Xabi Alonso warns Bayer Leverkusen ‘still have a lot of work to be done’ after their 2-0 win away to Roma in the Europa League semi-final.

This really does seem to be Bayer Leverkusen’s year, as they have already won the Bundesliga with over a month to spare, are on track to win the German Cup and are 90 minutes away from reaching the Europa League Final.

They are unbeaten in all competition this season and emerged with a 2-0 result from the Stadio Olimpico thanks to goals from Florian Wirtz – who pounced on a Rick Karsdorp howler – and Robert Andrich from distance.

“We fought hard with strength and discipline, but there is a lot of work still to be done,” said Xabi Alonso in his press conference.

The coach surprised many by using a False 9 system with Amine Adli upfront, leaving both Patrik Schick and top scorer Victor Boniface on the bench.

It was the same approach they had also taken in other big games against Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, so was a show of respect towards Roma.

“We played well on the counter-attack, and although we perhaps didn’t make the most of all the chances we had to score a third goal, we are still satisfied. I hope that we can celebrate along with our fans in the second leg.”

There was a curious moment during the week when Andrich revealed his wife had told him she had a bad feeling about this trip to Rome, but he ended up finding the net.

“That means there’s always a second chance, he will have good memories of this evening,” smiled Xabi Alonso.

Xabi Alonso dreams of Treble

The coach also spoke to Sky Sport Italia about the match and insisted they ran few risks at the Stadio Olimpico.

“It was a focused performance with intelligence and maturity. Roma had their chances, then the opening goal gave us more confidence, we did the right thing on and off the ball.

“We felt stable in the second half and barely allowed Roma very much, knowing that if we remained solid and disciplined at the back, we could always create our chances.”

The second leg is next Thursday and they can afford to lose by one clear goal while still going through, while a defeat by two would see them go to extra time.

Of course, that would ruin their chances of matching or even surpassing the all-time record of 48 games unbeaten, set by Benfica from December 1963 to February 1965.

This win puts the Germans at 47.

“It is an exceptional run. I’d credit a great mentality of the team, a constant level of concentration throughout the team, but we don’t want to stop now. We need to keep it going for the rest of the season.”

Does Xabi Alonso dream of the Treble?

“We’re close.”

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