Great read so far, really turning Brandt into an amazing player, utilizing him well!
 
Just caught up with this, superb work winning the title first season! Hopefully you can regain it this year! Some great transfers, not hanging around getting through the seasons either.
 

December/January 2018/2019

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"Sports is very important for a large portion of our population at home. Football brings happiness to them. Therefore we are absolutely delighted for having contributed something."
Marcelo Bielsa

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It had to end sooner or later. Mainz end our sensational unbeaten start to the season with a win that they deserved. Now we need to see how we respond in the next game against Bayern Munich.



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That's how you respond to a defeat. Bayern couldn't handle our strikerless fluidity and we ran away with the game. Is this the win that puts us above Bayern in the pecking order of Germany?



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Hmmm. Strange form from us, losing the 2 games we'd expect to win, but newly promoted Freiburg beat us fair and square, poor performance all round from us.



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We rested most of our first team in a dead rubber match, but a pleasing win nonetheless, we showcased our squad depth. Good to see Kevin Volland get back to scoring ways.



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Is this the most eventful start to a game ever? FOUR GOALS IN 4 MINUTES. Super Mario bagged a hat trick in 199 seconds, surely the quickest hat trick ever at least in the Bundesliga?!



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Good convincing win away to Hannover who were flying in 5th. We showed character to come back from a goal down and then missing a penalty when the scores were even. KDB starting to show why he's so highly rated.



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Perfect way to go into the Christmas break. Convincing win against local rivals, Gladbach. We blitzed them early and that was pleasing to see, great performance from us.


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Summary


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View attachment 122872


5 wins 0 draws 2 losses 19 goals for 7 goals against


What a start to the season. Dortmund have too been very impressive, but we have to be considered overwhelming favourites going into the second half of the season. Check out Bayern Munich!


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Another trip to Portugal for us in the last 16 of the Champions league, this time against Benfica. Lets hope for an improvement this year...


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Our season may have just been rocked. Roberto Firmino has asked to leave the club. In the summer, we rejected a bid that totalled into £60 million with add ons for him from Real Madrid, even though he had a £59 million release clause, they never matched it. I rejected his transfer request and hope to keep him at the club.










"Real Madrid have activated Bayer Leverkusen superstar Roberto Firmino's £59 million release clause"





I am powerless. Madrid activated his release clause and Firmino whom was unhappy at a big being rejected in summer from Madrid, then went to contract negotiations with them. On the 13th January - just over a year since he joined us, Roberto Firmino moves to Real Madrid.


View attachment 122869


This now leaves us with a problem, we need to replace our main man. I've drawn up a list of targets, but with a few days left in the transfer window, we'll need to see how it plays out. A huge blow to our domestic and European hopes.



View attachment 122868


A reasonably fair run of fixtures upcoming for us, Benfica is the big one and the 1st game against RB Leipzig will be in the DFB-Pokal. A big time ahead for the club, will we stagnate with the loss of our star, replace him with a better talent, or will a young player grow into a first team regular?



 
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Shame about Firmino. Although it is more realistic, I hate that the agent has the power to cap the release clauses now. I am sure you will find a suitable replacement soon enough and continue to challenge for the title and Europe!
 
love this story! iyt has inspired me to do a leverkusen save on fm 17. they were my bogey team on fm 16 in the champs league(i was arsenal). how have, havertz,attakan? and heinrichs developed?
 


January/February 2019

View attachment 122822


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Transfer Deadline Day

Well, after the loss of Roberto Firmino we had to find a replacement. I was searching for a like-for-like replacement and limited my shortlist down to: PSG's Antoine Griezmann (available for £120+ million), Christian Pulisic (unhappy at Dortmund, but not willing to sell), Gonçalo Guedes (available for £52-88 million) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (available for £28-35 million).
Quickly, it became clear that Griezmann was no going to be possible, so I turned my attentions primarily to Gonçalo Guedes of Benfica. He burst onto the scene in the 2015/2016 season 13 goals and 8 assists in 27 games with an average rating of 7.48, but his level had dipped in the past season and a half. We negotiated with Benfica, but for now anyway, I deemed their demand of £52 million with £20 million of potential add ons simply too much.
I decided to go with the team I had and maybe look to loan someone in, or recall Kai Hravertz from Sevilla, but then Christian Pulisic was transfer listed by Dortmund and available for just £7 million. I swooped in and we bought him from our championship rivals. He's stagnated in my save, but hopefully he can produce the goods for us. If nothing else, having the best American player will really help us commercially over in the states.


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View attachment 122817


A good start post break, always a risk that some players will still be on holiday. Kevin Kampl -perhaps our forgotten man- with a screamer of a goal, he's adapted very well to his new role as a roaming playmaker. Andreas Christensen putting down a strong case to be Tah's partner in defence.



View attachment 122815


We've torn apart Schalke this season. One of our best performances this season, we were utterly dominant and Mario Mandzukic bags yet another hat trick for us. He's quickly becoming a club legend.



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Lacklustre performance from us. After annihilating Bremen in the previous game, we struggled to create any real chances as their defence held firm. 2 points dropped.



View attachment 122813


This was far more worrying than the Bremen game. Even though a number of first team players were rested, we lacked intensity in this game and Hamburg can have every right to feel hard done by by not getting the 3 points. We need to pick ourselves up with a vital Champions League last 16 clash up next.


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View attachment 122811

Champions League 1st Knockout Round


Benfica vs Bayer Leverkusen


View attachment 122812


A dominant performance by us, we really should have won the game. Andre Horta dribbled through the heart of our defence and scored a brilliant goal to open the scoring, but they decided to sit back and try soak up the pressure from us. We played well, moving the ball at our will but couldn't find a breakthrough until the 66th minute when Kevin Volland wrapped his foot round the ball and placed it in the far corner from 25 yards. A good result away to a very strong side, that leaves us in a strong position to advance. Overall, I'm very pleased.


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Well if it wasn't a slump before, it is now. Awful result against a Wolfsburg side sitting second bottom of the league. We just didn't show up, perhaps it was a European hangover, but we can't let Europe affect our domestic form with Dortmund hot on our tails.



View attachment 122806


Back to winning ways for us, and back to goalscoring ways for Mario Mandzukic. Augsburg are sitting rock bottom and I decided to play Kevin De Bruyne as our deepest midfielder, more as an experiment than anything else - he was excellent and perhaps a role I will utilise him in when he reachers the latter stages of his career. Andreas Christensen is in excellent goalscoring form!



DFB-Pokal 3rd Round


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A really good win against Leipzig, Brandt and Mandzukic put us in the driving seat early on before they made is nervy at the end. We now play the quarter final just a few days later.




DFB-Pokal Quarter Final


View attachment 122804



Fixture congestion meant that our league game against Leipzig was swapped for the quarter final here. We ran out dominant winners and it was a comfortable win for us. We managed to rest a good few players before the second leg against Benfica.


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Summary

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5 wins 3 draws 1 loss 19 goals for 7 against


We reacted well to our blip, closing the month out with some good wins. Our whole season could change mood if we get knocked out by Benfica. We've done most of the hard work, we just need to close out the game now. The league is without doubt a two horse race now.



View attachment 122803


We'll be travelling to Hamburg for our semi final, Hamburg are a real quality team and have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, so it will be a hard game for us. Hertha and Bayern contest the other semi.


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Something I forgot to post last time, Jonathan Tah and Kevin Volland made it into the World Team of the Year for 2018!


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The big one is next, Benfica at home. We'll also have a crucial league match against Borussia Dortmund where a win can really put a dent into their title hopes.


 
love this story! iyt has inspired me to do a leverkusen save on fm 17. they were my bogey team on fm 16 in the champs league(i was arsenal). how have, havertz,attakan? and heinrichs developed?


Best of luck mate!

Atakan Akkaynak and Benji Hendrichs are nailed on starters when fit, Hendrichs has even progressed to become vice-captain and I see Akkaynak being promoted to vice captain when Bender eventually decides to retire. Kai Havertz has not been so lucky. He broke his leg and was out for 9 months last January just as I was about to look for an 18 month loan for him to a team like Wolfsburg or Gladbach or someone of that level.



 

March/April 2019

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View attachment 122762


Champions League 1st Knockout Round


Bayer Leverkusen (1) vs Benfica (1)




View attachment 122763


YES. Third time lucky for us. An iconic European night at the BayArena, as Leverkusen qualify for the last 8 of the Champions League for the first time since they were finalists in 2002. Mitroglou put Benfica a goal up and winning in the tie and Bernd Leno made one of the best saves I've ever seen in FM from a free kick from the same man to keep the score at 1-0. At half time I was furious with the players but they responded emphatically with Calhanoglu, Brandt and Mandzukic all scoring in a 5 minute blitz which was the difference over the two ties. We deserved to go through and we do, delighted with our boys.


Championbs League quarter final draw


View attachment 122760


There are no poor teams left. We draw Pep Guardiola's reigning English champions Manchester United. A huge ask for us to progress, but I feel like if we turn up, then we can maybe, just maybe, make the semi finals.


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At first glance this is just another routine win against low end opposition, but there was a lot more to this match. Kevin Kampl was sent off in the 18th minute with the score at 0-0 and Stuttgart pressed us hard to go for the game. In the end, we come out with what could be a vital 3 points in the race for the title.



View attachment 122758


Scoring 6 at your rivals ground is the stuff of dreams. Kevin Volland returns to form with a brilliant hat trick against Koln as we run riot. Julian Brandt was absolutely sensational, scoring 1 and assisting 3, but that's just the standard he's set himself at now.



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Huge win. That might be the final nail in the coffin for Dortmund's title hopes. They took the lead through Andre Schurrle, but we thought back and our trident of Mandzukic, Volland and Brandt all bagged a goal to break Dortmund hearts. We have one hand on the Bundesliga trophy again.



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Did I speak too soon? Poor performance, poor result. Not much to be said really, we just didn't turn up. Good to see Kevin Volland continue his rich vein of form of late though.



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Man. Hertha Berlin are causing me some aggrievance. 2-0 up and cruising and then 2 points dropped. No excuses here. We rested players for the next game against Manchester United, but still, the result should have been in the bag.



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View attachment 122762


Champions League Quarter Final First Leg


Manchester United vs Bayer Leverkusen




View attachment 122754


Disciplined performance. I am absolutely delighted with this. We played a deep 4-1-4-1 on (cover your eyes) defensive and the plan was to leave Old Trafford still with a decent chance of qualification. Luke Shaw's red card gave me a good dilemma - stick or twist? I decided to push a bit more for an away goal and switched to standard, but the goal never came. A 0-0 draw away to United is a very good result though and we leave ourselves with chance at the BayArena. I just worry the occasion might be too big for my young team?


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Summary


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4 wins 2 draw 1 loss 19 goals for 8 goals against



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Roberto Mancini was sacked from Bayern after they crashed out the Champions League with a 5-0 loss at PSG. Joachim Low quit as Germany boss to take over at the Allianz Arena, a shrewd appointment and I am sure we'll have many a tactical battle in the near future.


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The future is so so bright here.


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Up next we've got Mainz before the big return leg against Manchester United. Getting to the Champions League semi finals would be the stuff of dreams and I pray we can do it. We have a tricky run in by going to Bayern Munich and then our German Cup semi against Hamburg.


Don't dare even think about the word treble.







 
On a good run in all competitions so far, keep it going, see it through to the end now.
 
nice story, i've read it through there and its clear the jobs a good'in!

Just a couple of points though which i've noticed that are running parrallel to my game...it does seem quite easy?

Never, ever would Bayern have 40 points right now & in your first season finish so far behind you? this has happened relatively similar to myLFC save with the "premiership elite".
 
nice story, i've read it through there and its clear the jobs a good'in!

Just a couple of points though which i've noticed that are running parrallel to my game...it does seem quite easy?

Never, ever would Bayern have 40 points right now & in your first season finish so far behind you? this has happened relatively similar to myLFC save with the "premiership elite".

I 100% agree with you. I was almost happy last season for Bayern to win the league, because if they continued their form from season 1 then the save might have been a bit dull. Dortmund have improved a lot this season, but even at their improvement they lost 6-0 away to Atletico in the last 16 of the Champions League, which I just think isn't likely.
 

April/May 2019

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"You'll never win anything with kids"
Alan Hansen


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We rested a lot of first team players in a game I was confident of winning and we delivered. Not much to say, for the last half hour they had a breather and retained the ball. Leroy Sane played left back and delivered two assists in his best performance of a pretty dreadful season from our new signing.


View attachment 122702


Emre Koç, you hero.


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View attachment 122712


Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg


Bayer Leverkusen (0) vs. Manchester United (0)



View attachment 122711





BAYER LEVERKUSEN ARE THROUGH TO THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI FINALS




A special European night in Leverkusen. Local lad and club vice-captain Benjamin Henrichs scores his first goal of the season at the most pivotal time to give us the victory. Our game management over the two legs was executed to perfection, I asked a job of the players that I knew could win over 180 minutes and they delivered. The tie could have slipped through our fingers as Leno made two point blank saves from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, that's why he's my number 1. Brilliant from everyone involved.



Champions League Semi Final Draw


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I don't want to say I was hoping for a specific team, but to avoid Barcelona was very pleasing. Juventus will be a monumental task for us to overcome. We believe.


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An incredibly difficult game to manage as it came right in between a Champions League quarter final second leg and a German Cup semi final. Truthfully, we were second best at everything and Bayern ran out deserved winners. Joachim Low is 1-0 up against me.



DFB-Pokal Semi Final


View attachment 122709


Absolutely superb win. Truthfully, I prioritised the other two competitions ahead of this one, but I am delighted to be in the final. We were holding on at the end, but Hakan Calhanoglu is quickly becoming our big game player. Another German Cup final beckons for us.



View attachment 122708


The first leg at home to Juventus was up after this game, so a lot of players were rested. Kevin Volland has really stepped up his game in the second part of the season and gives me a selection dilemma - him or Mandzukic or do I risk both?



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Champions League Semi Final First Leg


Bayer Leverkusen vs. Juventus



View attachment 122707



Oh my god. Can we start dreaming? Mario Mandzukic scores two against his former club (whom tried to resign him in January) as we put one foot in the final of the Champions League. Tactically, this was the most interesting game I've played this FM, with Max Allegri changing formation 3 times, from a 5-1-2-2 to a 4-1-2-3 and then finally a 4-3-3 with three strikers. Every change we had an answer to and I couldn't be more delighted with the result and for Mario Mandzukic as he proves Juventus were wrong to sell him. Fairytale story for the fans.


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Summary

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5 wins 0 draws 1 loss 11 goals for 3 goals against


I started this story by telling the tale of Bayer Neverkusen, who were in the exact same position as us and left trophyless. We simply cannot allow that to happen now. Closing out the Bundesliga is essential and I think we should have the legs to do it.


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We'll play against Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final - it's sure to be an epic.


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We're now a very rich club and we have more money than we know what to do with.


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Two very difficult away games to Hoffenheim and Monchengladbach. 4 points from our remaining 3 games would see us lift the Bundesliga, but Dortmund have no European distractions to worry about. The game against Juventus is the biggest in this story so far, by far and I have to think of a way to stop Juventus' attack and specifically, Paulo Dybala.


 
awesome season so far, good luck with the finish.

nice budget for next year also, should be able to get a couple of 1st teamers if you wish, or about 90% of gareth bale :)
 
Brilliant story! But what about Pulisic? Haven't seen his name since you bougth him i think
 
Amazing progress ! With the income you will get out of this superb season you will able to turn your team into an unstoppable force !
 
I think losing Firmino gives something to the story

What the **** are you feeding Mario?
 
awesome season so far, good luck with the finish.

nice budget for next year also, should be able to get a couple of 1st teamers if you wish, or about 90% of gareth bale :)

Brilliant story! But what about Pulisic? Haven't seen his name since you bougth him i think

Amazing progress ! With the income you will get out of this superb season you will able to turn your team into an unstoppable force !

I think losing Firmino gives something to the story

What the **** are you feeding Mario?


Thanks everyone! :) I think I'm going to focus mainly on keeping the core of the first team rather than sign any new players. We've got some fantastic youth prospects coming through and I think they deserve a chance.

Pulisic has been a bit of a flop if I'm honest. He's not started many games but has came on as a sub quite regularly, but isn't showing me much. Hopefully he improves next season or I may look to loan him out.

Yeah I think losing Firmino probably adds to the story, I think not signing a big money replacement benefits it too. Mario is a monster mate, he's unreal in the air but even with his feet he's devastating. He was scoring roughly a goal every 100 minutes at Juventus, but wasn't getting many first team opportunities.
 

May 2019

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"If god had wanted us to play football in the sky he would have put grass up there"
Brian Clough


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We've got one hand on the Bundesliga. I rested a number of players due to the away leg of the semi against Juventus being up next and the boys that came in delivered. Kevin Volland scored a worldie from 30 yards into the top corner against his former club to surely seal the Bundesliga for us. This is the area that has set this team apart to my team of the previous two seasons - we have good backups in each position. We've almost wrapped it up, lets just make sure of it in the next league game against Hannover.


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Champions League Semi Final Second Leg


Juventus (0) vs. Bayer Leverkusen (2)


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My scouts inform me in their report that Juve are likely to play a 4-3-3 with 3 clear strikers, I know that I have to address this. Playing our conventional 4-2-3-1 or even our counter attacking 4-1-2-3 will simply leave us outnumbered 2 vs 3 with our centre backs and their strikers. I decide to train the boys into a counter attacking 3-3-2-2, with each centre back picking up a striker and Lars Bender sitting in front of the defence as the spare man with Kampl and De Bruyne doing the dirty work in closing down.


Kick off




5th minute:

Simone Zaza misses a good chance for Juventus. Dybala whips a ball to the back post that Higuain heads back towards the 6 yard box, but Zaza can't convert the header as it loops just over the bar.




20th minute:

Dybala takes a corner into the box but it's cleared by Kampl and Dragovic chases the loose ball and dribbles towards the half way line. He's dispossessed by Lemina whom plays a through ball through our unorganised defence to Zaza who's one on one with Leno, but Jonathan Tah makes up at least 10 yards on Zaza to put pressure on him and Zaza drags his effort wide. A scare for Leverkusen.




24th minute:



GOAL



Mario Lemina dribbles around our 18 yard line and lays it off to Sami Khedira who blasts home with his left foot from 20 yards out. A great goal and the momentum swings towards Juventus. We still lead 2-1 on aggregate.





Half Time:

Half time arrives and it couldn't have come any quicker. We've been on the back foot and Juventus are stretching our defence. Our defence is staying solid and compact, but they have so many players that can produce a moment of magic. Let's hope we can hold on.





63rd minute:


Kevin Kampl has an opportunity to put a ball into the box around 40 yards out but it doesn't clear the first man and Higuain breaks away at our defence, 2 vs 3. He slips through Dybala who can't convert as his shot goes over from 20 yards. A lapse in concentration from us.




67th minute:


Paulo Dybala crosses it in from wide but Christensen heads clear for us. Bonucci picks up and finds Digne wide who whips in a sensational cross to LemINAAAAA! The ball comes crashing off the bar as Leverkusen hold on by the skin on their teeth.




70th minute:




GOAL




Henrichs has the ball wide right and plays it into Kampl, Lemina goes to pressure but Kampl spins him and plays the ball to Mandzukic whom peels off Bonucci. He lfits his head and spots the run of Julian Brandt, Mandzukic slips him through with his left foot and Brandt takes a touch past Rugani and puts it passed Sels in the Juventus goal, 1-1!! Could that be the goal that sees us make the final?!




86th minute:


Kampl drives through the Juventus midfield and unleashes a powerful show that Sels holds onto well. Still 1-1 on the night. Juventus look depleted.




91st minute:


The referee blows for full time, Bayer Leverkusen are in the final of the Champions League!!





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Champions League Final



View attachment 122505


We'll play Barcelona - the biggest club in the world - in the final. They overcame a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City by defeating them 2-0 in the return leg at the Etihad. What a challenge for us, can we hold off Messi, Suarez and Neymar?


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What an unbelievably week for us as we wrap up the league in style. Julian Brandt bagged a hat trick for us in a real performance of class for our fans. Could not be happier, we deserve this so much.


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I don't even care about this result. We played a rotated team, but the league was one, this can be our hangover.


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Summary

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2 wins 1 draw 1 loss 8 goals for 6 goals against


We won the league and qualified for the Champions League final in the same week - what else needs said? Bayern miss out on Champions League football...



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Julian Brandt deservedly won player of the year with Mario Mandzukic a close second. True club legends already for us. 7 of the team of the year players were from us, Kampl and Tah now making it 3 on the trot for them. Superb.


View attachment 122502



Next up will be the DFB-Pokal final, can we make it 2 from 3? Huge challenge, but we believe.​
 
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May 2019

DFB-Pokal Final

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"Fear is not a word in my football dictionary"
Jose Mourinho


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DFB-Pokal Final

Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen

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We respected Bayern's recent form and the fact that they missed out on a Champions League place will have them fired up for this match. We sacrificed an attacking midfielder for the more defensive minded Lars Bender.







Kick Off






8th Minute:
Kevin Kampl dispossesses David Alaba around the half way line and played through Atakan Akkaynak whom runs in one on one against Manuel Neuer, but hits it straight at him and it goes out for a corner. Huge early chance for us.






13th minute:






GOAL






Marco Reus passes a free kick to Kingsley Coman who has a go from 20 yards and takes a massive deflection off of Lars Bender and goes past Bern Leno. 1-0 Bayern.






15th minute:






GOAL







Julian Brandt beats Alaba wide and crosses into Mandzukic who heads for goal but Neuer makes a good stop to deny him. Jerome Boateng clears it but Akkaynak heads back into the danger area and Kevin Kampl places it past Manuel Neuer. Game on, 1-1.






36th minute:







GOAL






Huge mistake by David Alaba as he tries to dribble it out from the back but Brandt takes the ball off him and a 1 vs 1 against Neuer beckons. Boateng comes over to cover and close the angle but Brandt unleashes a thunderbolt into the top corner of the net to give us the lead. What a goal, 2-1 Leverkusen!






45th minute:





De Bruyne whips in a corner, Tah flicks on and Christensen nods the ball against the post!






47th minute:






GOAL







Marcos Reus floats a ball into the box and Muller heads it down for Boateng to flick home just before half time. A huge blow.










Half time


Bayern Munich 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen


A greta game for the neutral, a heartache for me. We've been creating good opportunities on the counter but Bayern are dominating the ball and the shots. At this point, it's anyones game.










64th minute:





Alaba whips in an early ball into the backpost for LewanDOWSKIIIIII!! So close from the Bayern man as it rebounds off the post and Christensen beats the Polish hitman to the rebound. We're on the ropes.






90th minute:





The game is still tied with both teams looking towards extra time. Substitute Kevin Volland dribbles from left to right across the Bayern defence around 25 yards as the Bayern defence trail him. Atakan Akkaynak makes a bursting run from midfield and is beckoning in on goal if Volland can find him. He can, Volland slides a pass through as it comes to AkkAYNAAAAAAAK!!!! Pandemonium in the stand, as Atakan Akkaynak powers the ball home from 20 yards past Manuel Neuer and runs to the fans! Leverkusen have done surely done it!!!












Full Time:


Bayern Munich 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen



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There it is, our first domestic double! We couldn't have won it much more dramatic fashion, with our superstar Akkaynak bagging the winner. Unbelievable season already but now we have a chance to go down in the history books.



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Perhaps the biggest team in the world at one of the most iconic stadiums - Old Trafford. We're 90 minutes away from greatness.





 
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Great that Leverkusen beat the spuds last night! XD

Congrats on the double and good luck in the CL final. Love the story mate!
 
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