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Magical Leverkusen force a last minute draw against Dortmund to go 48 games unbeaten

Magical Leverkusen force a last minute draw against Dortmund to go 48 games unbeaten

Dortmund,
Sunday, 21 April, 2024

Borussia Dortmund came within one minute of ending Bayer Leverkusen’s 44-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, but were undone by a 98th-minute header as Xabi Alonso’s men staggeringly rescued a 1-1 draw at the Signal Iduna Park.

The newly-crowned German champions have beaten all that have stood in front of them this campaign – bar Borussia Dortmund.

The reverse fixture back in December ended 1-1, and if Die Werkself were to maintain their invincible campaign, they would have to do so against an opponent that is on a three-game unbeaten H2H streak, and have won seven of the last eight meetings at this venue.

The first period of today’s clash was particularly uneventful, with Marcel Sabitzer’s first-time effort saved low by Lukáš Hrádecký the closest.

As usual though, it was Leverkusen who were in control and evidently causing their opponents some problems. Both Ian Maatsen and captain Emre Can were yellow-carded before half-time, both reaching five for the campaign and therefore earning suspensions for next weekend’s potential fourth-place decider with RB Leipzig.

Die Roten Bullen’s win against Heidenheim on Saturday had only heightened BVB’s need to avoid defeat this afternoon, and Gregor Kobel’s tip over the crossbar from Alejandro Grimaldo’s inswinging free-kick after the restart was a promising sign they could earn at least one point.

The Swiss shot-stopper again came to his side’s rescue with another superb save. Piero Hincapié’s cross-field ball was put into a dangerous area by Jonas Hofmann for Nathan Tella to tap in, however Kobel pounced upon the messy strike on the goalline.

As the second half unfolded, Edin Terzić was clearly in no mood to settle. Building upon his side’s strong defensive work, one shot on target resulted in the telling blow with nine minutes to spare as Füllkrug met Sabitzer’s cross to smash a volley into the top left corner, and earn his midfield team-mate a sixth goal contribution in his last three appearances.

Leverkusen’s status that would set them above all Bundesliga winners before them was on the verge of being wiped out. Alonso turned to Florian Wirtz, Patrik Schick and Victor Boniface from the bench, but ultimately it was a player that had been on the field for the duration that was the hero.

In the final minute of added time, Josip Stanišić met Wirtz’s hopeful corner kick and managed to get a good enough touch to divert it beyond Kobel and make it 1-1 at the death.

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