bundesliga

Breel Embolo helps Borussia Mönchengladbach stay top with win over Freiburg

Freiburg scored twice but Borussia Mönchengladbach had too much firepower in Marcus Thuram, Breel Embolo and Patrick Herrmann, and remain top of the Bundesliga before they host champions Bayern Munich next weekend.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-2 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0 Thuram (4’), 1-1 Schmid (6’), 2-1 Embolo (46’), 3-1 Herrmann (51’), 3-2 Höler (58’), 4-2 Embolo (71’)

The action got off to a rapid start at the Borussia-Park with two goals inside six minutes. Thuram took his total for the season to six Bundesliga goals when he poked Gladbach in front following Mark Flekken’s spill at a free-kick. And it was another set piece at the other end that brought Freiburg level as Jonathan Schmid curled a free-kick of his own over the Borussia wall and into the back of the net. After that, though, the Foals looked the most likely. Embolo thought he had Gladbach back in front when he put away a rebound, but was flagged offside. Moments later Thuram struck the base of the post when cutting in from the left wing before Herrmann again called Flekken into action at his near post.

The second half got off to just as quick a start as the first when Herrmann beat the offside trap and squared to Embolo with less than a minute played. Gladbach had a chance to extend their lead just moments later when the Swiss forward was felled in the box, but he struck his penalty against the post and Florian Neuhaus saw his rebound well saved by Flekken. There wasn’t a long wait for the third, though, when a reversal of the second goal saw Embolo in behind and square for Herrmann to tap home. However, Freiburg have proven countless times this season they are no pushovers and got one back before the hour mark when Lucas Höler headed home Christian Günter’s free-kick. Another set piece almost led to the equaliser but Höler’s sliding effort was cleared off the line by Ramy Bensebaini. The Freiburg resistance was ended when Embolo dispossessed Robin Koch on the edge of his own box and slotted past Flekken to wrap up the three points.

Match stats

  • Gladbach have won each of their last five home games in the Bundesliga, scoring 18 and conceding just seven.
  • Marco Rose’s side have won all five of their Bundesliga games following UEFA Europa League outings this term.
  • Thuram has been the Foals’ most potent attacking force this season with six goals and five assists. No summer signing has scored more than the Frenchman.
  • Herrmann has scored five this league campaign, which is more than in the previous three seasons combined (four).
  • Embolo also has five, equalling his personal best in the Bundesliga from last season. This was his third brace in the league but his first for Gladbach.
  • Schmid scored the seventh direct free-kick of his Bundesliga career, which is the most among currently active players together with Bayern’s David Alaba and Hertha Berlin’s Marvin Plattenhardt.

Watch: Thuram: "No title favourites in the Bundesliga"

Line-ups

Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Lainer, Elvedi, Jantschke, Bensebaini – Benes (Kramer 65’), Zakaria, Neuhaus – Herrmann, Embolo (Plea 85'), Thuram (Hofmann 89')
Unused subs: Sippel, Strobl, Raffael, Stindl, Wendt, Johnson
Out: Beyer (knee), Ginter (thigh), Müsel (knee), Poulsen (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose

Freiburg: Flekken – Gulde (Kwon 72’), Schlotterbeck (Sallai 56’), Heintz – Schmid (Frantz 90'+1), Koch, Höfler, Günter (c) – Haberer, Petersen, Höler
Unused subs: Tiede, Lienhart, Abrashi, Borrello, Itter, Jeong
Out: Grifo (suspended), Kübler (knee), Schwolow (hamstring), Tempelmann (knee), Waldschmidt (head, knee, ankle)
Coach: Christian Streich