FRANKFURT: Bayer Leverkusen battled past Mainz 05 2-1 on Friday to go 11 points clear at the top of the league and set a Bundesliga record with a 33rd successive match without defeat across all competitions.

The Bundesliga leaders went in front with Granit Xhaka’s stunning effort from 20 metres in the third minute but it was shortlived with Dominik Kohr’s diving header just five minutes later levelling things for Mainz.

Leverkusen had possession but Mainz keeper Robin Zentner made a string of fine first half saves to keep the visitors in the game before letting a weak Robert Andrich shot in the 68th slip through his hands for the hosts to reclaim the lead.

Mainz were left with 10 men when Jessic Ngankam was sent off for a foul on Xhaka.

Xabi Alonso’s team, who beat Bayern Munich’s previous unbeaten run of 32 matches, are now on 61 points, with second-placed Bayern, on 50, in action against RB Leipzig on Saturday.

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