Bundesliga: Leverkusen jubilant as top four move away from RB Leipzig | Sports | German football and major international sports news | DW
Bayer Leverkusen’s victory over Eintracht Frankfurt gives them a cushion of three points in the race for fourth place – while 65km down the motorway – Leipzig were overtaken by Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The star of both games was Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, who finished the evening with two assists and played a key role. His speed and vitality are a little too strong for a Frankfurt in the lead, after their exercises in London on Thursday.
Paulinho and Patrick Schick scored Leverkusen’s goals on the night when the Czech striker showed his class with an extraordinary strike which VAR brushed aside, to score the vital second. Schick, who spent the 2019-20 season on loan at the Red Bull club, is developing a superb deal with Diaby, who is creating such problems from wide areas. Sardar Azmoun was good too, filling the void left by injured Florian Wirtz.
The other team chasing Champions League football is Freiburg, who are keeping their noses ahead of Domenico Tedesco’s Leipzig; their impressive season under Tedesco suffered a jolt at Mönchengladbach, who held on at 10 against Leipzig after two Jonas Hofmann goals from Breel Embolo’s opener.
“We weren’t on the pitch in the first half and we lacked everything – intensity, physicality,” Tedesco said, in a candid assessment of the defeat. “We lost the balls too quickly and we didn’t secure the balls up front either. At this stage of the season, it’s a bit too many gifts.”
It was a blow for the Tedesco side, who got one through Christopher Nkunku, but looked as jaded as Frankfurt – both suffering from their Europa League efforts.
A bitter defeat for RB Leipzig and Domenico Tedesco, whose side were looking to get ahead of Freiburg.
Leipzig and Freiburg set for key clashes
The Europa League now takes on even greater importance for RB Leipzig, who take a 1-0 lead over Ibrox to face Rangers in their semi-final second leg. Frankfurt will also be looking to banish the memories of that tired performance ahead of a lively night in the semi-final against West Ham.
The race for the top four is one of the most interesting and dramatic storylines in the Bundesliga. Things are better: Freiburg is in fourth place, one place and one point ahead of Leipzig, which is fifth. Freiburg’s next three games: at home against Union Berlin, in Leverkusen and at home against Leipzig. All in the vicinity of Friborg in the league.
Fourth against fifth – a Champions League qualifier – on the last day of the season in the new Freiburg stadium is not impossible. With the German Cup final scheduled again between Freiburg and Leipzig on May 21, it’s a rivalry to spice up the end of the season. That night, Diaby and Schick cemented Leverkusen’s relative comfort in third as the race for the top four heats up below them.