Leverkusen make statement of intent against Freiburg


Leverkusen make statement of intent ahead of Hammers clash 

West Ham got a first-hand look at our upcoming Europa League rivals, Bayer Leverkusen, during the weekend clash against SC Freiburg, the team they faced in the previous Europa League encounter. The Bundesliga match was closely contested, with Florian Wirtz opening the scoring for Leverkusen early on, only to be equalized by Ritsu Doan for Freiburg. Leverkusen secured a two-goal lead through strikes from Adam Hlozek and Patrik Schick before Yannik Keitel grabbed a consolation goal for Freiburg.

This win maintained Xabi Alonso’s team’s commanding 10-point lead at the Bundesliga summit, with Freiburg languishing in ninth place. Whilst the Hammers  triumphed 5-0 over Freiburg in our Europa League meeting, Leverkusen progressed to the quarter-finals with a dramatic 5-4 aggregate victory over Qarabag, courtesy of two injury-time goals from Schick.

Alonso's Leverkusen make statement of intent ahead of Hammers clash by beating SC Freiburg

Alonso’s Leverkusen make statement of intent ahead of Hammers clash

In their latest encounter, Leverkusen mirrored their European form, with Wirtz finding the net early. Despite a response from Doan, Freiburg struggled to create meaningful chances. Defensive errors allowed Hlozek and Schick to extend Leverkusen’s lead, though a late goal from Keitel kept Freiburg in contention.

Leverkusen’s unbeaten run across all competitions this season poses a significant challenge for David Moyes‘ West Ham side. Frimpong’s pace and skill on the wings could trouble the Hammers’ defence in the upcoming clash. Nevertheless, West Ham can draw encouragement from the 3-2 scoreline, knowing that the outcome of the Europa League tie remains uncertain.

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