Freiburg added to Schalke's woes with Roland Sallai netting both goals in a 2-0 win which lifts the Black Forest club away from danger, and leaves the Royal Blues rooted to the foot of the table.
Grifo came into the game is Freiburg's top-scorer on five and it followed logic, therefore, that he would be the first to test Ralf Fährmann in the Schalke goal. The Italy international's angled effort was collected well by Schalke's No.1, who had already picked the ball out of the back of his own goal 16 times in just four appearances for the Royal Blues this season. He will have been happy, therefore, to see his opposite number Florian Müller having to deal with the next shot of the game, with Suat Serdar testing the last line of Freiburg's defence, who watched as Benito Raman struck a free-kick over the crossbar with the final kick of a tight first half.
Freiburg made a flying start to the second half, Sallai literally so as he headed in Jonathan Schmid's cross to give the guests the lead five minutes in. It was his second goal of the season, matching his best single-season haul, although he would beat that record just 10 minutes later. Grifo sent through a sumptuous pass which was matched for its technical quality by Sallai's dinked finish past Fährmann. Schalke's already drooped heads fell even further as the threat of an eighth defeat of the season became reality. They almost conceded a third late on as Freiburg eased to victory, leaving their hosts rooted to the bottom of the table, still without a win all season.
- Schalke have now won only three of their past 11 meetings with Freiburg, both in the 2017/18 season.
- Sallai's second and third goals of the season mean he now has a new personal best for a single season.
- Four of his seven Bundesliga goals have been headers.
- Schalke coach Manuel Baum has won just one of his six Bundesliga meetings with Freiburg.
- Grifo has had a hand in a team-high eight goals all told.
Watch: Sallai: "I should've scored more!"
Schalke: Fährmann - Stambouli, Kabak, Sane, Oczipka - Serdar, Mascarell (c) (Schöpf 73') - Matondo (Hoppe 86'), Harit (Kutucu 70'), Raman (Mendyl 73') - Boujellab
Unused subs: Langer, Ludweig, Nastasic, Thiaw, Bozdogan
Out: Bentaleb (not included), Ibisevic (not included), Paciencia (knee), Rönnow (hamstring), Uth (concussion)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Freiburg: Müller - Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Gulde - Schmid (Tempelmann 90'+2), Santamaria (Abrashi 90'+2), Höfler, Günter (c) - Sallai (Demirovic 69'), Petersen (Höler 60'), Grifo (Kwon 69')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Til, Heintz, Jeong
Out: Flekken (elbow), Haberer (ankle), Itter (muscular), Keitel (knee), Kübler (groin)
Coach: Christian Streich
Watch: Mascarell: "We are Schalke, we never give up"