Defences on top as Borussia Mönchgladbach and Freiburg draw
Borussia Mönchengladbach and Freiburg shared the points on Bundesliga Matchday 23 in a hard-fought 0-0 draw.
Gladbach 0-0 Freiburg
Sent off: Bensebaini (87')
Wounded by last week’s 4-0 defeat in Mainz, Gladbach began boldly as if eager to show the form that earned them victory over Bayern Munich on Matchday 21. Marcus Thuram set the tone early on, cutting inside form the right and curling a shot towards the back post that Mark Flekken did well to keep out. Thuram then set up Alassane Plea moments later, but the Frenchman was likewise thwarted by a sprawling save from Flekken. There was very little to see in the final third from an unusually passive Freiburg side, who nevertheless managed to go into half-time on level terms thanks to two last-ditch clearances from Philipp Lienhart and Lucas Höler, the latter hooking the ball off the line from Ramy Bensebaini’s header.
The visitors clearly received a stern talking-to from head coach Christian Streich during the interval as they reemerged with far more bite and energy. Now pressing aggressively high up the pitch they began to look far more dangerous, with Roland Sallai drilling a vicious left-footed drive just wide of the post. Gladbach withstood that pressure though, and gradually grew back into the game. They were awarded a penalty midway the half for a foul on Thuram, but the referee overturned his initial decision after consulting his pitch-side monitor. Thuram was involved again for Gladbach’s best chance of the half, skipping past three Freiburg defenders down the left before cutting the ball back for Plea, whose mis-hit shot looped high over the bar. A frustrating afternoon for the Foals was compounded late on when Ramy Bensebaini was sent off, but it was ultimately of little consequence as the teams shared the points.
- Vincenzo Grifo is the Bundesliga's top-scoring midfielder in 2022/23 (12 goals). He's the first Freiburg player to reach a dozen single-season Bundesliga strikes since Nils Petersen (15, 2017/18).
- Forty-two points after 23 Bundesliga matches represents a new club record for Die Breisgauer, who - historically - have only collected more in meetings with Schalke (63 points, compared to 58 against Gladbach).
- Freiburg won 6-0 in Mönchengladbach last season - their biggest ever victory in the Bundesliga.
- Thuram scored 10 goals in 15 games before the winter break, but has struck just once in his seven appearances since the restart.
- Lars Stindl received the 85th yellow card of his Bundesliga career in this game, making him the most-booked player of anyone currently in Germany's top flight.
- Christoph Kramer, a 2014 World Cup winner with Germany alongside Freiburg's Matthias Ginter, made his 250th Bundesliga appearance. He is without a goal in his last 100.
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Gladbach: Sippel - Scally, Itakura, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer, Kone - Hofmann, Stindl (c) (Neuhaus 71'), Plea (Netz 90') – Thuram
Unused subs: Dimmer, Friedrich, Herrmann, Wolf, Lainer, N’Goumou, Fraulo
Out: Jantschke (meniscus), Olschowsky (stomach), Omlin (thigh), Weigl (ankle)
Coach: Daniel Farke
Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler (Gulde 84'), Ginter, Lienhart – Sildilla, Eggestein (Röhl 78'), Höfler, Günter (c) - Sallai (Doan 78'), Höler (Petersen 90'), Grifo (Keitel 84')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Jeong, Weißhaupt, Schmidt,
Out: Kyereh (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Christian Streich
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