Bayer Leverkusen are on the brink of Bundesliga history as on Friday evening they edged closer to a sensational Bundesliga crown with a victory over Mainz at the Bay Arena giving them an unprecedented 11 point lead over reigning champions Bayern Munich.

Of course much of the ground-work has already been put in with a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich earlier this month seeming to be the pivotal moment.  A defeat would have seen a huge swing in this battle.  As it is, Alonso’s team make it 33 matches unbeaten.


Pre-Match Build Up

On Wednesday, Bayern Munich announced they were ending their relationship with Manager Thomas Tuchel this Summer, perhaps a desperate attempt to unsettle Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso and even some players.  It didn’t work.

Then, came the news that The Bundesliga had scrapped their investment deal with a private equity partner following fan revolt in recent weeks which meant that we left the tennis balls at home and that the match would kick-off on time.


Getting to Bay Arena

We flew into Cologne three hours before kick-off and whilst the “Kombi Ticket” allows free transport to the Bay Arena, we took a taxi from the airport to save time which cost 55 Euro’s.  Always check in Germany whether your match ticket includes free transport as often it does.


The Best Hotel for Bayer Leverkusen

When heading to an evening match at The Bay Arena, we would recommend the Lindner Hotel Leverkusen which is built-in to the North curve of the complex.  This allowed us to save time travelling between accommodation and the stadium.

It’s very impressive and houses plenty of memorabilia, including a huge display of past Leverkusen shirts.


Bay Arena Hotel

The Bay Arena

Is there anything better than viewing a stadium at night time?  The exterior views were impressive as we had a walk around the entire complex.


Bay Arena, Bayer Leverkusen


Bayer Leverkusen Stadium


Inside the stadium it was busy in the food areas with significant queues an hour before kick-off.  The food was well priced and we grabbed a Bratwurst and Beer.

There was a massive queue at the Fan shop outside the stadium, operating a one-in, one-out policy, so we headed for a booth inside the stadium.  This also had a large queue  and unfortunately we found that the home shirt, which is black with a red cross, has been very popular and all bar 5XL sizes had sold out in the club shops.  It is February and potentially a league-winning season so if the club are not preparing a new batch it’s a huge revenue loss for them.


Bratwurst Bayer Leverkusen


Bay Arena Seats


Bay Arena


Bayer Leverkusen Nord Kurve


Bayer Leverkusen 2  Mainz 1

The Bay Arena was in good voice before the match as expectations rose of a possible 33rd match unbeaten and potentially going 11 points clear at the top with a win.  Here is a video of the pre-match build up.



The match was off to an electric start with the home side opening the scoring after just three minutes and it seemed  that perhaps this would be a large score.

It was Granit Xhaka who scored the opening goal when a free kick was taken short, worked back to him, and he unleashed a powerful shot which left him holding his hamstring.  Whilst a fierce effort, Zentner in goal probably should have done better and this was the start of a goalkeeping nightmare.


Bayer Leverkusen fans


However, it wasn’t to all go Leverkusen’s way and with only 7 minutes on the clock Mainz were level.  Again it was a set piece floated to the back post.  The ball was headed back across the area and there was Dominik Kohr heading it home to make it 1-1.

The winning goal would come in the 68th minute when Robert Andrich shot from distance and Robin Zentner failed to keep it out, seemingly unable to decide whether to catch it, or palm it away.  The result was a disaster with the ball ending up in the net.


Bayer Leverkusen scoreboard


A run of eleven successive Bundesliga title’s is surely over for Bayern Munich as Leverkusen take another step towards a historic title win.


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Customers enjoying their Mystery Football Weekend in Germany