Bayer Leverkusen
Granit Xhaka (left) scored Bayer Leverkusen's opening goal in the team's 2-1 against Mainz this past Friday. Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen made history in the most recent Bundesliga matchday as the side defeated Mainz 2-1 at home to stretch the club's unbeaten run in all competitions to 33 games.

This feat is now the longest stretch of games a German club has ever been on across all competitions without losing. The previous 32-match unbeaten record was set by Bayern Munich and occurred under previous manager, Hansi Flick, from December 2019 until September 2020.

The new record set by the current Bundesliga leaders is particularly impressive as the unbeaten run has taken place in a single season. The run first began last August and means Xabi Alonso's side are yet to experience a defeat in any competition so far this season.

The German side went on a club-record 14-match winning streak earlier this season, as Alonso oversaw nothing but victories from late September until late November. The title credentials of the Bundesliga leaders grew earlier this month as they swept aside Bayern with a dominant 3-0 win which opened up a five-point lead at the time.

Friday night's game against Mainz got off to a quick start as former Arsenal midfielder, Granit Xhaka, netted his first goal for Bayer Leverkusen after opening the scoring in the third minute with a superb strike from outside the penalty box.

Alonso's side were pegged back just four minutes later as Dominik Kohr headed in to finish off a well-worked free-kick by Mainz. Jonas Hofmann then wasted two good opportunities to put Alonso's side back in front as he could not find a way past Mainz's keeper, Robin Zentner.

Alex Grimaldo also forced two saves out of Zenter later in the first half, including a powerful free-kick attempt which was tipped over the bar.

Mainz had the better of the chances to begin the second half, but Phillipp Mwene and Lee Jae-sung were not clinical and did not take their opportunities. Odilon Kossounou then came close to putting the home side ahead again but his header from a corner flashed just wide of the post.

The league leaders found the breakthrough on 68 minutes as Robert Andrich's long-range strike was mishandled by Zentner and the ball found its way into the back of the net. Jessic Ngankam was then sent off for Mainz in the 80th minute after a reckless challenge on Xhaka.

Being reduced to 10 men made it difficult for Mainz to find an equaliser and Alonso's side saw out the game.

With 11 league games to go, Bayer Leverkusen now hold an eight-point lead over Bayern and boast a slightly better goal difference. Having finished runner-up on five occasions in the past, a Bundesliga triumph this season would be the first in Bayer Leverkusen's 120-year history.

Despite Bayer Leverkusen's win last Friday taking the team to 23 league games unbeaten, the club has some way to go in surpassing Bayern's 53-match unbeaten Bundesliga run that lasted from November 2012 until April 2014.

Much of Bayer Leverkusen's success this season has been attributed to the work of Alonso, with the Spaniard receiving large praise for his work in halting Bayern's domestic dominance.

Unfortunately for the Bundesliga leaders, Alonso's impressive efforts from the dugout have naturally alerted other clubs to target him as their next manager. In particular, Liverpool and Bayern reportedly view the 42-year-old as the ideal candidate to take over at their respective clubs next season.

Jurgen Klopp recently announced he will leave Liverpool after this current season and Thomas Tuchel and Bayern agreed last week that they would part ways after this campaign.

Alonso represented both Bayern and Liverpool during his playing career, meaning he may have to make a difficult choice come the summer regarding his managerial future. Bayer Leverkusen are expected to persuade the Spaniard to remain in charge at the BayArena and are currently confident he will remain with the club beyond this season.

Bayer Leverkusen will next be in action this coming Sunday with a Bundesliga clash away to 16th-placed, FC Cologne.