Head coach Christian Streich made just one change to his starting XI following last weekend’s victory against Werder Bremen, bringing in Michael Gregoritsch for Ritsu Doan. For the third straight match, SCF began with a back-four.
New signing Angelo Stiller replaced Lilian Egloff in Hoffenheim’s midfield, having only joined the club a few days ago. Head coach Sebastian Hoeneß made no further changes to his starting line-up, with the team having put in a solid first-half performance against Leipzig last weekend.
After finding out their upcoming Europa League group stage opponents on Thursday, Freiburg had to quickly shift their focus to today’s derby against the Swabians. They didn’t need long to record their first chance of the afternoon, as Gregoritsch forced goalkeeper Alexander Nübel into a top save after getting on the end of a pass from Kiliann Sildillia (3’). Freiburg nearly scored from the resulting corner, but Matthias Ginter’s attempt crashed off the bar and Philipp Lienhart was unable to bury the rebound.
VfB were then able to take the lead in the eighth minute, as Chris Führich was able to drive into the box and beat Noah Atubolu with a well-placed shot at the far post.
Whereas Freiburg had failed to make the most of their chances on goal, Stuttgart were extremely clinical with theirs. Serhou Guirassy made it 2-0 with what was only their second shot on target, finishing a through ball from Silas (17’). The hosts would add a third just two minutes later after Hiroki Ito broke free down the left wing and picked out Guirassy in the box, who only needed to tap in to complete his brace (19’).
Freiburg struggled to deal with the set-back they had just been dealt, losing possession often in midfield. Nübel parried a long-range effort from Roland Sallai in what was a rare attacking move from SCF (33’).
As the clock ticked down towards half-time, it was once again Sallai who had a great opportunity to get Freiburg on the board. The striker was unable to beat Nübel one-on-one, however (43’). Streich made three changes at the break, bringing on Maximilian Philipp, Ritsu Doan and Kenneth Schmidt for Sallai, Gregoritsch and Sildillia.
SC delivered a better performance in the second half, but were unable to pose a threat on goal. Instead, Stuttgart were able to add to their lead. Führich got on the end of another long pass and was able to beat Schmidt to slot the ball part Atubolu for his second of the afternoon (62’).
The afternoon then went from bad to worse, as Enzo Millot finished off a counter-attack to put Stuttgart 5-0 up (75’). SC Freiburg returned home empty-handed and will now seek to deliver an improved performance in two weeks’ time, when they host Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 16th September, 15:30 CEST).
Photo: Achim Keller