Bayer Leverkusen on top in birthday gift to coach Xavi Alonso

By Sports Desk November 25, 2023

Bayer Leverkusen returned to the Bundesliga summit with a 3-0 win at Werder Bremen to ensure boss Xabi Alonso enjoyed a memorable 42nd birthday.

Bayern Munich had taken over at the top on Friday night with a narrow victory at Cologne, but Alonso’s unbeaten team provided the perfect response.

An own goal by Olivier Deman broke the deadlock after nine minutes and then it was all about the visitors’ wing-backs.

Jeremie Frimpong made it 2-0 before half-time with a thumping finish from close range and Alex Grimaldo wrapped up a comprehensive win with Leverkusen’s third in the 76th minute to make it 12 league games without defeat.

Stuttgart are third in Bundesliga after goals at either end of the first half from Deniz Undav helped them to a 2-1 victory away to Frankfurt.

Borussia Dortmund make up the top four after they fought back from two down to beat Borussia Monchengladbach in a thriller.

Goals from Rocco Reitz and Manu Kone put Monchengladbach 2-0 up inside 28 minutes, but Marcel Sabitzer started the comeback before further efforts by Niclas Fullkrug, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Donyell Malen inspired an excellent 4-2 triumph for the hosts.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg got the better of RB Leipzig 2-1 and Union Berlin started the post-Urs Fischer era with a 1-1 home draw with Augsburg.

Barcelona lost more ground in the LaLiga title race after they were forced to settle for a point at Rayo Vallecano.

Unai Lopez fired Vallecano ahead six minutes before half-time with a superb strike from range and Xavi’s side struggled to make their dominance count until the 82nd minute when Florian Lejeune put through his own net.

 

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Barca substitute Raphinha had strong penalty appeals turned down in stoppage time as it finished 1-1.

Atletico Madrid leapfrogged Barca to move into third after a 1-0 victory at home to Mallorca.

In-form Antoine Griezmann grabbed the only goal of the game with 64 minutes on the clock when he headed home Mario Hermoso’s deep cross to send Diego Simeone’s team into the top three.

Mason Greenwood found the net in Getafe’s 2-1 win at home to Almeria, while Rafael Benitez celebrated a point on his return to Valencia after his Celta Vigo side battled to a goalless draw.

AC Milan returned to winning ways in Serie A against Fiorentina thanks to a Theo Hernandez penalty on a historic night at the San Siro.

Hernandez won a spot-kick in first-half stoppage time and converted from 12 yards to end a four-match winless run in the division for Stefano Pioli’s team.

Pioli helped Milan make history with seven minutes of the match remaining when he introduced 15-year-old forward Francesco Camarda for Luka Jovic to make the teenager the youngest ever player to appear in Serie A.

Napoli got the Walter Mazzarri reign under way with a 2-1 win at Atalanta after goals by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Eljif Elmas, but Lazio suffered a surprise defeat by the same scoreline at Salernitana.

Ciro Immobile put Lazio ahead in the 43rd minute but Grigoris Kastanos’ equaliser and Antonio Candreva’s long-range rocket earned Salernitana a first league victory of the season at the 12th time of asking.

Patrick Vieira’s Strasbourg held Marseille to a 1-1 draw in Ligue 1, while Lens claimed an excellent 3-0 win at Clermont where both teams finished the match with 10 men.

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