Kevin Schade helped Freiburg return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory in the Bundesliga at the expense of a struggling VfB Stuttgart.
After a slow start, both sides were limited to half-chances for much of the first half, with Freiburg creating the better of the opportunities. Vincenzo Grifo, looking for his fifth goal of the season, found himself in a perfect position for the opener but skied his attempted volley. Maximilian Eggestein sent an effort just wide, with both sides struggling to test the opposing keepers. Stuttgart tried to hit back and were awarded a penalty with Alexis Tibidi going down in the box, only for VAR to overturn the decision. In the play that followed, Freiburg found themselves in front. Sublime pressing deep into Stuttgart half allowed the ball to fall to the battling Lucas Höler, laying it off for Nicolas Höfler to shoot from outside the box – with his effort deflected by Ito and into the net.
In the second half, Mark Flekken finally made his first save of the game, saving well from Sasa Kalajdzic’s header after a neat cross from Borna Sosa. But Stuttgart continued to struggle at the back and their woes were compounded further as Schade doubled Freiburg’s lead. A loose ball confused the visitors, allowing Ermedin Demirovic to head through to Schade – with the 20-year-old tucking the ball past Florian Müller to score his third of the season. Moments later, Wooyeong Jeong’s header was just off target with the hosts shutting up shop for the remainder of the match to secure their first victory in the Bundesliga in over a month.
- Schade is enjoying his breakthrough season in the Bundesliga, with his third goal on the board and counting.
- This was Flekken's seventh clean sheet of the season, the joint-highest in the Bundesliga alongside Manuel Neuer and Robin Zentner.
- Streich has won 101 of his 307 Bundesliga matches in charge of Freiburg. The 56-year-old is the longest-serving coach currently in the German top flight.
- Kalajdzic is still yet to find the net this season, with the young Austrian still finding his way back to full fitness following a long lay-off.
- Silas hasn't scored this season, either. He struck home and away to Freiburg in 2020/21.
- Stuttgart are now winless in their last six meetings with their Baden-Württemberg rivals.
Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler (Gulde 67'), Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Günter (c) - Schade (Sallai 74'), Eggestein (Keitel 86'), Höfler, Grifo - Demirovic (Jeong 74'), Höler (Petersen 86')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Schmid, Haberer, K. Schlotterbeck
Out: Sildillia (not included)
Coach: Christian Streich
Stuttgart: Müller - Mavropanos, Anton, Ito (Beyaz 85') - Coulibaly (Egloff 72'), Endo (c), Mangala (Ahamada 72'), Sosa - Führich - Kalajdzic, Tibidi (Silas 65')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Stenzel, Karazor, Nartey, Klimowicz
Out: Marmoush (Africa Cup of Nations), Sankoh (knee)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
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