Freiburg would have fancied themselves prior to kick off with Gladbach's defensive frailties apparent with the absence of Itakura and Elvedi. Neither side could find a breakthrough as Flekken and Sommer kept all at bay. Gregoritch came close on occasion, while Kone impressed for Die Fohlen.
Both sides came roaring out of the blocks inside the opening five minutes. Ritsu Dōan narrowly fired wide of the left upright, while Neuhaus stung the palms of Flekken and Bensebaini’s cross almost picked out the climbing Thuram at the other end. Freiburg’s new signing Daniel-Kofi Kyereh who arrived from St.Pauli made his way into the starting line-up this evening, and really should have given Sommer more of a test with his tame left-footed effort.
After a chaotic few minutes in the Freiburg box, bodies lay strewn all over the place as Sildillia, Bensebaini, Neuhaus, and Kyereh came out the worse for wear following a few meaty collisions. While every player got back to their feet, Neuhaus was eventually forced to resign for the evening just after the half hour mark after sustaining a heavy knock to the knee. Nathan Ngoumou entered the fray in the German’s place for Die Folhen after he arrived as a late summer signing from Toulouse in August. Despite the abundance of chances at either end, the teams remained inseparable at the break. Mark Flekken without doubt the busier of the two goalkeepers at that stage of the match.
Both sides battled intensely for possession on the resumption of the second 45 minutes. Christian Günter received a booking when he felt Scally went down cheaply as they tussled for the ball. The Freiburg captain landed himself in a spot of trouble after remonstrating with Tobias Stieler. Freiburg were beginning to live dangerously with 30 minutes left to play – Lienhart was dispossessed but Stindl failed to curl his right-footed effort into the far corner with what was the best chance of the second half at that stage.
The tide began to turn in favour of the Breisgau side around the 65th minute in what was an unusual second half. Dōan started to pop up in pockets of space, while Günter fired a snapshot down the throat of the experienced Yann Sommer who remained unfazed. Streich then looked to his bench to give his side the upper hand as Keitel and Jeong replaced Eggestein and Kyereh. Dōan’s last involvement of the night drew a fine save from Sommer. A final throw of the dice came from both sides with 10 minutes to go – Grifo and the lively Doan made way for Schade and Weißhaupt, while Gladbach brought on Wolf and Borges Sanches.
The infamous Bundesliga ‘joker’ substitute Nils Petersen came on for the final proceedings. With two minutes of added time remaining, neither side managed to carve out a goal-scoring opportunity leaving Freiburg second in the Bundesliga table going into next week. Streich’s side will travel to Greek giants Olympiakos on Thursday, while Gladbach prepare themselves for a Leipzig side now under the tutelage of Marco Rose.