Vincenzo Grifo struck two second-half penalties to earn Freiburg a 2-1 win over VfB Stuttgart on Saturday as Dan-Axel Zagadou was twice the culprit in his own penalty box.
The second Baden-Württemberg derby of the campaign was without one of its main protagonists as Freiburg coach Christian Streich sat out the visit of Stuttgart due to suspension. Watching on from afar, Streich will have been pleased to see his side threaten first as Roland Sallai raced clear on goal and forced Fabain Bredlow - in the team due to Florian Müller's stomach problem - into a good save just 10 minutes in. He will have been left less impressed, however, when VfB took the lead on the half hour mark - even if they did so in impressive fashion. Chris Führich was allowed to turn and have a free crack at goal, finding the top corner from all of 30-yards out with a stunning effort that will immediately be added to end-of-season highlight reels.
The hosts thought they were level five minutes after the break when Ritsu Doan's heavily-deflected shot found its way into the back of the net but play was pulled back as a result of Michael Gregoritsch being offside in the build-up. Freiburg were presented with another chance to restore parity on the hour mark as Zagadou was adjudged to have fouled Gregoritsch in the box. Up stepped Grifo to fire home from 12-yards and level the scores. Zagadou was under the VAR microscope again with 10 minutes to go and conceded a second penalty after tripping Doan in the box. Grifo duly converted his second of the game to earn his team all three points - a result that moved Freiburg back into the top-four for the time being and Stuttgart struggling third from bottom.
- Sallai was starting his first Bundesliga match since Matchday 5 of the current campaign.
- Grifo had gone three Bundesliga matches without a goal.
- The Italian has now scored 11 league goals this season, six of which have come from the penalty spot.
- Führich's opener was his fourth of the campaign, making this season the best of his top-flight career so far.
- Bredlow had saved each of the previous two penalties he faced in the Bundesliga and these were the first he has conceded in the top-flight.
- Stuttgart are 18 away matches without a win in the Bundesliga, dating back to a 2-0 victory in Wolfsburg on 11 December 2021.
Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) - Eggestein, Höfler – Doan (Petersen 90'), Sallai (Höler 69'), Grifo (Gulde 90') - Gregoritsch (Jeong 79')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Schmid, Wagner, Weißhaupt, Röhl
Out: Keitel (muscular), Kyereh (cruciate ligament), Sildillia (suspended)
Coach: Christian Streich
Stuttgart: Bredlow - Anton, Zagadou, Ito, Sosa - Haraguchi, Karazor (Silas 85'), Endo (c) - Gil Dias (Jose Perea 68'), Pfeiffer (Mavropanos 89'), Führich
Unused subs: Müller, Vagnoman, Stenzel, Coulibaly, Egloff, Kastanaras
Out: Guirassy (adductor), Tomas (stomach)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Who is Jamie Bynoe-Gittens?
Get the lowdown on the English teenager following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham at Dortmund...
Terms and Conditions for Participation in the Bundesliga Advent Calendar 2023
Terms and Conditions for Participation in the Bundesliga Advent Calendar 2023.
Matchday 13 probable teams
Will we see Serhou Guirassy or Deniz Undav up front for Stuttgart against Bremen on Saturday? Or how about both of the in-form strikers?