Supersub Nils Petersen scores as Freiburg beat Wolfsburg to reignite top-four hopes
Nils Petersen and Christian Günter both scored moments after coming off the bench to hand Freiburg a 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg that sustains their hopes of a top-four finish.
Freiburg 2-0 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Günter 71' (assist: Sallai), 2-0 Petersen 75' (assist: Sallai)
Sent off: Höfler 90'+3
The Matchday 33 opener began as a cagey affair with neither side prepared to commit too many numbers forward. Their caution was perhaps understandable as Freiburg are still eager for UEFA Champions League qualification, even though they lost their two previous league games prior to this one, and Wolfsburg have their own ambitions of qualifying for Europe next term. Vincenzo Grifo had a brief opening to shoot from the edge of the area, but a moment of hesitation led to him being knocked off the ball in what was largely a first half without a great deal of goalmouth action.
Freiburg could have taken the lead early in the second period following a cross from Ritsu Doan that Matthias Ginter was unable to turn over the line. In the end it was two substitutes who ended up changing the game, with Christian Streich bringing on Günter and Petersen in the 70th minute. Seconds later, the hosts were in front when Günter's long-distance strike deflected off Sebastiaan Bornauw and into the net. The home fans were still celebrating that goal when Petersen doubled the advantage, tapping in from close range on his last home appearance for the club. The veteran forward later had another goal ruled out following a VAR review, but it did little to alter the course of this game, as Freiburg held on - despite Niclas Höfler's late red card - to boost their top-four hopes and damage Wolfsburg's European plans in the process.
- Günter scored with his first touch of the game, just seconds after coming off the bench.
- It was the defender's first goal of the season, arriving from his 26th shot this term.
- Petersen's goal means he extended his Bundesliga record to 34 off the bench.
- Roland Sallai provided both assists, twice as many as in his 17 previous league outings this season.
- Luca Waldschmidt, who played for Freiburg between 2018 and 2020, turned 27 on the day of the game.
- Mark Flekken leads the way for clean sheets in 2022/23, with 13.
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Freiburg: Flekken (c) - Schmidt (Kübler 70'), Ginter, Lienhart, - Sallai (Schmid 90'), Eggestein, Höfler, Weißhaupt (Günter 70') - Doan (Petersen 70'), Höler (Jeong 90'+1), Grifo
Unused subs: Uphoff, Gulde, Keitel, Gregoritsch
Out: Kyereh (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Christian Streich
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Bornauw, Guilavogui, Van de Ven - Baku, F. Nmecha, Arnold (c) (Svanberg 83'), Gerhardt, Kaminski (Paredes 82') - Wimmer (Waldschmidt 57'), Wind (Marmoush 82')
Unused subs: Pervan, Fischer, Cozza, Franjic, Pejcinovic
Out: Lacroix (shoulder), L. Nmecha (knee), Otavio (ankle)
Coach: Niko Kovac
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