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HomeULTIMATE SPORTSIn Germany, Leverkusen Beat Wolfsburg As Frankfurt Settle Safely In Sixth

In Germany, Leverkusen Beat Wolfsburg As Frankfurt Settle Safely In Sixth

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Bayer Leverkusen took another giant step towards their first Bundesliga title on Sunday after a 2-0 home win over 10-man Wolfsburg re-established their 10-point lead at the top.
Bayern Munich, who have sealed the last 11 championships, hammered Mainz 8-1 on Saturday to temporarily trim the gap but Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten Leverkusen never looked like losing and now have just nine games left.

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“We started well even before the red card in the first 15-20 minutes. We had control,” Alonso told DAZN. “We could maybe have taken more risks but…it was a sensible performance.”

They were helped by Moritz Jenz, wearing a mask due to a facial injury, receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Patrik Schick after just 28 minutes.

Leverkusen, who had already hit the post through the mercurial Florian Wirtz, broke through the Wolves’ defences on 37 with a flowing move.

The ball eventually reached Alejandro Grimaldo, one of the players of the season, and the Spaniard produced some outrageous skill to beat his man and cross from Nathan Tella to net an easy header.

Germany’s Wirtz, another of the Bundesliga’s stand-out names this term, then got a deserved goal late on with a fine volley.

Alonso’s achievement in his first major coaching job, having taken over last season with the Werkself near the bottom, has led him to being linked with the soon-to-be-vacant coaching jobs at former clubs Bayern and Liverpool.

The way he has dealt with the injury absence of top scorer Victor Boniface since January is also remarkable, with his side barely missing a beat as they amassed 21 wins from 25 Bundesliga games.

They are also still in the German Cup and Europa League, where they host Azerbaijan’s Qarabag in a last-16 second leg on Thursday following a 2-2 draw.

Sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt earlier fought back to win 3-1 at home against rivals Hoffenheim while Freiburg also won to keep their hopes of a European spot alive.

Freiburg beat fourth-bottom Bochum 2-1 away to go eighth, with nine-men Hoffenheim now in seventh on the same points but ahead on goal difference.

Frankfurt occupy the guaranteed Conference League spot having increased their cushion to seven points, but seventh might also be enough for Europe depending on who wins the German Cup.

John Anthony Brooks headed in an early corner for Hoffenheim but the American was then shown a straight red midway through the first half for a professional foul.

The hosts levelled through another centre back, Robin Koch, before the interval and a header after a good move from Éric Dina Ebimbe put Frankfurt in the lead after the break.

Mario Götze made the game safe on 64 minutes, especially when Ozan Kabak received a second booking to leave Hoffenheim with nine men.

In Bochum, Freiburg’s Gregoritsch set up Maximilian Eggestein for his first of the season and the Austria forward then headed in himself before Ivan Ordets cut the deficit.

“A win like this is extremely important for morale,” said Gregoritsch, who came into the starting line-up having scored the winner off the bench in Thursday’s Europa League clash against West Ham. Their second leg is also this Thursday.

Bochum, who had their chances and a penalty appeal waved away, were looking strong at home but have now lost their last two games at the Ruhrstadion since stunning Bayern 3-2 there last month.

It is three defeats in a row for Thomas Letsch’s side, who are seven points above Cologne in the relegation play-off spot.

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