SC Freiburg – Bayer Leverkusen: Unstoppable Quality Sends Leverkusen 10-Points Clear (2-3)

Bayer Leverkusen restored their 10-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-2 away win over SC Freiburg. The home team performed admirably in the first half and will be disappointed with the goals they conceded. But the visitors showcased why they remain unbeaten with decisive moments of individual and collective quality.

Tactical analysis and match report by Nick Smoothy.

The 27th of May 2023, the final day of the 2022/23 Bundesliga campaign. Why is this date relevant? It was the last time Bayer Leverkusen lost a competitive match. Fast forward to this season and Xabi Alonso’s side are 37 games unbeaten across all competitions. This run has resulted in a (prior to kick-off) seven-point lead at the top of the league table and a European quarter-final.

It was in Europe on Thursday evening, against Qarabag, where Leverkusen’s undefeated streak was last tested. The German club were on the cusp of defeat, with the Azerbaijani side taking a two-goal lead. But a stoppage time brace from Patrik Schick sensationally snatched a 3-2 victory.

The Czech striker’s heroics helped keep his place in the starting line-up for this away clash against SC Freiburg. Elsewhere for the visitors, Xabi Alonso reverted to more of a full-strength compliment of players after making seven changes for their Europa League second-leg. This meant, Lukáš Hrádecký returned in goal behind defenders Josip Stanišić, Jonathan Tah and Piero Hincapié. Jeremie Frimpong and Álex Grimaldo operated as wing-backs, with Granit Xhaka and Exequiel Palacios playing as double pivot. In attack, Schick was supported by two tens, Adam Hložek and Florian Wirtz.

Their opponents, and . . .

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