bundesliga

Freiburg maintain top-four push with win over 10-man Bochum

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Roland Sallai and Wooyeong Jeong combined to devastating effect as Freiburg continued their charge for a top-four finish with a 3-0 victory over Bochum on Matchday 30.

Freiburg 3-0 Bochum
Goals: 1-0 Kübler 5' (assist: Höfler), 2-0 Sallai 16' (assist: Jeong), 3-0 Sallai 53' (assist: Jeong)
Sent off: Stafylidis (68')

Maximilian Eggestein had the first shot of the game inside three minutes, his stinging drive well saved by Manuel Riemann in what was an early warning sign Bochum failed to heed. The visiting goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Freiburg taking the lead with their next chance as Lukas Kübler received a wonderful diagonal cross-field pass from Nicolas Höfler to lash a shot into the bottom corner. The home side wasted little time in pressing home their advantage, with Sallai producing a similar finish to Kübler from Jeong’s clever pass, his low, arrowed shot bouncing in off the inside of the far post. Nils Petersen and Sallai could have put the result beyond all doubt before a one-sided first half came to an end, but were unable to apply the finishing touch to promising moves.

Bochum coach Thomas Reis made a triple substitution at the interval as he looked to inject fresh impetus into his team, but Freiburg were simply too good. Christian Streich’s men got the decisive third goal their performance deserved soon after the restart when Jeong wriggled free on the left and crossed for Sallai to head in his second of the game. Nico Schlotterbeck should have added a fourth moments later from a Vincenzo Grifo free-kick, but he was thwarted by a superb save from Reimann. A disappointing day at the office for Bochum was compounded in the 68th minute when Konstantinos Stafylidis was sent off for an overexuberant tackle, effectively ending the already slim hopes the visitors had of mounting a comeback. Bochum remain in 12th as a result, eight points clear of the relegation zone, while Freiburg continue to rub shoulders with the top four.

Match stats

  • Kübler scored his second Bundesliga goal of the season - and second in the top flight overall.
  • His goal marked the 12th time this term that Freiburg have found the net in the opening 15 minutes, with 10 of those coming in the first 10 minutes.
  • Sallai registered just his second ever Bundesliga brace (his first was against Schalke in December 2020).
  • The Hungarian attacker has now scored three of his four goals this season against Bochum, having also found the net against them in the DFB Cup quarter-finals.
  • Jeong recorded his first two assists of the campaign.

Watch: Sallai: "We have to fight for the Champions League"

Line-ups

Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler (Demirovic 65'), Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Günter (c) - Eggestein, Höfler (Haberer 81') - Sallai (Weißhaupt 73'), Jeong (Höler 65'), Grifo - Petersen (Schmid 65')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Siquet, Sildillia, K. Schlotterbeck,
Out:
 Keitel (broken toe), Schade (abdominals)
Coach: Christian Streich   

Bochum: Riemann - Gamboa, Bella-Kotchap, Leitsch, Soares (Rexhbecaj 46') - Losilla (c), Stafylidis - Asano (Blum 46'), Löwen (Osterhage 66'), Pantovic (Zoller 46') - Polter (Locadia 66')
Unused subs: Esser, Masovic, Bockhorn, Tesche
Out:
 Antwi-Adjei (groin), Holtmann (unknown)
Coach: Thomas Reis