Nils Petersen scored within a minute of coming on from the bench to keep Freiburg's European hopes alive against the 10-men of Borussia Mönchengladbach after Alassane Plea saw red for the third time this season.
Despite having not won a game at the Schwarzwald-Stadion since 2002, it was Gladbach who were on top for most of the first half. Luca Waldschmidt had the first big chance of the game, though, firing over from in front of goal on his favoured left foot. The Foals then became patient in possession and Freiburg were always one step behind their midfield movement, with Florian Neuhaus dictating play. Plea had two chances in as many minutes but missed the target with both shots, and Neuhaus thought he had put his side ahead after 27 minutes but the offside flag was up after he had tapped in Patrick Herrmann's shot on goal. Neuhaus went close again before the break, dinking a shot over Alexander Schwolow from close range, but also over the Freiburg goal. Lucas Höler forced the first save of the game from Yann Sommer for the home side at the end of a goalless first half.
The Foals continued to control the proceedings into the second half and Marcus Thuram would have put them ahead on 53 minutes if not for outstanding last-ditch defending from Philipp Lienhart to block Herrmann's cross in front of the Frenchman. But it was Freiburg who went ahead against the run of play just before the hour mark with Petersen heading from Vincenzo Grifo's free-kick just a minute after coming on as a substitute. Things went from bad to worse for the Foals as Plea was shown his second yellow card of the game for a foul on Robin Koch, after picking up his first booking for dissent midway through the first half. The home side kept the pressure on in the final 20 minutes with Höler coming within inches of doubling his side's lead, but Sommer's feet kept the score as it was. Freiburg held on under Gladbach pressure to keep their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League alive and well.
- Freiburg secured three points for the first time since the Bundesliga's restart after the coronavirus-enforced break.
- Petersen's goal was his 24th after coming on as a substitute, increasing his own Bundesliga record.
- Freiburg have now scored eight goals this season from free-kick situations. The best record in the league, just ahead of Gladbach's seven.
- The home side have now won 13 of their encounters to Gladbach's 11. Incredibly, in their last 24 meetings, there have been no home defeats. The last away win in the fixture was a 1-0 Gladbach triumph on 23 March 2002.
- Freiburg have won 12 and lost just one of their last 18 home Bundesliga meetings with the Foals, and are unbeaten in the last 12 (W10), a club record run. They have scored 52 times in Bundesliga games against Gladbach, the joint-most in their history against any top-flight opponent.
- Petersen's 10 league strikes make him Freiburg's top scorer. He has struck five times in 12 meetings with Gladbach.
Watch: Petersen: "Nights like these are amazing as a player"
Freiburg: Schwolow – Kübler (Schmid 57'), Lienhart, Heintz, Günter (c) – Sallai (Petersen 57'), Koch, Höfler, Grifo (Kwon 88') - Waldschmidt (Haberer 83'), Höler (Frantz 88')
Unused subs: Flekken, Schlotterbeck, Abrashi, Keitel
Out: Gulde (muscular), Ravet (muscular)
Coach: Christian Streich
Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi (Traore 81'), Bensebaini - Hofmann (Benes 81'), Neuhaus – Herrmann (Wendt 72'), Stindl (c) (Raffael 81'), Thuram - Plea
Unused subs: Sippel, Doucoure, Jantschke, Kramer, Quizera
Out: Embolo (calf), Johnson (muscular), Strobl (hamstring), Zakaria (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose
Watch: Sommer: "It's tough to take"