Donyell Malen and Niclas Füllkrug combine as Borussia Dortmund beat Freiburg


Borussia Dortmund made it four wins from five in 2024 as they defeated Freiburg 3-0 in the Matchday 21 curtain raiser, with Niclas Füllkrug twice teeing up Donyell Malen to score.

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0
Malen 16' (assist: Füllkrug), 2-0 Malen 45'+7 (assist: Füllkrug), 3-0 Füllkrug 87' (assist: Maatsen)

Dortmund went into the game having taken 10 points from a possible 12 in 2024 and they duly began on the front foot, even with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt on the bench. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens’ pace and trickery caused Freiburg problems early on but it was Füllkrug’s rather more old-school qualities of strength and awareness that helped BVB take the lead, the forward holding the ball up well before laying it off to Malen to lash in the opener. The visitors tried to muster a response but a Michael Gregoritsch header that was saved by Gregor Kobel was as good as it got for them in an otherwise one-sided first half, which Dortmund ended 2-0 up after more fine play from Füllkrug, who slotted in Malen to drill in his second of the game.

The hosts emerged for the second half determined to put the game to bed and not allow Freiburg any hopes of a comeback, with Bynoe-Gittens and Füllkrug both drawing fine saves from Noah Atubolu early on. The Freiburg goalkeeper also thwarted Marco Reus a while later, clawing the ball off the line from the veteran’s header, before Ian Maatsen crashed a shot off the post from a tight angle. Reus dragged a shot wide of the upright following a swift counter-attack as BVB continued to threaten and they eventually got their reward moments before full time when Füllkrug celebrated his 31st birthday by ghosting behind his marker to head in Maatsen's superb cross from the left. 

Watch: Füllkrug on a "good day" for Dortmund

Match stats

  • Malen's first goal was Dortmund's 3,500th overall in the Bundesliga.
  • The Dutchman's second took him to nine league goals this term - equalling his personal best set last term. Incredibly, in 2022/23 Malen only scored his first goal of the season on Matchday 21.
  • Füllkrug now has seven assists this season - a new personal best.
  • Freiburg have conceded a league-high eight times following counter-attacks in 2023/24.
  • The Black Forest club have only picked up points once this season after being behind at half-time (one draw, five defeats).
  • Mateu Morey returned to Bundesliga action for the first time since April 2021 following a serious knee injury. 
  • Dortmund are unbeaten in 36 Bundesliga home games played on a Friday (W27, D9), dating back to a 1-0 loss to Schalke on 30 January 2004. They're also unbeaten in 16 on home soil against Freiburg (W145, D1).

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Dortmund: Kobel - Ryerson (Wolf 79'), Süle, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen (Morey 88') - Sabitzer, Can (c) (Hummels 88') - Malen, Reus (Sancho 88'), Bynoe-Gittens (Brandt 66') - Füllkrug
Unused subs: Meyer, Bensebaini, Moukoko, Adeyemi
Out: Duranville (match fitness), Haller (international duty), Nmecha (hip), Özcan (ill)
Coach: Edin Terzić

Freiburg: Atubolu - Kübler, Sildillia, Gulde (Szalai 23'), Makengo (Günter 80') - Eggestein, Höfler - Sallai (Philipp 79'), Höler, Grifo (c) (Weißhaupt 59'') - Gregoritsch (Doan 59')
Unused subs: Müller, Keitel, Muslija
Out: Adamu (muscular), Ginter (Achilles), Kyereh (knee), Lienhart (groin), Röhl (suspended), Schmidt (abdominals) 
Coach: Christian Streich