Substitute Kevin Schade scored late as Freiburg climbed above Bayer Leverkusen into third with a 2-1 win at the Europa-Park Stadion.
With third place at the halfway stage up for grabs, there was no shortage of chances in an entertaining first half. Jeremie Frimpong put in a goal-saving challenge to deny Nico Schlotterbeck in the opening minute, before Lukas Hradecky was made to work by Lucas Höler's close-range attempt. Christian Günter then fired over from 18 yards, while Hradecky had to be alert to tip over from Höler. The Leverkusen goalkeeper was beaten just past the half-hour mark, though, after Jeremie Frimpong was penalised for handling a cross into the box. Vincenzo Grifo dispatched the ensuing penalty Panenka-style, but Leverkusen levelled on the stroke of half-time. Jonathan Tah acrobatically kept a corner alive to set up Charles Aranguiz for a close-range header Mark Flekken could do nothing about.
Despite putting away Leverkusen's eight previous goals prior to the game, Patrik Schick had been virtually anyonomous across the first 45 and continued to find the going tough into the second half. Wirtz tried to change that with a defence-splitting pass for the UEFA Euro 2020 joint-top scorer, but his control let him down at the vital moment. Grifo was having a far greater influence on proceedings, and went within a whisker of doubling his tally with a rocket-propelled strike from range. Leverkusen weren't far away with 20 minutes to go, but Frimpong's teasing cross had just too much on it for substitute Lucas Alario. Ermedin Demirovic's delivery was right on the money, though, the Freiburg substitute striker finding Schade at the near post for a late winner.
- Freiburg have played their best ever Bundesliga Hinrunde.
- Christian Streich has been in charge of Freiburg for almost 10 years. His team have never finished higher than seventh.
- Schade's two goals and one assist have all fallen in his last four of 14 Bundesliga appearances.
- Leverkusen suffered only their second away loss of the Bundesliga season.
- Aranguiz's goal was his first since August 2019
- Tah got his third assist of the league campaign, which is a new personal best for him in the Bundesliga.
Watch: Vincenzo Grifo on his Panenka penalty
Freiburg: Flekken – Kübler, Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Günter (c) – Sallai (Schade 56'), Haberer (Eggestein 80'), Höfler, Grifo (Demirovic 80') – Jeong (K. Schlotterbeck 90'+1), Höler
Unused subs: Uphoff, Petersen, Heintz, Sildillia, Weißhaupt
Out: Gulde (muscular), Keitel (groin)
Coach: Christian Streich
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) – Frimpong, Tah, Kossounou, Sinkgraven (Bakker 87') – Andrich, Aranguiz (Palacios 80') – Wirtz, Demirbay (Sertdemir 87'), Adli (Paulinho 75') – Schick (Alario 75')
Unused subs: Lunev, Retsos, Tapsoba, Gedikli
Out: Baumgartlinger (knee), Diaby (suspended)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Watch: Jonathan Tah bemoans defending for Freiburg's winner
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