Michael Gregoritsch haunts Augsburg again as Freiburg return to winning ways


Michael Gregoritsch and Lucas Höler helped Freiburg to their first win of 2023 as Mergim Berisha’s strike proved to be too little for Augsburg.

Freiburg 3-1 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Gregoritsch 14' (assist: Keitel), 1-1 Berisha 29' (pen.), 2-1 Höler 30' (assist: Doan), 3-1 Lienhart 85' (assist: Grifo)

Höler hammered in an early sighter which Rafal Gikiewicz was happy to see coming straight down the barrel, but the Augsburg custodian was powerless to prevent Gregoritsch – a man who would have tested him regularly in training in previous years – from steering in the opener. He scored already his second goal against his former club this season from a tight angle, from Yannik Keitel’s clever pass. Augsburg were gifted a route back into the game when Kübler came just a split second too late into a challenge with Ermedin Demirovic just inside the area. Berisha sent the resulting spot-kick straight down the middle as Mark Flekken dived to his right, unable to keep the ball out with his flailing leg. Augsburg’s joy was short-lived, however. Straight from the kick-off, a long ball forward was headed down by Gregoritsch to Ritsu Doan, who touched it across for Höler to turn in his first goal of the season – and first since last May – from close range. Berisha squandered an excellent chance to level again just before half-time, and his anguished look spoke volumes as he saw his free header sail wide.

Augsburg had delivered their most shots in the first half of a match all season, and they continued to create openings in the second half, with Dion Beljo heading wide before Freiburg almost landed a sucker punch on the break. Doan's cross came back for Kiliann Sildillia and his first-time effort was turned onto the right-hand post by Mads Pedersen. Gregoritsch might have done better with a free header from close range that he sent straight into Gikiewicz’s arms following a fine cross from Doan, and Freiburg’s advantage was suddenly starting to look slender as Augsburg committed more and more men to their quest for an equaliser. They nearly succeeded with 10 minutes left when Flekken made an instinctive one-handed save to turn over a Demirovic effort, but Philipp Lienhart relieved the pressure on the hosts with a third, heading in substitute Vincenzo Grifo’s corner to seal the points.

Match stats

  • Freiburg have given away five penalties in their last five games.
  • Augsburg had eight shots in the first half – their highest first-half tally in any game this season.
  • Berisha’s fifth goal of the season was his first away from home.
  • Augsburg are one of Grifo's favourite opponents. In 12 Bundesliga games against them, the midfielder has scored four and provided three assists, while winning nine times and drawing three.
  • Freiburg are unbeaten in their last nine Bundesliga games against Augsburg, with five of their six wins coming in the five most recent encounters.

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Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler (Gulde 90'+3), Ginter, Lienhart - Sildillia, Eggestein, Keitel (Wagner 75'), Günter (c) - Doan (Petersen 82'), Gregoritsch (Jeong 76'), Höler (Grifo 82')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Kyereh, Sallai, Weißhaupt
Out: Höfler (suspended)
Coach: Christian Streich

Augsburg: Gikiewicz – Gumny, Gouweleeuw (c), Uduokhai, Pedersen (Colina 69') – Maier, Engels, Rexhbecaj (Dorsch 69'), Demirovic - Beljo (Yeboah 62'), Berisha
Unused subs: Baumgartlinger, Sarenren Bazee, Caligiuri, Bauer, Jensen, Koubek
Out: Cardona (foot), Hahn (knee), Iago (Achilles tendon), Strobl (cruciate ligament), Vargas (ankle)
Coach: Enrico Maaßen