Xabi Alonso’s side now have a total of 70 points in the Bundesliga, maintaining their gap of 10 points in front of Bayern Munich in second.

While Freiburg dropped to ninth position, adding to the disappointment of their Europa League exit to West Ham United on Thursday.

Werkself midfielder Florian Wirtz curled an effort past Noah Atubolu after just two minutes to give the visitors an early advantage.

The lead did not last long, as Ritsu Dōan brought his side level eight minutes later. 

Given a rare starting berth by Xabi Alonso, Adam Hložek repaid his head coach’s faith by firing Leverkusen in front in the 40th minute.

The visitors looked to be out of sight after Patrik Schick scored a third in the 53rd minute, but substitute Yannik Keitel ensured there was pressure until the death after he scored with after 79 minutes. 

  •  Streich cannot be (easily) replaced

SC Freiburg have confirmed this morning that their long-serving head coach will be leaving the club after 12 years at the helm, where he started as a player and youth coach.

Streich led Die Breisgauer to Europa League qualification in both of the last two seasons, earning a club record 59 points in the last campaign.

The 58-year-old has been the face of the Freiburg project that has catapulted into Bundesliga stability, playing European football and the ability to go toe to toe with the likes of Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen this season.

A lot has happened in Streich’s tenure, including relegation and then immediate promotion in the following season.  

Adored by Freiburg's support, the Schwarzwald native is widely respected by fans and coaches alike across Germany for the way he does not shy away from speaking his mind on important issues in sport and beyond.

As well as being rated highly as a person, it is clear Streich got the very best and more out of his players every season, despite the fact that players are often poached from Freiburg every season.

Streich’s work with youth is also highly documented, having worked with, developed and handed debuts to a number of famous faces in the Bundesliga. 

Freiburg have a remarkable number of youth graduates in their first team, including their first choice goalkeeper Atubolu.

Despite a number of shaky moments, Streich has continued to back the 21-year-old. Due to Freiburg’s limited financial means, youth has a key part to play in the club’s fortunes and he has and continues to give young players that opportunity.

Streich as a personality and his managerial prowess will be nigh on impossible to replace in Freiburg, and it is clear that the last four matches inside the Europa-Park Stadion are going to be incredibly emotional affairs.

  • The Leverkusen train is going full steam ahead 

Bayer Leverkusen inflicted Freiburg’s third home defeat of the season to top off a busy week of 180 minutes of intense football.

To put both results into context, Leverkusen are 10 points clear of Bayern Munich with eight games remaining and also through to the Quarter-Final of the Europa League, where they will meet West Ham United.

This week showcased the mettle and determination of Xabi Alonso’s side tenfold, with a staggering will to win and the desire to fight until the end.

Adding to their upcoming DFB-Pokal semi-final at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf, Leverkusen are incredibly well placed to challenge on all three fronts.

Patrik Schick scored what was in the end, a crucial third goal against Freiburg. His 53rd minute strike was his third in two matches, taking the Czech’s tally to 10 for the season, as he continues to show his worth in Victor Boniface’s absence.

Leverkusen’s top scorer has been out of action since early January, but Alonso has hinted that the Nigerian striker could return at the end of this month.

His comeback may be exceptionally timed as Die Werkself challenge for silverware, his goal scoring pedigree has been missing at times for Alonso’s side.

  • Freiburg show reaction to West Ham defeat, but continue to concede goals

Despite taking a 1-0 lead to West Ham’s London Stadium, Freiburg were convincingly beaten away from home.

Die Breisgauer lost 5-0 (5-1 agg) on the night, struggling to impose themselves on the game and create chances of their own.

Conversely, whether that be their strong home record, the news of Christian Streich’s future departure, or a combination of both, Freiburg were fired up for Leverkusen’s visit and did not stop fighting until the very end.

Freiburg registered six shots, three of which were on target and two of those chances were converted as the hosts pushed Leverkusen all the way.

Despite that, it is clear that Freiburg are conceding too many goals and letting themselves down in the context of their overall play throughout 90 minutes.

Yannik Keitel scored his first senior goal for the club at the weekend, fitting considering the news from Streich came the following day.

A Baden-Württemberg native, Keitel took his chance off the bench and ensured that Leverkusen could not simply coast to a 3-1 win.

Freiburg are two points away from seventh place and seven away from 6th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt. While a place in the top six may be difficult to obtain, seventh place is a possibility.

Florian Wirtz appears to be well and truly hitting his stride at this moment of the season.

The 20-year-old has notched seven goals and 10 assists so far in the Bundesliga, including a fantastically-taken effort after two minutes at the weekend.

Wirtz found the back of the net the week before against VfL Wolfsburg, which was preceded by an audacious chipped goal in the draw away at Qarabag FK.

His strike in Freiburg was his 11th in all competitions this season, which combined with his 17 assists, paints the picture of a very in-form player.

According to AWS, the provider of the Bundesliga’s match facts, Wirtz was the most pressed player on the pitch, won the most duels, and ran the furthest distance on the pitch.

It is sometimes easy to forget that Wirtz is just 20-years-old, but has clear trust from Alonso and is the chief creative force in the middle of the park.

As the stakes get higher when the season begins to come to a close, the German international appears to be seizing each and every opportunity.

With the signs pointing to both Wirtz and Alonso sticking around next season, there is no doubt that Wirtz will continue to develop in Leverkusen under the tutelage of the Bayer head coach.