Leverkusen's 2-1 win over Mainz extends unbeaten run and lead at the top

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LEVERKUSEN, Germany - Bayer Leverkusen fought past Mainz 05 with a score of 2-1 on Friday, extending their lead at the top of the league to 11 points and establishing a new record for Bundesliga clubs with their 33rd consecutive game without defeat across all competitions.

The Bundesliga frontrunners, although not as clinical in front of goal as usual and affording Mainz space to threaten, secured the victory thanks to an error by Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner.

Xabi Alonso's side, surpassing Bayern Munich's previous unbeaten run of 32 matches, now sit comfortably on 61 points. Bayern Munich, in second place with 50 points, were set to face RB Leipzig on Saturday.

They took the lead through Granit Xhaka's spectacular strike from 20 meters out in the third minute, but Mainz quickly responded with Dominik Kohr's diving header just five minutes later to equalize.

Despite Leverkusen dominating possession, Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner produced several impressive saves in the first half to keep the visitors in contention, before letting a weak Robert Andrich shot slip through his grasp in the 68th minute, allowing the hosts to regain the lead.

Mainz were reduced to 10 men when Jessic Ngankam was shown a red card for a foul on Xhaka.

"We need to be honest with ourselves and admit that we didn't play well," said goal scorer Andrich. "We were somewhat fortunate to come away with the win. However, we won't complain about earning three points.

"We were too hasty and lacked precision. We failed to find the necessary solutions and made far too many mistakes." REUTERS