The 5 best away matches at Leverkusen this millennium
Bayer versus Bayern – a fixture that normally means thrills! The two rivals face off for the 88th time in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET). The men from Munich have come out on top in 52 of those games, but there are often fireworks in this meeting between west and south. We look back at Bayern’s most memorable Bundesliga away matches at the BayArena. From Makaay to Pizarro, Ballack and Ribéry to Lewandowski – they’re all there. Happy reading!
1. 2000/2001: Test of nerves with happy ending – 1-0
This game probably made a few people realise that it could still be a special end to the season. On Matchday 32, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men beat a Michael Ballack-led Bayer side thanks to a late header from substitute Roque Santa Cruz in the 87th minute. The 1-0 win ensured that Oliver Kahn and Co stayed level on points with leaders Schalke 04 – and three weeks later, they were celebrating the legendary last-minute title win at Hamburg followed by the Champions League success against Valencia in Milan.
2. 2005/2006: Treble Dutch – 5-2
Matchday 2 of the 2005/06 campaign; Felix Magath’s Bayern travel to the Werkself, coached by FCB legend Klaus Augenthaler. Zé Roberto and Ballack are now wearing the Munich jersey, and it’s the then Germany captain who puts the visitors 1-0 up after just three minutes. After that, it was the Roy Makaay show, with the Dutchman hitting a hat-trick on this Saturday afternoon. The exhibition display was finished off by a goal from Ali Karimi. Magath’s men went on to celebrate their second consecutive double at the end of the season.
3. 2006/2007: Never give in – 3-2
This away outing on 11 November 2006 proved that games against the German record champions are never won until the final whistle goes. A rather stuttering Bayern were 2-1 behind after 80 minutes having conceded goals from Stefan Kießling and Athirson following current board member for sport Hasan Salihamidžić’s opener (33’), but Martín Demichelis (83’) and club legend Claudio Pizarro (86’) struck late to snatch an away win for Bayern.
4. 2017/2018: No slacking – 3-1
Anyone who had hoped at the start of the second half of the season in January 2018 that coach Jupp Heynckes’ team would loosen the reins a little after five German championships in a row was disappointed. Even without the injured Robert Lewandowski, the Bayern attack of Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben and Thomas Müller proved too strong, with the Frenchman (59’), Javi Martínez (32’) and a wonderful free-kick by James Rodriguez (90+1’) providing the goals and inflicting a first home defeat of the season on Leverkusen. And what was Bayern’s reward for this strong start to the year? That’s right: a sixth successive league title.
5. 2021/22: A show of strength in top-of-the-table clash - 5-1
The Munich men demonstrated their class early on in the 2021/22 season on their way to a 10th consecutive league title. No more so than in the top-of-the-table clash against the Werkself, who'd registered their best start to the season in eight years with 17 points from the first seven games. The league leaders from Munich flexed their muscles from the start in a show of strength. After taking an early lead through Lewandowski in the fourth minute, FCB really turned on the style after half an hour and scored four goals within just eight minutes. Lewandowski's second goal (30') was followed up by Thomas Müller (34'), before Serge Gnabry emulated the Pole and also netted twice (35, 37').