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Friday, July 19, 2024

Xabi Alonso laments Bayer Leverkusen’s profligacy after being held to Gladbach draw

Xabi Alonso insists Bayer Leverkusen must learn how “to defeat teams who defend deep” after his side were held to a scoreless draw by Borussia Monchengladbach.

Leverkusen remain two points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga standings but will be deeply frustrated at dropping two points in a match they dominated.

Leverkusen enjoyed two-thirds of possession and had 29 shots on goal, but were unable to break the deadlock.

The draw comes a day after the Spanish head coach addressed speculation linking him to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool boss at the end of the season.

Alonso is revered at the Merseyside club having played 210 times for them between 2004 and 2009, but insisted he was only currently focused on his current role.

“We were not clinical enough in the penalty area, that is the one thing we lacked,” Alonso said after Saturday’s match.

“It is a shame that we did not win the match because other than that (being clinical) we deserved to win.

“We had a lot of control of the game and Gladbach defended deeply.

“We will analyse our performance, because we can use this game in the future to learn what we can do better to defeat teams who defend deep like this.”

Alonso added: “It is important for us to remain positive and to continue our good energy.

“This will be our focus in the coming weeks.”

Leverkusen will hope new striker Borja Iglesias, signed on loan from Real Betis until the end of the campaign, will be able to help fill the void left by the injury to star striker Victor Boniface earlier this month.

“He can fill the gap left by the absence of Victor,” Leverkusen sports director Simon Rolfes explained on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, Harry Kane was among the scorers as Bayern won 3-2 at Augsburg to close the gap at the top to Leverkusen to two points.

Alonso’s side remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga this term, having won 15 of their 19 matches but Bayern remain hot on their heals, with third-placed Stuttgart a further 10 points back.

(Lars Baron/Getty Images)

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