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Bayer Leverkusen has significantly strengthened their position at the top of the Bundesliga standings with a commanding 2-0 win over a 10-man Cologne team. This victory has propelled them to a 10-point lead over their closest rivals, Bayern Munich. The opportunity for Leverkusen to extend their lead came after Bayern Munich held to a 2-2 draw by Freiburg, marking another setback for the reigning champions.

Granit Xhaka, Leverkusen’s Swiss midfielder, emphasized the importance of maintaining focus despite the substantial lead. He acknowledged the 10-point advantage as significant but cautioned that the title race is far from over. With many games still ahead, Xhaka stressed the need for the team to continue accumulating points and to remain diligently focused on their objectives.

Xabi Alonso’s leadership has been pivotal in Leverkusen’s impressive performance this season, steering the team towards a potential Bundesliga title. However, the sentiment within the squad remains grounded, with an understanding that the journey towards the championship is ongoing and that every match contributes to their ultimate goal.

Bayer Leverkusen

In a highly anticipated Rhine derby, Leverkusen extended their German record to 34 games unbeaten across all competitions, overcoming Cologne despite the home team being reduced to 10 men early in the match. The clash, marked by its intensity and competitive spirit, saw Leverkusen emerge as the deserved winners.

The deadlock broken in the 38th minute through a well-executed play involving Alejandro Grimaldo, Patrik Schick, and Jeremie Frimpong, with Frimpong finding the net for his eighth league goal of the season. Grimaldo later sealed the victory in the 73rd minute, capitalizing on Amine Adli’s setup to score at the near post.

Cologne’s challenges compounded when Jan Thielmann received a straight red card in the 15th minute for a dangerous foul, increasing the pressure on the relegation-threatened side. Despite being a man down, Cologne showed resilience, hitting the post twice and maintaining a competitive edge throughout the match.

Leverkusen’s control of the game and strategic patience highlighted by their coach, Alonso, especially in managing the game’s emotional aspects and counter-attacks. This victory not only cements Leverkusen’s position as a strong contender for their first Bundesliga title but also places Cologne in a precarious situation, eight points away from safety with only 10 games remaining in the season.

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