Freiburg up to second with victory over Cologne
Woo-yeong Jeong and Michael Gregoritsch earned Freiburg a 2-0 win at home to Cologne to move up to second in the Bundesliga table.
Freiburg 2-0 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Jeong 53’ (assist: Gregoritsch), 2-0 Gregoritsch 64’ (assist: Günter)
Defeat for Union Berlin minutes before kick-off meant Freiburg had the chance to go second as they closed out the Matchday 13 action against Cologne. And the hosts started brightly with early efforts from captain Christian Günter, Vincenzo Grifo and Gregoritsch. However, goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe was equal to everything thrown at him in the first half as Die Breisgauer failed to make any of their eight efforts count, despite their xG of 1.54 suggesting they should’ve had something. The visitors slowly grew into the game as Ellyes Skhiri and Steffen Tigges came close with the half-time whistle looming, but there was no separating these sides, who had also been in European action on Thursday.
Freiburg had been able to rest most of their team as they went to Azerbaijan in the UEFA Europa League and started the second half with greater vigour. They were soon rewarded for their superiority as Jeong finished off a counter-attack when played clean through by Gregoritsch. The Austrian then turned finisher just past the hour mark when he nodded in a pin-point Günter cross to double the hosts’ advantage. Although Cologne had earned points from losing positions a division-high six times in 2022/23, the Billy Goats found no way back this time as they slipped to just a fourth defeat of the season. Freiburg, however, have continued their best-ever start to a top-flight campaign and now find themselves back up in second – just a single point off new leaders Bayern Munich – with 13 games played.
- Jeong got his first Bundesliga goal of the season with what was his sixth shot.
- Gregoritsch has got three of his five goals this season with his head – a league high together with Niclas Füllkrug.
- Freiburg’s 27 points at this stage of a Bundesliga season is a club record.
- The Black Forest team’s eight clean sheets is a league high. In Freiburg’s 761-game Bundesliga history, this was just the third time they have managed three wins to nil in a row. The previous two occasions both came in 1994.
- Christian Streich’s men have picked up 13 of a possible 15 points from their last five Bundesliga home games by an aggregate score of 7-1. It’s the first time since the middle of 2020/21 that they’ve won three on the spin at home, so the first time ever at the Europa-Park Stadion.
- Nils Petersen made his 200th Bundesliga appearance for Freiburg. Only Günter, Andreas Zeyer and Nicolas Höfler have played more top-flight games for the club.
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Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) - Eggestein (Keitel 90'+1), Höfler - Doan (Sallai 90’), Jeong (Schade 82’), Grifo (Petersen 90’) - Gregoritsch (Höler 82’)
Unused subs: Atubolu, Sildillia, Schlotterbeck, Weißhaupt
Out: Ezekwem (muscular), Gulde (back), Schmid (muscular)
Coach: Christian Streich
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Kilian, Soldo, Pedersen - Skhiri, Martel (Olesen 89’) - Maina (Thielmann 72’), Duda (Huseinbasic 72’), Kainz (c) (Schindler 72’) - Tigges (Adamyan 62’)
Unused subs: Horn, Chabot, Schmid
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (knee), Hector (foot), Lemperle (ankle), Limnios (knee), Ljubicic (knee), Uth (fitness)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Watch: Skhiri: "They deserved this win"
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