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Bayer Leverkusen v Roma (2-0 on agg): Xabi Alonso’s side aim to reach Europa League final

Written by on May 8, 2024

Goals from Florian Wirtz and Robert Andrich (pictured) gave Bayer Leverkusen a 2-0 win over Roma in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final

The Champions League success of German clubs shows how well Bayer Leverkusen have done to become Bundesliga champions, says boss Xabi Alonso.

Leverkusen are unbeaten in all competitions in 2023-24, won the German title for the first time and have reached the final of the German Cup.

Alonso’s team hold a 2-0 lead over Roma in their Europa League semi-final before Thursday’s home second leg.

Borussia Dortmund could face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Dortmund moved into the final for a third time with a 2-0 aggregate win over Paris St-Germain, while Bayern face Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday after the first leg ended 2-2.

“This high level in the Bundesliga means what we’ve been able to do is not easy,” Alonso told reporters.

“It’s very positive for the Bundesliga. I should congratulate Dortmund and congratulate Edin [Terzic, their coach], it’s not easy to make it to the Champions League final.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Alonso was asked whether the Premier League’s claims of being the best top division were warranted, with no teams in the final four of either the Champions League or Europa League this season.

“You can say anything you like, but results are results. They’re facts, you cannot discard them,” said the 42-year-old Spaniard.

Leverkusen only need to avoid losing by more than one goal against Roma on Thursday to progress to the Europa League final in Dublin on 22 May.

But Alonso said the tie was not over and added: “A return leg is always a dangerous situation.

“No matter what the first result was, a goal can quickly change the situation and the mindset. We want to be aggressive, to control the game and to defend well.”

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