Freiburg outclassed regional rivals VfB Stuttgart 3-0 on Sunday to quietly climb into sixth place in the Bundesliga and trigger European aspirations.
Jan Rosenthal fired in from 18 metres midway through the first half and defender Pavel Krmas took advantage of keeper Sven Ulreich's bad clearance to score his first goal of the season in the 67th minute.
Max Kruse notched his fourth goal of the season six minutes later, slipping the ball through Ulreich's leg with Stuttgart's defence reeling. The hosts, who returned to the Bundesliga in 2009, should have added at least two more in the second half with Stuttgart unable to stem the continuous flow of Freiburg attacks.
Freiburg, who last played in Europe a decade ago, move up to sixth on 19 points after only one defeat in their last seven league games, two behind fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, in action at Hoffenheim later on Sunday.
The visitors, looking drained from their 5-1 Europa League victory at Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, are stuck in 12th place on 16 points following their first away defeat after a six-game undefeated streak.
Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top to nine points after crushing Hanover 96 5-0 on Saturday. Champions Borussia Dortmund moved into second spot on 25 points after a narrow 2-1 win at Mainz 05. Fellow Champions League competitors Schalke 04 dropped to third, a point behind, following their 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.