Freiburg back in top-four fight following victory against 10-man Bochum
A second-successive Bundesliga victory has Freiburg dreaming big once again, with 10-man opponents Bochum succumbing to goals in either half from Lucas Höler and Michael Gregoritsch.
Bochum 0-2 Freiburg
Goals: 0-1 Gregoritsch 39' (assist: Grifo), 0-2 Höler 51' (assist: Günter)
Red card: Losilla 63'
Returning to their Vonovia Ruhrstadion fortress after a 3-0 reverse against defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Matchday 20, Thomas Letsch’s side knew a sixth home win of the campaign would momentarily ease their relegation worries. As the rain teemed down on North Rhine-Westphalia, Takuma Asano warmed Mark Flekken’s hands with a curling shot on the run. Freiburg’s last two trips in the Bundesliga brought back-to-back losses against Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund, Christian Streich’s side shipping a worrying 11 goals in those two fixtures. A cautious start from the Black Forest side was thus understandable. However, when the visitors did venture forward, they were rewarded with a lead from a set-piece. Vincenzo Grifo’s looping corner from the left bounced perfectly for Gregoritsch, whose touch from close range powered the ball high into the net.
After steadying the ship with a win in Stuttgart last week, Freiburg were suddenly in a position to reignite their top-four push. Christian Günter galloping up the left shortly after the break had the home fans looking on nervously. The visiting captain’s whipped delivery arguably should have been dealt with by substitute Konstantinos Stafylidis, who had Höler lurking on his shoulder. When the Greek defender ducked, Freiburg’s forward – missing for large parts of the campaign with a metatarsal fracture – angled in his third goal of the season. Things got even worse for the boys in blue soon afterwards with Anthony Losilla ordered off for connecting studs up with Höfler. Flekken then repelled efforts from Philipp Hofmann and Jordi Osei-Tutu as Streich’s team held firm for maximum points.
- Höler scored for a third time in his last four games.
- Gregoritsch scored for a third time in four games against his former side Bochum.
- Freiburg scored for a 15th time this season from a set-piece, a division best.
- Grifo is the league leader in terms of dead-ball deliveries leading to goals (12).
- Gregoritsch's opener saw Bochum fall behind in a game for the 14th time this season.
- Freiburg's 39th minute goal was also the 50th Bochum conceded this term.
- The hosts also conceded a 10th headed goal, more than any other team this term.
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Bochum: Riemann - Janko (Osei-Tutu 68'), Ordets, Schlotterbeck, Soares (Stafylidis 46') - Stöger, Losilla (c) - Asano (Ganvoula 86') - Zoller (Broschinski 62'), Hofmann, Antwi-Adjei
Unused subs: Johansson, Heintz, Lampropoulos, Osterhage, Kunde
Out: Esser (muscular), Förster (ill), Gamboa (knee), Grave (shoulder), Holtmann (knee), Masovic (ill)
Coach: Thomas Letsch
Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) - Eggestein (Keitel 87'), Höfler - Doan (Sallai 77'), Höler (Jeong 77'), Grifo (Weißhaupt 89') - Gregoritsch (Petersen 87')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Sildillia, Gulde, Wagner
Out: Kyereh (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Christian Streich
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