Kevin Kampl takes RB Leipzig above Freiburg and into the top four


Kevin Kampl scored the only goal of the game as RB Leipzig climbed above Freiburg and into the Bundesliga’s top three with three games of the season to go, and UEFA Champions League football beckoning once again.

Freiburg 0-1 Leipzig
Goal: 0-1 Kampl (73’)

Not only were Freiburg seeking revenge for a 5-1 defeat in the semi-final of the DFB Cup in midweek, the Baden-Württemberg club knew that victory would equate to a considerable step towards UEFA Champions League football next season. Yet there was good reason why Leipzig emerged so triumphant in midweek, despite trailing their hosts by two points in the league, and the early exchanges followed a similar script. Timo Werner twice went close to breaking the deadlock early doors, while Dominik Szoboszlai also gave Mark Flekken some work to do from a free-kick. Christopher Nkunku wasted Leipzig’s next chance, his touch just letting him down with only Flekken to beat.

Another Werner chance early in the second half hinted at a continuation of Leipzig’s dominance, but clearly Freiburg coach Christian Streich had found the right words to motivate his team during the interval as they had much more of a spring in their step. Just as they were starting to get on top, though, Leipzig grabbed the lead. Kampl carried the ball deep into the Freiburg half and played an unintentional one-two with Freiburg defender Manuel Gulde before slotting past Flekken. It took the wind out of Freiburg's sails and was enough to earn Leipzig all three points, taking them above their rivals and into third, and on course for a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Kevin Kampl is surrounded by his RB Leipzig teammates after scoring the goal which earned all three points at Freiburg. - Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Match stats

  • Freiburg have lost six of their seven meetings this season against the current top five. The exception was their 4-1 win over Union Berlin on Matchday 15.
  • Noah Weißhaupt made his starting debut for Freiburg.
  • Kampl has scored two goals in the past three weeks, having had to wait three years for a goal.
  • Kimberly Ezekwem made his Bundesliga debut for Freiburg.

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Freiburg: Flekken – Kübler (Schmid 83'), Ginter, Gulde, Günter (c) (Ezekwem 83')– Weißhaupt (Röhl 59'), Eggestein (Jeong 84'), Höfler, Grifo – Gregoritsch (Petersen 83'), Höler
Unused subs: Uphoff, Sildillia, Keitel
Out: Doan (knee), Kyereh (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Christian Streich

Leipzig: Blaswich – Klostermann, Simakan, Orban (c), Henrichs – Szoboszlai, Laimer (Schlager 90'), Haidara (Kampl 53'), Olmo (Halstenberg 78') – Nkunku (Forsberg 90'+1), Werner (Poulsen 78')
Unused subs: Nyland, Diallo, Raum, Silva
Out: Gulacsi (knee), Gvardiol (muscular)
Coach: Marco Rose