Xabi Alonso unable to explain consistent Leverkusen comebacks


Bayer Leverkusen manager Xavi Alonso says he is unable to explain how his team have been able to comeback in games multiple times this season.

The first-time German champions were 2-0 down against AS Roma in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night but were able to find their way back with late goals by Mancini (own goal) and Josip Stanisic in the 82nd minute minute and added time.

The result ensured that Leverkusen remained unbeaten in all competitions this season and set a new European record of going 49 games unbeaten.

“…It’s difficult to explain this kind of situations once and over and over again,” Alonso said.

“And, you know, I am kind of speechless again that we were able to come back, to show this character and not to lose the game.

“Overall, I think it is totally deserved – not to do it, because even before their first goal and before the second one we had created so many chances, we were so close, but this is about scoring, and we were not doing that. We were so close.

“So, that’s why and when we have shown great character. I think I’ve said the boys they kept having the confidence that we were in the right way, even after the 2-0 [for Roma] you can have a few doubts, you can lose the control, you try to change a little bit the way you play.

“But we kept doing the right things and for sure it was important, but it was totally deserved. And at the end again we scored the equaliser that it feels even greater to reach this way the final.”

Speaking on Leverkusen’s form, Roma coach Danielle De Rossi stated:

“They have been very good, they had a lot of shots at goal. It’s a pity because we had come back but as it often happens with these great teams when they have a season like this, they are also quite lucky.

“So, if we look at the episodes both in the first and second legs, they were a bit lucky. But we played the game we had to play. And it hurts but we have to carry on. In my opinion, we come out of this game with more belief, in good spirit and with the knowledge that we are still a team that can compete everywhere.”

Leverkusen will get to face Atalanta in the final in Dublin on May 22.

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