Report: Freiburg 2-1 RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig made the trip down to south Germany on matchday 19 to face a Freiburg side who have made their home a fortress this season, losing only once there all season. Going into the game Leipzig had scored 12 goals in their last 3 meetings with this weekend’s opposition and hadn’t lost a game to them since the first ever fixture between the two during their 2. Liga days. Timo Werner returned to the starting XI after his game changing cameo against Schalke, whilst Kevin Kampl replaced the suspended Naby Keïta.

It took less than five minutes for Leipzig to have their first shot of the game. Marcel Sabitzer tried his luck from distance, though his attempt was no threat at all as the ball was launched into row Z. Freiburg would have to wait another 13 minutes before having their first sighting of goal. Granted the ball by Stenzel, Abrashi’s attempted shot from outside the area was initially blocked, then eventually cleared by Konrad Laimer.

A minute later, the visitors thought they had taken the lead. Applying pressure to the man in possession, Leipzig were able to force Söyüncü into clearing the ball towards an area in which Bernardo was waiting in. Heading the ball to Kampl, the Slovenian promptly slid the ball into an Augustin that had made a run into the box. Before the shooting chance was grasped, Schwolow got down and claimed the ball, colliding with the Frenchman in the process. Landing at Bruma’s feet, he tapped the ball home, but the goal was disallowed due to the prior collision.

The vast amount of possession had been in Leipzig’s hands, however they were unable to breach a defence that had only conceded 6 home goals all season. Frustrating their guests into circulate the ball, Freiburg grew into the game as the half went on, and were close to taking the lead in the 32nd minute. Two minutes after Kempf went close with a header, Höler forced Gulácsi into making an impressive one-handed save after stretching to reach Günter’s cross.

As the first-half came to a close, Jean-Kévin Augustin should’ve had his name on the score sheet. With the clock striking the 45th minute, Augustin turned his marker with a clever piece of skill but his next touch eluded him, allowing the substitute goalkeeper to drop down and claim the ball.

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Two minutes after the restart, Leipzig had another goal disallowed. Taking control with his “chest”, Kampl unleashed a half-volley that flew past Gikiewicz in goal, but the former Red Bull Salzburg midfielder was penalised for using his upper arm in the build-up.

Minutes later, Timo Werner had his first opportunity of the games. Adjusting his body position quickly, the German was able to hit Sabitzer’s cross from inside the area with a volley, forcing Gikiewicz to react quickly and meet the ball with a strong right hand, subsequently pushing the ball away to safety.

It took more than an hour to do so, but the deadlock was finally broken. Demme was able to regain possession in his defensive third, and within two passes, Werner was driving at the heart of Freiburg’s defence, before switching the ball onto his “weaker” foot and firing the ball into the bottom corner and Leipzig into the lead.

Leipzig were unable to hold on their lead for long, though. 11 minutes after going ahead, they would find themselves 2-1 down as the hosts scored twice in quick succession. Freiburg’s first came from a poorly hit corner that Laimer failed to clear, deflecting it into the path of Haberer, who proceeds to place a well hit half-volley over Poulson’s head and into the net. The second came 4 minutes later. This time Günter made better contact with the ball, getting enough pace on it for Koch to leap up and direct the ball past Gulácsi.

Leipzig tried to get back into the game, resorting to long balls and shots from distance, but to prevail, succumbing to their sixth defeat of the season. Due to this result, Hasenhüttl’s men dropped two places down the table into 4th, level on points with Schalke and Mönchengladbach, whilst Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt lurk closely behind them with a single point separating them.

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