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Freiburg suffer narrow defeat to FC Bayern

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League leaders Bayern had scored 76 goals in 26 games going into Saturday’s match. With this in mind, the Freiburg defenders did an excellent job of keeping their opponents at bay on matchday 27 and it took a piece of De Ligt magic to beat Flekken. The defender found the net with a sweetly struck effort from outside the penalty area in the 52nd minute to give his side all three points.

Freiburg looked disciplined in the opening stages and they had the first real opportunity of the game, when Ritsu Doan slipped through Vincenzo Grifo on the left-hand-side. The Italy international, who recently turned 30, got a good connection, but his shot was blocked by Pavard (5’).  A few minutes later, Mark Flekken was tested for the first time when Serge Gnabry fired a powerful header towards goal. The Dutchman got down superbly well to palm the ball away with a strong hand (9’).

The German record champions had to do without the injured Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (knee) and the suspended Dayot Upamecano as they looked to avenge Tuesday’s cup defeat. Sadio Mané, who came into the starting XI, had a glorious chance to put the hosts ahead in the 18th minute when he looked to chip Flekken from close-range. The forward, however, failed to hit the target. 

Streich opted for the starting XI that beat Bayern in the Pokal. Lukas Kübler and Philipp Lienhart returned to the squad but Yannik Keitel missed out with stomach problems.

Gulde goes off early

Freiburg had some dangerous moments in the first half. Christian Günter nearly found Michael Gregoritsch with a low pass from the byline (24’), and the captain then had a great chance just ten minutes later after after a swift counter attack. The 30-year-old, however, failed to hit the target (34’).

Streich was forced into his first change just before the break, when Michael Gulde went off after a challenge with Serge Gnabry. Philipp Lienhart came on as his replacement (37’). Five minutes after coming onto the field, the Austrian was robbed of possession by Leroy Sané deep inside his own half, but he made amends with a superb block (43’). 

Doan hits the post

Just as the fans were about to go in the concourse for their half time refreshments, SC nearly took the lead when Michael Gregoritsch found Ritsu Doan in the six-yard-box with a low cross across the face of goal. The Japan international managed to make contact with an outstretched leg but the ball agonisingly hit the post (44’).

“We gave it everything. Bayern had two or three goal-scoring opportunities in the first half. Then you just need that moment. If we had taken the lead it would have been exciting,” explained Christian Streich after the game.

Despite SCF’s best efforts, it was Bayern who took the lead shortly after the break after De Ligt beat Flekken with a screamer from outside the area (51’). The Dutch keeper then got down well to save a Manè header (57’), before Sané failed to take advantage of a superb chance to double FCB’s lead (60’).

Sport-Club press for the point

Freiburg continued to play with great spirit as they looked extend their 12 game unbeaten run at home in the Bundesliga. Matthias Ginter kept looking to play out from the back despite all the pressure and Streich’s men managed to forge a couple more chances. Freiburg came agonisingly close to equalising around 20 minutes from time but they were denied by a superb save from Yann Sommer (69’).

Spaces started to open up as the game entered its closing stages as Gnabry, Mané and Sané looked to take advantage. Sané once again failed to beat Flekken with his second one-on-one of the afternoon (77’) as SCF continued to cling on. Eleven minutes later, Höfler came close after getting on the end of a Sallai free kick (88’). “I’m very happy with the team but not with the result,” said the had coach after the game.

Next up for Freiburg is a trip to the wohninvest WESERSTADION to face Werder Bremen (Sunday, 16th April, 15:30 CET). SCF fans will also find out who their team will play in the Semi-Finals of the DFB Pokal after the draw this Sunday (19:00 CET).

Photo: Achim Keller

 

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Freiburg suffer narrow defeat to FC Bayern

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