Leipzig On Bayern Munich’s Trail After Ancelotti’s Men Drop Points
Leipzig reaped their fourth consecutive win after easing 4-0 past Freiburg while ten-men Leverkusen held Bayern to a goalless draw at the opener of the 29th round in Bundesliga on Saturday.
Runners-up Leipzig will definitely play in UEFA Champions League next season as they crushed Freiburg 4-0 to wrap up the 19th victory of the season.
The “Bulls” took the reins from the kick off and pressed Freiburg into defense but, neither Emil Forsberg nor Yussuf Poulsen were able to turn in promising opportunities in the opening period.
Freiburg lacked in penetration and had to witness how Poulsen broke the deadlock with 36 minutes into the game. The striker capitalized on a free kick cross from Forsberg to head the opener into the top right corner.
Poulsen remained in the thick of things as his through ball allowed Timo Werner to double the advantage only six minutes later.
Despite a couple of amendments, Freiburg were unable to threat Leipzig, who extend the lead through Naby Keita and the latter slotted home from 14 meters to make it 3-0 on the scoreboards.
Ralph Hasenhuettl’s men were not done with the scoring and rounded off the 4-0 victory with Diego Demme’s first goal of the season in the dying minutes of the game.
With five games to spare, second placed Leipzig sit 18 points ahead of fifth placed Berlin and have a guaranteed top-four finish, which ensures at least the UEFA Champions League’s play-off round.
Wasteful Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by Bayer Leverkusen, who played most of the second half with ten-men.
The “Bavarians” controlled the proceedings on the pitch but they lacked in accuracy to overcome Bayer Leverkusen’s well-positioned defense.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men should have grabbed the lead after the restart as Leverkusen’s Tin Jedvaj saw his second-yellow card to receive his marching order with 59 minutes.
Despite one man down Bayer Leverkusen stood firm and denied Bayern three points as neither Thomas Mueller nor Philipp Lahm were able to tap home one of the plenty opportunities.
With the draw, Bayern stay atop the standings with 69 points, and an eight-point advantage to Leipzig, while Leverkusen jump on the 11th place of the Bundesliga standings.
Elsewhere, Hoffenheim defended their third place after beating resilient Monchengladbach 5-3 thanks to the brace from Adam Szalai.
Fourth placed Borussia Dortmund edged Frankfurt 3-1 to return to winning ways.
Mainz ended their five-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over fifth placed Hertha Berlin, who suffered the eighth consecutive defeat on the road.
Augsburg downed Cologne 2-1 with two first half goals and Wolfsburg overcame relegation threatened Ingolstadt 3-0.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Sunday: Werder Bremen host Hamburg for the Northern derby and bottom dwelling Darmstadt take on Schalke.