Leverkusen draw 1-1 in Stuttgart for 4-point Bundesliga lead

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Bayer Leverkusen fought back in a 1-1 draw at surprise team VfB Stuttgart on Sunday to go four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and they are now the only unbeaten side in Europe's top five leagues.

Chris Führich opened the scoring for the dominant hosts in the 40th minute but Leverkusen raised their game after the break and were level in the 47th from fellow Germany player Florian Wirtz.

Leverkusen are four points ahead of champions Bayern Munich, who crashed 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday for their first league defeat but have a game in hand. They are yet to lose in all competitions this season in an unbeaten run of 22 games.

Stuttgart are another point back in third ahead of a trip to Bayern next Sunday, with Leverkusen facing Frankfurt the same day.

"It was an interesting game with two very different halves. There was a lot of negatives in the first and a lot of positivity from the second," Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso said, admitting that he had to raise his voice at intermission.

"We weren't organized well in the first half and not aggressive enough. In the second half, we had more control and created chances. In the end, the draw is fair."

Forward Jonas Hofmann told streaming portal DAZN: "It was important to get a point here, keeping Stuttgart at bay, and Bayern with their game in hand."

Führich said: "It was a very intense and exhausting game. Both teams can be satisfied with the draw. We didn't want to change our game and did that well, especially in the first half."

Stuttgart's 32 points from 14 matches are just one less than they managed in the entire past season when they stayed in the top flight via a play-off.

Their turnaround this season has been remarkable, and Sebastian Hoeneß' men also started on fire against Leverkusen.

Führich was denied by goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky in the second minute; and five minutes later Hradecky saved from Serhou Guirassy before Leverkusen players blocked shots from Deniz Undav and Josha Vagnoman on the rebound.

Leverkusen's first serious attack saw Amine Atli hit the left post before Hradecky had to make big saves against Undav and Guirassy.

Stuttgart deservedly broke through in the 40th when the unmarked Führich tapped home at the far left post after Undav had released Vagnoman for a low cross.

But Leverkusen returned from the dressing room with more determination and took just two minutes to get the equalizer.

Granit Xhaka found Victor Boniface on the left and the completely unmarked Wirtz converted the bouncing low cross.

The visitors almost completed a turnaround another two minutes on but Granit Xhaka hit the right post from a distance.

Stuttgart took a while to recover but never managed to threaten like before the break while Leverkusen almost stole a late winner from Jonathan Tah.

In the other Sunday game, Mainz left last place at the expense of Darmstadt by playing to a 0-0 draw at third bottom Cologne.

  •  Leverkusen
  •  Stuttgart
  •  Bundesliga

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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