Germany: Bundesliga
0 - 2
(0 - 1)
Schalke 04
V. Grifo (45), V. Grifo (61)
By Will Shopland@Will_Shopland

Vincenzo Grifo seals Schalke to yet another dismal defeat

Freiburg dispatch Schalke in comfortable fashion to go two points away from Union Berlin at the top of the table. Thomas Reis suffers the same problems as his predecessor Frank Kramer, as Schalke fail to impress.
Sunday’s second clash had pipped the Bundesliga’s basement side in Schalke against a Freiburg side set to go four points clear in the champions league places. With Thomas Reis ready to take his first game in charge of Die Königsblauen a win would see his new side leapfrog his previous employers Bochum to boost their chances of Bundesliga survival.

A first half that never really ignited saw very few major chances. A few stoppages throughout the half halted any rhythm the game may have had. Freiburg were though, finding themselves with the majority of the ball, and their first big chase came through Ritsu Doan after 25 minutes.

The Japanease international found himself in acres of space down the Schalke left-hand side. He cut infield and saw himself one on one with Alexander Schwolow. However, his tame effort with the inside of his left foot went straight at the Schalke shot-stopper. A chance Doan may feel he should have done better with.

Whereas, for the hosts, the best chance they could muster was one by substitute Kerim Calhanoglu. He entered the pitch in the 34th minute after Thomas Ouwejan was taken off through injury. It would be in the 35th minute when his half-volley fired narrowly over the bar.

As the first half seemed destined to settle at 0-0 as the game came into added time. Schalke would find themselves behind once again this season. They were unable to clear the ball and Maximilian Eggestein switched the ball from right to left. Freiburgs’ main man; Vincenzo Grifo cut in on his right foot. His whipped effort curled around Alexander Schwolow to give the visitors a valuable lead. Schalke, the league's joint lowest goalscorers, were in to revive themselves in the second half.

Although the second half would begin similarly to the first. Schalke gladly allowing Freiburg possession of the ball. Christian Günter rolled a free kick to Grifo, and under no pressure from the Schalke defence fired a shot at Schwolow. His parried save fell to Woo-Yeong Jeong, who had an empty goal in his sight, but he panicked when it mattered most. His scuffed shot went wide of the mark to the relief of the hosts.

But the relief would not last for much longer. At the stroke of the hour mark, VAR intervened with a challenge by Calhanoglu on Woo-Yeong Jeong. With the referee being informed to check the incident the decision was a penalty to Freiburg. Vincenzo Grifo stepped up to cannon the ball into the top right-hand corner to double Freiburgs’ lead.

Schalke would see their best chance of the game come in the 76th minute when a one-two was played between Tom Krauß and Simon Terodde. Krauß bearing down on goal could not find a way past Mark Flekken as the Freiburg goalkeeper stood strong to deny the Schalke Midfielder.

Christian Streich's side saw the rest of the game out with a few chances slipping through their fingers. Although most importantly the three points did not slip, as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win to go 4 points clear in the Champions League places. Thomas Reis, on the other hand, does not have the luxury of thinking of European football. Instead, he needs to find a way for his Schalke side to stay in the Bundesliga and avoid relegation straight back to the 2.Bundesliga.

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