Alassane Plea scored a superb long-range goal to rescue a point for Borussia Mönchengladbach in a 2-2 draw away to Freiburg on Matchday 10.
Freiburg were without a win since Matchday 1 coming into this fixture, but began confidently against a side they had taken 28 of a possible 30 points from in their 10 previous meetings at home. Lucas Höler very nearly set their course early on when he went one-on-one with Yann Sommer, only to see his shot hit the post and ricochet back too quickly for him to direct the rebound on target. Gladbach had been fairly quiet until that point, but they took the lead shortly afterwards when Lars Stindl’s clever pass teed up Breel Embolo, who finished superbly past Florian Müller. Undeterred, Freiburg stuck to their game plan and Ermedin Demirovic and Vincenzo Grifo both drew excellent saves from Sommer before they equalised from an unlikely source: centre-back Philipp Lienhart headed in from close range following a spectacular bicycle-kick assist from Baptiste Santamaria. Keven Schlotterbeck headed over from a corner as Freiburg threatened to take the lead, but the sides were level at the interval.
The hosts did edge ahead early in the second half though, as Grifo sent Sommer the wrong way from the penalty spot after Stefan Lainer had fouled Höler. Their joy was short-lived, however, as Gladbach hit back almost instantly through Plea, who curled a sensational long-range shot into the top corner. Momentum subsequently swung the way of the visitors, especially after Laszlo Benes and Marcus Thuram were brought off the bench, but they struggled to get behind a well-organised Freiburg defence, going closest via an Oscar Wendt flick at the near post following a surging run from Embolo. Grifo hit the post as Freiburg fought back in the closing stages, before substitute Nils Petersen blazed over from close range and Sommer produced another outstanding reflex save to keep out a late Lienhart header and earn his side a hard-fought point.
- Embolo scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season with his first shot of the game.
- Stindl registered his first assist of 2020/21.
- Lienhart scored his second Bundesliga goal, and second this season after also finding the net against Werder Bremen. That effort also arrived following a corner.
- Grifo converted his fifth Bundesliga penalty, doing so against his former club. He now has four league goals in 2020/21, the same haul as he managed in the entire previous season.
- The respective away side has not won this fixture since Gladbach did so on 23 March 2002, a run that now stretches back 25 top-flight meetings.
- Gladbach's record in league matches following following European games this season remains respectable: three wins, one draw and one defeat.
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Freiburg: Müller - Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Gulde - Schmid, Santamaria, Höfler, Günter (c) - Grifo (Til 83'), Demirovic (Petersen 74'), Höler (Sallai 74')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Abrashi, Heintz, Jeong, Tempelmann, Schade
Out: Flekken (elbow), Haberer (ankle), Kübler (groin), Kwon (not included)
Coach: Christian Streich
Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Lainer (Lazaro 64'), Ginter, Zakaria (Benes 53'), Wendt - Kramer, Neuhaus - Wolf (Thuram 64'), Stindl (c), Embolo - Plea (Herrmann 79')
Unused subs: Sippel, Lang, Beyer, Traore, Poulsen
Out: Bensebaini (not included), Elvedi (muscular), Hofmann (thigh), Jantschke (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose