Xabi Time: Ranking all TEN of Bayer Leverkusen’s injury-time goals during their insane unbeaten run

Bayer Leverkusen’s 2023-24 campaign looks set to go down in history. We’re almost in May and Xabi Alonso’s men remain unbeaten in all competitions. Never before has this been done from a side in a major European league.

There are now just seven games remaining for Leverkusen to go on and complete what might well be the most impressive season from any European club in history.

Three Bundesliga games are remaining, a Europa League semi-final against Roma to navigate, and a German Cup final against second-tier strugglers Kaiserslautern to come.

This is a club that had never before won a league title. They’d finished second on five occasions, earning the nickname of Neverkusen and a reputation as nearly men after finishing runners-up in the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League in the infamously heartbreaking campaign of 2001-02.

But don’t let it be said that this Leverkusen side lack bottle. They’ve kept their invincible record intact this season by scoring last-minute equalisers or winners on 10 different occasions across all three fronts this season. We’ve ranked them below:

10. Qarabag – 90’+4

Leverkusen’s double late show against Qarabag in the quarter-finals will live long in the memory. But they also notched home-and-away victories against them as they took maximum points in the group stage.

Star striker Victor Boniface had scored a thunderb*stard against them in a 5-1 home mauling and stepped up once again, deep into added time, in Azerbaijan. A cooly-taken penalty.

Qarabag must have been sick to the back teeth of them come the spring.

9. Bayern Munich – 90’+4

Leverkusen had started the 2023-24 campaign like a house on fire, but the nature of how they went toe-to-toe with Bayern at the Allianz Arena in mid-September was an early indication they might just be the real deal.

Leon Goretzka had put the perennial Bundesliga champions ahead late on, suggesting that things might be business as usual, before a late VAR intervention gave Leverkusen a massive opportunity to send a message. Exequiel Palacios made no mistake from twelve yards.

8. Hoffenheim – 90’+1

Leverkusen had been trailing at home to Hoffenheim until the 88th minute when Robert Andrich popped up to equalise.

Three minutes later they were ahead, claiming all three points, with Schick stabbing home from a couple yards out. Just look at those stadium-wide limbs. This was the moment that put it beyond all doubt – Neverkusen no more. No bottling it this time. The Bundesliga title all but confirmed.

7. Stuttgart – 90’+7

Never-Losin’ lived up to their new nickname with their latest last-dash heroics.

It was particularly impressive given that Stuttgart are chasing top-four qualification, while key man Granit Xhaka was suspended and a number of other stars were rested with one eye on Thursday’s Europa League semi against Roma.

Literally their last chance, with one final set-piece delivery after the clock ticked two minutes beyond the allotted five minutes of injury time.

A nice enough delivery from Wirtz. Stuttgart failed to clear their lines and Robert Andrich was on hand to capitalise.

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6. Augsburg – 90’+4

In the weeks after Germany’s winter break, most pundits still predicted that Bayern Munich’s muscle memory would kick in and they’d romp home to yet another Bundesliga title.

But Exequiel Palacios’ late winner against an obdurate Augsburg side, who had kept Alonso’s men out for over 90 minutes, was evidence to the contrary. Leverkusen weren’t going anywhere.

5. RB Leipzig – 90’+1

Leverkusen had already beaten Leipzig 3-2 on the opening weekend, setting the tone for their unbelievable season, and they repeated the trick away from home in East Germany in January.

Twice they fell behind, twice they came back, and then they went and won it. Another set-piece, another first-time finish in the six-yard box. Has Alonso found an unbeatable formula?

4. Borussia Dortmund – 90’+7

Leverkusen had sealed the league title the week before and on paper, this looked their trickiest remaining Bundesliga test – away to a Borussia Dortmund side that have underwhelmed domestically but have harnessed the power of their famous yellow wall to reach a Champions League semi-final.

And sure enough, their unbeaten record looked in serious danger when the hosts went ahead via Niclas Fullkrug in the 81st minute.

But Alonso’s men don’t know when they’re beaten and once again demonstrated that with a corner in the dying seconds. Simple enough. Expertly flicked into the far corner by Josip Stanisic.

 3. Stuttgart – 90’+1

After Bayern’s shock exit to lower-league Saarbrucken, all of a sudden it looked wide open for Leverkusen to challenge for only their second DFB Pokal – alongside a first-ever league title.

Their quarter-final against fellow top-four side Stuttgart looked the most difficult hurdle, especially as they twice went behind on home soil.

But they’d showed plenty of spirit to twice come from behind and demonstrated yet more in injury time, with a peach of a deep cross from Wirtz attacked superbly by centre-back Jonathan Tah on the edge of the six-yard box.

2. Qarabag – 90’+2

The unbeaten run – and Leverkusen’s place in the Europa League – looked in doubt when they went two goals behind in Azerbaijan.

A cheeky lob by Florian Wirtz had got Leverkusen back into the match midway through the second half and they then spent the remainder of the match pushing hard for the equaliser, eventually getting the breakthrough via Patrik Shick, heading home a well-aimed cross in the 92nd minute.

1. Qarabag – 90’+3 & 90+4

As had been the case in the first leg, Leverkusen went two goals behind to Qarabag on home soil. But a red card had put the visitors under the cosh and Jeremie Frimpong’s 72nd-minute goal turned the closing stages into an onslaught.

Once again in injury time, Schick proved himself the fox in the box inside the six-yard box. He stuck a leg out and guided Alex Grimaldo’s deep whipped-in cross into the back of the net.

Not only that, but four minutes later the Czech Republic international scored again to win the tie, 5-4 on aggregate. Three of Leverkusen’s five goals over the two legs. All of them scored in injury time.

The definition of clutch.

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