Patrik Schick Scores a Sublime First Half Hat-Trick Against VfL Bochum to Mark His First Bundesliga Start in 14 Months
After a long and rough period out with multiple spells of injury, since he shone in Euro 2020 with a halfway-line goal, Patrik Schick is back with a bang as he scored an all-rounded hat-trick for Bayer Leverkusen in their 4-0 win against Bochum. The appearance was Patrik Schick’s first Bundesliga start in 14 months, and he took his opportunity with aplomb in a 15-minute solo show in the first half. Firstly, he converted the penalty into the bottom left corner before doubling his goal tally 2 minutes later with a left-footed shot. Patrik Schick then savoured his hat trick with an easy header before leaving the field to a rupture of applause from the home faithful.
Patrik Schick Repaid Xabi Alonso’s Faith in Dismantling Display
With the Africa Cup of Nations coming in January, Xabi Alonso decided to rest some of his key figures, including Edmond Tapsoba and top scorer Victor Boniface, in this final match before the German holidays kick in. Thus, it was time someone from the bench stepped up for this remarkable Bayer Leverkusen side, and today, Patrik Schick made his mark.
The 27-year-old Patrik Schick scored a remarkable 16-minute hat trick before withdrawing to thunderous support from the home crowd. However, his position as a starter may still be in doubt after the Africa Cup of Nations as Victor Boniface scored just two minutes after replacing him and showed him why he is the regular starter.
Bayer Leverkusen Remained Undefeated This Season And Broke a 41-Year Bundesliga Record
With this Patrik Schick hat-trick and remarkable win, Bayer Leverkusen stretched their unbeaten start to the season to 25 games across all competitions, breaking Hamburg’s 41-year Bundesliga record of 24 games without defeat during the 1982-83 season.
In addition, they have romped up 22 wins and three draws throughout their unbeaten run. It is a massive accomplishment, considering Hamburg only recorded 14 victories and 10 draws before succumbing to defeat in a third-round German cup tie against Hertha Berlin.
Besides the record, Bayer Leverkusen will head into the new year as leaders with 42 points, four points above 11 times consecutive champions Bayern Munich, with them having a game in hand and eight points further ahead of surprise package VfB Stuttgart in third.
Xabi Alonso Mentioned His Squad Is Surpassing the Most Optimistic Expectations
In his post match interview, Xabi Alonso stated that his squad is surpassing the most optimistic expectations they themselves had set. “We had high hopes of playing a good first half of the season, but of course, even the most optimistic wouldn’t have thought we do so well.”
As for what had transpired, the Spanish manager highlighted: “Yes, we’re in this situation now, and we’re going to enjoy it, but we want to keep going, and we don’t want to stop. We know that if we don’t play so well and play without this personality and confidence, then we can have problems.”
When asked if he would consider leaving Bayer Leverkusen for a high-profile club elsewhere, Alonso replied: “It depends on if you want to be pushed to take other people’s decisions or if you want to make your own decisions. And so far, I’ve been clear. I will make my own decisions when I feel it is the right moment for whatever. So that’s going to happen for sure.”
Can Bayer Leverkusen Replicate Arsenal’s Unbeaten Season?
At the current moment of writing this, it is not a matter of can but of when. Bayer Leverkusen had looked virtually impossible to beat as they had scored 81 goals in 25 appearances while only conceding 18 goals. It is a stat even players in FIFA Career Mode would not dare to list out if they are not playing on Ultimate difficulty.
Nevertheless, if Leverkusen and Patrik Schick could keep up this dominating performance even with the absentees heading for January’s Africa Cup of Nations, they could become the first team in Bundesliga history to record an unbeaten season, a title modernly owned exclusively by Arsenal’s Invincibles.
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