Freiburg - VfB Stuttgart bounced back from their humbling at the hands of Borussia Dortmund to put an end to a run of four games without a win courtesy of a 3-1 victory over SC Freiburg in the Baden-Württemberg derby.
Quick fire double
Thomas Schneider’s side got off to a near-perfect start, scoring twice inside the opening ten minutes as Vedad Ibisevic and Timo Werner both found the back of the net within 83 seconds of one another. Mike Hanke managed to reduce the arrears with his twelfth goal as a super sub, but Werner wrapped up the result with a cool finish to move Stuttgart into the top half of the table.
On a wet and windy Sunday evening, both teams took time getting into their stride during the opening exchanges, yet it was the hosts who clicked into gear first, as Admir Mehmedi forced Sven Ulreich to tip his near-post effort behind for a corner. Matthias Ginter rose highest at the back post to meet the ensuing set-piece, but could only guide his header just wide of the post. Freiburg’s missed chances, however, only served to spring Stuttgart into life as the visitors bounced back off the ropes to devastating effect.
Ibisevic was the first to profit from a lack of organisation in the hosts’ backline, ghosting in at the near post to meet Christian Gentner’s low cross, clipping the ball past Oliver Baumann and in off the underside off the bar for his eighth goal of the current campaign. In the true essence of a good old fashioned one-two punch, Werner then extended Stuttgart’s lead, weaving his way past three challenges before poking the ball under Baumann’s outstretched hand to cap off a fine solo effort.
Freiburg fight back
Looking to take advantage of their groggy opponents, Stuttgart continued to push forward as Konstantin Rausch put the ball on a plate only for Ibisevic to prod the ball beyond the far post. However, after VfB failed to land the knockout blow, Freiburg fought back and should have got themselves on the scoresheet when Mehmedi sent Felix Klaus’ free kick over the bar from five yards with his knee. For all their hard work, though, the hosts couldn’t find a breakthrough before the sides went in at the break.
Misplaced passes continued to dominate proceedings after the restart as the midfield battle raged on between two sides putting it all on the line in an intense derby atmosphere. Two goals down, it was Freiburg investing more in the game as they sought to get themselves back into the thick of things, which they almost did as Ginter twice went close with headed efforts from Sebastian Kirk deliveries.
VfB’s good fortune
Though the hosts weren’t without their chances, they were playing right into Stuttgart’s hands with the visitors content to absorb pressure, whilst seeking out their chances in transition. However, unlike the first half, VfB were bereft of a clinical edge in the final third as the decisive pass, looking to find an increasingly isolated Ibisevic, regularly went astray, allowing Freiburg to keep the Swabians on the back foot.
Entering the final quarter of an hour, a period of time in which the hosts had scored four of their twelve goals this season, it was very much one-way traffic aimed at Stuttgart’s goal, which told when substitute Hanke swept home into the bottom corner with only his second touch of the game with just over ten minutes to go. However, there was a sting in the tail for Freiburg as Werner broke in behind to slot the ball beyond Baumann, much to the relief of the Stuttgart faithful, as their side collected their fourth win of the season.
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