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Bayer Leverkusen beat Mainz to set unbeaten record

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Bayer Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka celebrates after his team beat Mainz 2-1 to set a 33-match unbeaten run

Bayer Leverkusen defeated Mainz 05 2-1 on Friday to go 11 points ahead at the top of the league and set a new Bundesliga club record of 33 consecutive games without defeat in all competitions.

The Bundesliga leaders, who lacked their typical efficiency up front while also giving the visitors plenty of opportunity to attack, required a mistake by Mainz custodian Robin Zentner to secure the victory.

Xabi Alonso’s club, who ended Bayern Munich’s previous unbeaten streak of 32 games, is now on 61 points, with second-placed Bayern, on 50, facing RB Leipzig on Saturday.

The home side took the lead thanks to a sublime Granit Xhaka effort from 20 metres in the third minute but it was shortlived with Dominik Kohr’s diving header just five minutes later levelling things for Mainz.

Bayer Leverkusen had possession but Mainz keeper Robin Zentner made a string of fine first-half saves to keep the visitors in the game before letting a weak Robert Andrich shot in the 68th slip through his hands for the hosts to reclaim the lead.

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Mainz were left with 10 men when Jessic Ngankam was sent off for a foul on Xhaka.

“We have to be honest to ourselves and say that we did not play a good game,” said Bayer Leverkusen scorer Andrich. “We were a bit lucky to win it. But we won’t be complaining about the three points.

“We were too impatient and not precise enough. We did not find the solutions needed. We made far too many mistakes.”

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