to pin down the opposition’s options for playing out from the back.

Should the opposing team bypass this press, Leverkusen’s formation can quickly adapt; the midfielders drop back to support the defence, morphing the setup into a 5-2-3 or even a more conservative 5-4-1, depending on the pressure level.

Final Thoughts

Bayer Leverkusen’s 2023-24 season has been a spectacular display of football, showcasing both tactical intelligence and the spirit of a champion team. Under Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen has transformed from clinching their first Bundesliga title to setting new records for consistency and performance. Their resilience in staying unbeaten and the dramatic last-minute goals that kept their record intact have written a new chapter in the club’s history and ignited the passion and excitement of football fans worldwide.

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