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Leverkusen goes 10-point clear in win over Freiburg

Leverkusen goes 10-point clear in win over Freiburg

Freiburg,

Sunday , 17 March, 2024

In a fascinating contest, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen edged past Freiburg 3-2 to reclaim their 10-point lead over reigning champions Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga standings.

On the back of a 5-0 midweek defeat to West Ham in Europe, Christian Streich’s men had a point to prove as they took to the field against the league leaders.

But despite their endeavour, a side who had not tasted triumph in the last three home league games – their worst such run since December 2020 – would endure another difficult day in the Black Forest.

After being teed up by Alex Grimaldo, Leverkusen’s magic man Florian Wirtz waltzed into the box before smashing the net with a composed finish inside 90 seconds.

The hosts were not about to take defeat lying down however, and struck back through an individual effort of their own. Ritsu Doan received the ball on the right before playing a delicious one-two with Lucas Holer and leaving Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky rooted with his sweeping finish.Inspired by the equaliser, Freiburg saw further first-half chances but the visitor’s dominance told five minutes before the break. Another flowing move resulted in pinball in the Freiburg box, which allowed forward Adam Hlozek to slot in from eight yards.Alonso’s charges produced more of the same at the start of the second period, controlling the ball though, to their credit, Freiburg remained defiant in the face of the league leaders, who knew 15 points from their remaining nine games would be enough to break Bayern’s stranglehold on the title.It wouldn’t last however, with midweek hero Patrik Schick brilliantly dinking Jeremie Frimpong’s cross over Noah Atubolu in the Freiburg net.With the third goal clearly affecting the confidence within his team, Streich made a triple change. Truthfully, it looked as if the changes had made little effect with Leverkusen knocking the ball around comfortably and victory looking certain.But Yannik Keitel’s goal, which was bundled over the line against the run of play with just 10 minutes to go, ensured a thrilling finale at the Europa-Park Stadion. Despite their valiant effort, the hosts eventually ran out of steam with Alonso’s impressive outfit able to play their way out of danger and stretch their incredible unbeaten record to 37 competitive games.

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