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Last desperate goal ensures that Leverkusen remains unbeaten at Dortmund

Josip Stanisic scored the 97th-minute equalizer as Bayer Leverkusen maintained their unbeaten season run by drawing 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund on Sunday afternoon.

It looked like the newly crowned Bundesliga winners would suffer their first defeat of the season when Niclas Fullkrug struck in the 81st minute to put Dortmund ahead, but Stanisic’s header prevented the hosts from taking three points in front of their rowdy home faithful.

Keeping the dream of an undefeated season alive.

After winning the Bundesliga last week and then eliminating West Ham in the Europa League in midweek to reach the semi-finals, Xabi Alonso’s side looked tired for 90 minutes.

Leverkusen dominates the first half without a return

Leverkusen dominated possession in the first half, but the home side came closest to opening the scoring.

Marcel Sabitzer, who inspired Dortmund to beat Atletico Madrid in midweek and reach the Champions League semi-finals, had his effort saved by Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky.

Nathan Tella should have given his team the leader, but Gregor Kobel saved from close range to keep the scores level.

Jeremy Frimpong then squandered a glorious chance early in the second half before Alex Grimaldo tested Kobel again with a free-kick just around the hour mark.

Alonso’s side showed their drive as the second half progressed, but it was Dortmund who took the lead with nine players remaining.

A quick throw-in ensured that Sabitzer’s cross was well fired in by Fullkrug, as the hosts got ahead with their noses. Leverkusen looked to hit back, but failed to create clear chances after falling behind.

Victor Boniface was sent off for grabbing an opponent by the neck, but VAR intervened to write off a red card when the Leverkusen player was booked for his troubles.

The last-gasp equalizer keeps Leverkusen’s series alive

Undefeated streak continues

At the death it was Stanisic who rifled home a stunning header from Florian Wirtz’s corner to maintain his side’s unbeaten run in what was a fairytale campaign. Leverkusen is now undefeated in 45 games.

After the match, Alondo, who was visibly excited, said: ‘We just don’t want to lose. The goal was very emotional and celebrating with the fans was a lot of fun, it means a lot to all of us.”

Interestingly, Dortmund remain the only current Bundesliga team not to have defeated Alonso in the Bundesliga, having faced the Spaniard on three occasions since the Spaniard took over as manager.

The result means Dortmund remain in fifth place with 57 points, two behind RB Leipzig in fourth. The two teams will face off next week in what will be a huge battle for fourth place, the last spot for a spot in the Champions League.

It remains to be seen how manager Edin Terzic keeps his team fresh as they play against in-form Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League semi-finals, while also looking to finish as high as possible at the end of the season.

The home side will take the result for themselves, however, with the Bundesliga now likely to secure five places in next season’s Champions League.

Photo credit: IMAGO/pepphoto