Freiburg striker Nils Petersen earned his place in the history books by equaling the club’s all-time scoring record as the Black Forest outfit earned a 2-2 draw at Schalke on Saturday.
Schalke 2-2 Freiburg
Goals: Serdar (27'), 1-1 Petersen (pen. 54'), 1-2 Grifo (pen. 67'), 2-2 Kutucu (80')
With this being the teams’ final game of 2019, they appeared to have agreed on going all-out one last time before heading off for a well-deserved rest in the winter break. As such it was a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of game, with the sides exchanging early opportunities through a Petersen volley that flew wide and a dipping Suat Serdar shot from distance that Mark Flekken was grateful to bat away at the other end. There was a sense that a goal was coming and it eventually arrived just before the half-hour mark, when Benito Raman’s cross-shot was poked over the line by Serdar. Raman then grazed the roof of the net with a brilliant half-volley from the edge of the box, before Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert produced a superb double save to twice deny Jonathan Schmid on the stroke of half-time.
The match continued in the same vein after the interval and Schalke were initially on top, with Rabbi Matondo looking particularly threatening before Ozan Kabak handed the visitors a lifeline when he tripped Lucas Höler inside the box. Petersen stepped up to coolly convert the spot-kick, ending a personal five-game goal drought to draw level with Germany coach Joachim Löw as Freiburg’s all-time leading scorer. That swung momentum the visitors’ way and they soon made the most of it, with Changhoon Kwon hitting the post from the edge of the box before winning another penalty after a clumsy challenge from Juan Miranda. Vincenzo Grifo’s panenka to give Freiburg the lead would have been a fitting way to seal the points, but Schalke had other ideas and equalised in the closing stages when substitute Ahmed Kutucu drilled home from the edge of the box.
- Serdar netted his sixth Bundesliga goal of the season, putting him level with Amine Harit as the club's top scorer.
- Raman's assist means he has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven games (four goals, three assists).
- Schalke have now scored six times on the counter-attack in 2019/20, already twice as many as they managed last season.
- The Royal Blues began with their youngest starting line-up since December 2016, with an average age of 23.9 years.
- Freiburg have converted eight of their last nine penalties in the Bundesliga. Grifo has scored all four he has taken.
- Petersen drew level with Germany coach Joachim Löw as Freiburg's all-time top scorer with 83 goals in all competitions.
Watch: Petersen: "Proud to have equalled the record"
Schalke: Schubert - Kenny, Kabak, Oczipka, Miranda - Mascarell (c), Serdar - Caligiuri, Harit, Matondo (Kutucu 70') - Raman (Burgstaller 90+3')
Unused subs: Langer, Boujellab, Reese, Skrzybski, Carls, Becker, Mercan
Out: McKennie (dislocated shoulder), Nastasic (knock), Nübel (suspended), Sane (knee), Schöpf (thigh), Uth (groin)
Coach: David Wagner
Freiburg: Flekken - Gulde, Koch, Heintz - Schmid, Haberer (Kwon 60'), Höfler, Günter (c) - Höler (Frantz 90+2'), Petersen, Grifo (Borrello 76')
Unused subs: Theide, Schlotterbeck, Abrashi, Itter, Keitel
Out: Gondorf (illness), Jeong (international duty), Kübler (knee), Lienhart (shoulder), Sallai (illness), Schwolow (hamstring), Tempelmann (knee), Waldschmidt (knee, calf, ankle)
Coach: Christian Streich