After sliding into a bit of a slump during which he went nine league rounds without being involved in a goal, Pforzheim's Vincenzo Grifo woke up in a big way for SC Freiburg on Saturday afternoon.
The 28-year-old spoke on his first ever Bundesliga brace when talking to the Sky microphones afterwards. Unsurprisingly, Grifo also had plenty of praise to heap on teammate Nico Schlotterbeck and trainer Christian Streich.
|Vincenzo Grifo.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
Two goals on Saturday afternoon's 3-2 win over Wolfsburg ensured that Vincenzo Grifo now leads his fourth-placed club in both goals and scorer points after the 2021/22 German Bundesliga's 26th round. The German Italian also ensured that his team got off to a near perfect start at home against their opponents with a marvelously taken free-kick in the 7th minute.
Some 37 minutes later, Grifo completed his first-ever brace in the Bundesliga with a short-range finish off a Ermedin Demirovic/Nicolas Höfler give-and-go.
"The second one was much harder," Grifo conceded when speaking to the Sky mics afterwards, "I didn't hit it 100 percent, but it was enough."
Anyone who saw the goal can safely say that the 28-year-old was being modest. True, it wasn't the cleanest of strikes. Grifo nevertheless supplied a very technically gifted finish into the right-hand corner.
Grifo's energy levels were clearly still up after an "exciting game". Freiburg's set-piece master noted that he didn't recall Wolfsburg earning a chance in the first-half. In this case, the player's memory served correctly. The Autostädter finished the first-half with 0.0 xG.
Florian Kohfeldt's Wölfe did manage to fight back in the second half. Courtesy of goals from Max Kruse and Maximilian Arnold, the 0-2 deficit was eventually erased. Wolfsburg were nevertheless not even with their hosts for long. Nico Schlotterbeck restored the lead three minutes after the guests drew level.
"We didn't let out heads hang low after the 2-2," Grifo explained, "Nico was there to push it on in. So important."
After the obligatory praise of the younger Schlottbeck brother, it came time for Grifo to answer questions about his trainer Christian Streich. The Freiburg victory gave Streich, in office since 2011, his 104th Bundesliga win. With that, the league's longest serving trainer tied the legendary Volker Finke for the most wins with the club.
Grifo seemed to anticipate that he would get that question.
"One doesn't need to say much about Christian Streich," he noted, but then being sure to add, "He's always eager, wants to make every player better, keeps the team together, has lots of one-on-one discussions with players and always gives you a good feeling. He's an exceptional coach and we're thus very happy."
Though it might not have been necessary, Grifo apparently opted to discuss Streich anyway.
|4||N. Schlotterbeck ⚽|
|7||J. Schmid ↪83|
|19||J. Haberer ↪84|
|30||C. Günter (C)|
|32||V. Grifo ⚽⚽ ↪90|
|11||E. Demirović ↪85|
|18||N. Petersen ↩85|
|22||R. Sallai ↩84|
|33||N. Weißhaupt ↩90|
|25||K. Sildillia ↩83|
|50||T. Jerico Schmidt|
|3||S. Bornauw ↪83|
|19||K. Mbabu ↪76|
|24||X. Schlager ↪76|
|27||M. Arnold (C) ⚽|
|15||J. Roussillon ↪76|
|17||M. Philipp ↪55|
|9||M. Kruse ⚽|
|10||L. Nmecha ↩55|
|21||B. Bialek ↩83|
|8||A. Vranckx ↩76|
|11||R. Steffen ↩76|
|20||R. Baku ↩76|