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European football: Leverkusen smash Bochum to reach 50 games unbeaten



The Bundesliga champions, Bayer Leverkusen, crushed hosts Bochum 5-0 on Sunday to stretch their unbeaten run across all competitions to 50 matches.

Last Thursday Xabi Alonso’s team, aiming for a treble of titles, surpassed Benfica’s long-standing European unbeaten record set from 1963 to 1965 with a 2-2 draw against Roma that sent them through to the Europa League final.

Leverkusen did not ease off against lowly Bochum, scoring twice late in the first half versus the last Bundesliga team to beat them in the previous season. Patrik Schick put the visitors in the driving seat in the 41st minute and Victor Boniface doubled their lead with a penalty, with Bochum down to 10 men following a straight red card for Felix Passlack in the 15th minute. Amine Adli made it 3-0 in the 76th and Josip Stanisic added another in the 86th with a low drive before delivering an assist for Alejandro Grimaldo to score in stoppage time.

Bayern Munich, 2-0 winners against Wolfsburg earlier on Sunday, are 15 points behind in second place. The teenager Lovro Zvonarek scored on his first start for Bayern and Leon Goretzka doubled the advantage. Bayern were missing Harry Kane, with a minor back problem, Serge Gnabry, who was injured in their Champions League defeat by Real Madrid, Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala.

In La Liga, Atlético Madrid’s Rodrigo De Paul scored a brilliant late goal to snatch a 1-0 home victory against relegation-threatened Celta Vigo as they consolidated fourth spot.

The Argentine midfielder controlled a clearance from a corner just outside the area before unleashing a breathtaking shot into the top-right corner in the 84th minute.

The win leaves Atletico with 70 points from 35 games, eight points ahead of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao. Celta are 16th with 34 points, five points above the drop zone.

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