Vincenzo Grifo missed a penalty but still scored his third goal of the season as Freiburg continued their strong start to the season with a 1-0 victory at home to Bochum in the Matchday 4 curtain-raiser on Friday.
Bochum came into the game looking to make amends after their heavy 7-0 defeat at home to Bayern Munich last week and they began brightly, with Gerrit Holtmann having the first shot of the game before Takuma Asano drilled just wide of Mark Flekken’s goal. The home side gradually began to make their presence felt though, as Ritsu Doan went close from a clever Grifo pass before Manuel Riemann denied Michael Gregoritsch and Roland Sallai on the follow-up, with Nicolas Höfler blazing over from close range moments later. Gregoritsch and Sallai went close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark, with Freiburg well on top by this point, but the former was again thwarted by the Bochum custodian, while Sallai fired an audacious overhead attempt wide.
Grifo showed them how it was done early in the second half – albeit with a generous portion of luck. Freiburg were awarded a penalty following a VAR review after Riemann tugged Sallai down inside the box, and although the Bochum custodian saved Grifo’s initial spot-kick and shot on the rebound, he was powerless to prevent the midfielder finishing from close range at the third attempt. Christian Streich’s side should have been out of sight long before the end, with Riemann foiling Gregoritsch from close range before the forward struck the post on the rebound. Bochum could have equalised - or even won the match - given the sheer number of chances, with Holtmann hitting the woodwork twice, while substitute Nils Petersen also rattled the bar with a brilliant shot on the turn in the closing stages and saw a long-range lob bounce over. Ultimately, however, there were no further goals as Freiburg collected their third league win of the season.
- Grifo is Freiburg’s leading scorer in 2022/23 with three goals. He has missed two of the last five penalties he has taken in the Bundesliga.
- Flekken made his 50th Bundesliga appearance here.
- With nine points from a possible 12, Freiburg are enjoying their best-ever start to a season.
- This fixture has never ended goalless in 17 top-flight meetings.
- There were 43 goal attempts in this game, more than any other fixture so far this season.
- Riemann made a personal-best 11 saves in this game, including his second penalty stop this term.
Watch: Flekken: “We had a lot of luck at the end”
Freiburg: Flekken - Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) - Keitel (Wagner 84'), Höfler – Sallai (Gulde 87'), Doan (Jeong 74'), Grifo (Weißhaupt 74') - Gregoritsch (Petersen 74')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Siquet, K. Schlotterbeck, Kyereh
Out: Eggestein (hand), Ezekwem (muscular), Höler (metatarsal), Kübler (thigh), Schade (abdominal)
Coach: Christian Streich
Bochum: Riemann - Gamboa (Ordets 85'), Masovic, Heintz, Stafylidis (Janko 53') - Losilla (c), Goralski (Osei-Tutu 75') – Asano (Hofmann 75'), Stöger, Holtmann - Zoller
Unused subs: Esser, Lampropoulos, Tolba, Förster, Osterhage
Out: Antwi-Adjei (muscular), Grave (muscular), Horn (thigh), Soares (hip)
Coach: Thomas Reis
Bayern vs. Leverkusen: Match Facts analysis
Friday night's meeting is a particularly curious one after both sides made stuttering starts to the season.
Matchday 8 probable teams
Will Sadio Mane get back among the goals as Bayern seek a return to winning ways against Leverkusen on Friday night?
Fantasy scout: tips and picks for Matchday 8
Not sure which players should be in your Fantasy team? bundesliga.com scouts out tips and picks ahead of the matchday...