Leverkusen beats Freiburg 3-2 to keep 10-point lead over Bayern in the Bundesliga

Spread the love

FREIBURG, Germany — Patrik Schick scored his first Bundesliga goal in three months as Bayer Leverkusen beat Freiburg 3-2 to stay 10 points clear of Bayern Munich in the German title race on Sunday.

With coach Xabi Alonso rotating his squad after a busy run of games, unbeaten Leverkusen survived a late Freiburg comeback to take another step toward the title.

Leverkusen needed less than 90 seconds to take the lead as Florian Wirtz, the 20-year-old attacking midfielder who has been key to the team’s success under Alonso, held off two defenders before curling the ball into the net.

Freiburg soon hit back with a goal from Ritsu Doan, before an error from Freiburg goalkeeper Noah Atubolu put Leverkusen back into the lead shortly before halftime. Trying to cut out a pass, Atubolu gave the ball away to Schick and blocked his shot before Adam Hlozek scored the rebound.

Schick extended Leverkusen’s lead with a flick off the post in the 53rd minute off Jeremie Frimpong’s cross. Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky let Freiburg back into the game when he spilled Yannik Keitel’s shot, allowing Keitel to score at the second attempt.

That made for a nervy finish for Leverkusen as Freiburg defender Manuel Gulde headed narrowly over the bar at a corner with seconds remaining.

It was a statement win in particular for Czech forwards Schick and Hlozek, who have had comparatively little impact on the German title race despite Leverkusen’s stunning season.

Leverkusen has relied on goals from the midfield and wing back positions this season since an injury in January ruled out striker Victor Boniface. Schick hadn’t scored in the league since a hat trick in December — though his goals in the Europa League have been vital. Hlozek’s only other Bundesliga goal was in September.

Five wins from Leverkusen’s last eight league games would be enough to give Alonso’s team its first ever Bundesliga title, even if Bayern wins every game.

Bayern’s own encounter with Freiburg saw the champion drop points in a 2-2 draw on March 1.

Bayern has concerns over an ankle injury to the league’s top scorer Harry Kane after he collided with a goalpost in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Darmstadt. Bayern said Sunday that Kane would still join up with England for upcoming friendlies.

Back in action after securing a spot in the Champions League quarterfinals, Borussia Dortmund hosts Eintracht Frankfurt later Sunday.

Source: AP