Freiburg were without the ill Vincenzo Grifo for the trip to Wolfsburg. He was replaced in the side by Wooyeong Jeong. From the team that beat Union Berlin 4-1 in the final match of 2022, there were three other changes. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Manuel Gulde and Maximilian Eggestein came in for Lukas Kübler, Yannik Keitel and Philipp Lienhart.
Niko Kovac, head coach of the Wolves since the start of this season, made two alterations to his team. Patrick Wimmer and Jonas Wind were preferred to Kilian Fischer and Omar Marmoush.
Both sides went into the winter break in good form, particularly the hosts who were unbeaten in their last nine in all competitions going into this one. It was therefore going to be exciting to see which side could continue their good run after the two and a half month break.
That was quickly clear after just 62 seconds. Patrick Wimmer was played in behind the Freiburg defence and held off Christian Günter. His shot crept in at the near post to give the home team the lead (2’).
It took at least 10 minutes for Freiburg to really find their way into the game. Nicolas Höfler’s shot from a central position, which Koen Casteels punched clear, was their first chance of the game (17’).
Niko Kovac’s team were clinical and took their second chance of the afternoon. Wimmer flicked on a cross brilliantly in the box and Jonas Wind got on the end of it to head past Mark Flekken from close range (28’).
At the other end, Michael Gregoritsch played it to Daniel-Kofi Kyereh. His effort from near the penalty spot flashed inches past the post (29’).
Wolfsburg’s third goal originated from a short free-kick. Maximilian Arnold’s shot was deflected into the box towards Micky van de Ven who took the opportunity to fire the ball across the six yard box. Jonas Wind lost his marker Manuel Gulde and guided the ball home past a helpless Flekken to make it 3-0. Only moments before, the Netherlands international had prevented a third Wolfsburg game with a good reflex save from the impressive Wimmer.
Despite a needed half time break, SC went into the second half without making any changes, with VfL Wolfsburg scoring their fourth ten minutes after the restart. A throw-in from Kiliann Sildillia in his own half was knocked forward to Jonas Wind, with the ball then being slipped left a couple of times before reaching Yannick Gerhardt, who gave Mark Flekken no chance from close range (56’).
Despite putting in plenty of effort, SC unusually had problems with communication in attack, limiting them to half chances. In turn, Nico Kovac’s men continued to hunt for Freiburg mistakes, stayed tight to men and extended their lead to six with goals from Ridle Baku (81’) und Luca Waldschmidt (90+4’). This rounded off a devastating 90 minutes from a Freiburg perspective. “We were poor in duels, and if that’s the case then sometimes you lose against a team like this 6-0,” suggested Christian Streich after the end of the game.
SC will have the opportunity to bounce back from this heavy defeat in their first game of the New Year on Wednesday (20:30 CET) against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Photo: Patrick Bimmer