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

It seemed that the newly crowned Bundesliga winners would suffer their first defeat of the campaign when Niclas Fullkrug struck in the 81st minute to give Dortmund the lead but Stanisic’s header prevented the hosts from taking three points in front of their vociferous home faithful.

Keeping the dream of an unbeaten season alive.

After having won the Bundesliga last week and then dispatching off West Ham in the Europa League in midweek to reach the semifinals, Xabi Alonso’s side looked tired throughout the course of 90 minutes.

Leverkusen dominate first half without return

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

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

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

Jeremy Frimpong then wasted a glorious opportunity early in the second half before Alex Grimaldo tested Kobel again with a dipping free kick just round the hour mark.

Alonso’s side showed their impetus as the second half continued but it was Dortmund who took the lead with nine left.

A quick throw in saw Sabitzer’s cross well volleyed in by Fullkrug as the hosts got their noses in front. Leverkusen did look to hit back but failed to create any sort of clear-cut chances after they went behind.

Victor Boniface was sent off for grabbing an opponent by the neck, but VAR intervened to chalk off the red as the Leverkusen player received a yellow for his troubles.

Last gasp equaliser keeps Leverkusen’s run alive
Last gasp equaliser keeps Leverkusen’s run alive

Last gasp equaliser keeps Leverkusen’s run alive

Unbeaten run continues

At the death it was Stanisic who flicked a wonderful header home from Florian Wirtz’s corner to keep his side’s unbeaten run in what has been a fairytale campaign. Leverkusen are now unbeaten in 45 games.

Following the game, Alondo, who was visibly thrilled, said, “We just don’t want to lose. The goal was very emotional, and celebrating with the fans was very nice, it means a lot to all of us”.

Interestingly Dortmund remains the only current Bundesliga team Alonso’s side hasn’t beaten in the Bundesliga having faced each other thrice since the Spaniard took over as manager.

The result means that Dortmund stay in fifth with 57 points, two behind RB Leipzig in fourth. The two sides square off against each other next week in what will be a huge clash for a fourth-placed finish, the last spot for a Champions League berth.

It remains to be seen how manager Edin Terzic keeps his team fresh as they play an in-form Paris St Germain in the semifinals of the Champions League while also pushing to finish as high as possible come at the end of the season.

The hosts, however, will take the result as the Bundesliga is now likely to get five spots in next season’s Champions League.

Photo credit: IMAGO / pepphoto