The hero of stoppage time for Bayer Leverkusen

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The hero of stoppage time for Bayer Leverkusen says they “wouldn’t have cared” if they had finally dropped a game. Following their performance against Roma at home on Thursday, Bayer Leverkusen has just four games left to secure Xabi Alonso’s team’s undefeated season.

According to Josip Stanisic, Bayer Leverkusen would have been content to fall short against Roma at home on Thursday night if it meant they would still advance to the Europa League championship.

A 2-0 victory in the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico meant that Xabi Alonso’s team would advance with a one-goal loss in the second leg of the semi-final, although that would put an end to their hopes of going undefeated. Halfway through the second half at the Bay Arena, two penalties from Leandro Paredes tied the aggregate score, giving them a brief glimpse of losing the game and perhaps going out of Europe.

Gianluca Mancini’s tragic own goal gave Leverkusen a 2-1 loss on the evening but a 3-2 advantage overall. However, replacement Stanisic tied the score in the seventh extra minute to give his team more breathing room.

Leverkusen has now gone 49 games without a loss across all competitions, surpassing the 48 games achieved by Benfica in the early 1960s following their 2-2 tie in Germany. With four games remaining, they hope to finish the season undefeated, but Stanisic doesn’t think it would have hurt too much if he hadn’t been able to net his late equalizer.

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When asked if the night was the biggest of his career, Stanisic said, according to ESPN: “Definitely one of them. We knew what was at stake; we wanted to get to the final, and I think you could see that in over 90 minutes today.

“I don’t think we would have cared if we lost and still progressed because we wanted to get to the final, but it’s even nicer this way.” Stanisic, on loan from Bayern Munich, also scored deep into stoppage time to rescue a point against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

The hero of stoppage time for Bayer Leverkusen
The hero of stoppage time for Bayer Leverkusen (Image credit Getty)

Leverkusen will face Atlanta in the final after the Italian side overcame Marseille. Ademola Look man, Matteo Ruggeri, and El Bilal Touré were all on target to seal a 4-1 aggregate win for Gian Piero Gaspeini’s team, who had earlier eliminated Liverpool from the competition.

Leverkusen’s next game is away to Bochum, which is in danger of relegation. Their last Bundesliga game is at home against Augsburg. Subsequently, there are two finals: the DFB-Pokal final between second-tier Kaiserslautern and Atalanta in Dublin on May 22.

“As a result, we’ll play two finals in a week,” Alonso declared following the Roma match. “After their second goal tonight, we played with incredible character. Afterward, when I looked my players in the eye, I could tell they were hungry for more.

We are still in the running to win three championships. The former Spain midfielder (Xabi Alonso), who is only in his first full season at Leverkusen, continued, “And my boys deserve all three titles.”

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Source: Mirror