Frankfurt: Overlooked amid the current euphoria in the Champions League, Bayer Leverkusen has emerged as Bayern Munich's closest challenger in the Bundesliga.
The club that has never captured the championship has won its last four in the league to climb to second place, eight points behind Bayern. Leverkusen next visits Hannover on Sunday.
Two-time defending champion Borussia Dortmund is 11 points behind and Schalke is 13 behind. With Dortmund and Schalke both progressing in the Champions League, along with Bayern, Leverkusen has the relatively minor distraction of the Europa League.