Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen retained its first place on the evening of the 11th day of the German championship, thanks to its large victory (4-0) against Union Berlin, a success which allowed the Basque coach to equaling Pep Guardiola's Bundesliga record. During the 2015-2016 season, Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich had totaled 31 points out of 33 possible after the first eleven days, setting a new record at this stage of the season. At the time, Xabi Alonso played in the Munich midfield.
Eight years later, the student Alonso joined the master Guardiola. Its “Werkself” (the “factory eleven”, nickname of the club founded in 1904 by the chemist Bayer) has only given up two points since the start of the championship, a draw (2-2) snatched at the last minute from Munich against Bayern in mid-September. With 31 points, Leverkusen is two lengths ahead of Bayern Munich a third of the way through the season and before the international break of around ten days. The record of Lukas Hradecky's teammates is impressive: in 17 matches in all competitions, they have won 16 times, with just one draw.
In the Bundesliga, a first gap is made on the other pursuers since Stuttgart, third, is already seven points behind the leader with 24 units. Borussia Dortmund (21), which has lost its last two matches, already finds itself ten points behind Leverkusen and sees its 4th place threatened by RB Leipzig (20 pts) which hosts Friborg on Sunday evening (7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. GMT) at the close of the 11th day.
In its BayArena, Leverkusen dominated the match against Union Berlin, who recorded a ninth consecutive defeat in the league. With six points, the Berliners share the red lantern with Cologne. The opener came from Spanish midfielder Alex Grimaldo, perfect in his role as a piston on the left side. With a superb left-footed strike, Grimaldo deceived Frederik Rönnow (23rd) for his sixth goal in the Bundesliga.
Grimaldo thus celebrated in the best possible way his first presence on a list of the Spanish selection, called up on Friday by Luis de la Fuente for the next qualifying matches against Cyprus and Georgia in mid-November. In the second half, Odilon Kossounou doubled the lead for Leverkusen, heading in a corner from Jonas Hofmann (57th). Like Bayern, Leverkusen have scored at least two goals in each of the first eleven matches of the season.
Embarrassed in his exit from another corner from Leverkusen, Rönnow let the ball pass victoriously at the far post by the German central defender Jonathan Tah (73rd), to offer the nearly 30,000 spectators a quiet end to the match. On a counter initiated in the Leverkusen penalty area, Nathan Tella scored Leverkusen's fourth goal in the last ten minutes (83rd).