Category Archives: 2. Bundesliga

2.Bundesliga MD25 20/15/16: SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig – Streich Wars/Snow Wars

Well this is certainly a post I don’t mind writing out of order, even if I did mind I think I’d go ahead and post it anyway. Last night was a very special game, certainly special enough to warrant a break of the usual rules. This weekend saw two matches between top placed teams, Dortmund v Bayern and last night Freiburg v Leipzig. In an interview at half time during Dortmund’s game Joachim Löw said it was so far the best game of the season he’d seen and he was probably right. Freiburg’s game unfortunately did not meet those standards. Their first encounter last year did with the first half being one of Freiburg’s standout performances this season. This encounter was prevented from being a similarly excellent affair by the weather. It’s most ironic for two reasons. Firstly because Freiburg is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg and is known for it’s terrific weather, in fact it enjoys the best weather of any city in Germany, averaging 1,740 hours of sunshine a year. Secondly because just last week I was thinking of writing a snow related Jogi & Hansi story, inspired by hearing Amir Abrashi talking about the possibility of snow for last week’s game.

The snow however whilst making life difficult for Freiburg did not prevent them from taking all three points and providing plenty of fun along the way. The commentator pointed out the similarity between this game and Freiburg’s last home game in the Bundesliga against Bayern. That was also a very close game, it too finished 2-1 and Nils Petersen played an important part in the game. Once more he was the joker, though last night in a less direct way. He provided the assist rather than scoring the winning goal himself. Of course the weather was a lot better that day as well, being a typically sunny day in Freiburg. It’s very amusing to hear the fans singing the official club song at the end of the game, the reason being part of the song is about the sun shining. Well I guess in a way it is.

It’s very curious indeed, the gap at the top of the Bundesliga is cut to five points after Dortmund drew with Bayern, meaning technically the title race is back on. Of course some people think Bayern still have it all wrapped up. That’s definitely not the case in the 2.Bundesliga because with nine games left the gap is cut to three points. Just three points now separate Freiburg from league leaders Leipzig. Not only is automatic promotion a very real possibility but first place is still on the table. I would love for them to win the league, there’s no point in lying about it. But I’d be happy with first or second, as long as it’s an automatic promotion place then I’m happy.

As well as being similar in terms of importance Freiburg’s game had something else in common with Dortmund’s. Roman Bürki after being humiliated in the reverse of the fixture would have been keen to put the record straight on Saturday. He did eventually do that, making a number of important saves, though only after getting off to shaky start and almost gifting Thomas Müller goal. Alexander Schwolow did not get humiliated against RB Leipzig last year, but he does kind of have a point to prove. Filling Bürki’s shoes is a tall order, simply because he has not even a tenth of his experience having spent last season playing in the third tier with Arminia Bielefeld. Yet he’s well on the way to doing so. I never thought I’d be able to say I’m ok with Bürki having left, but now I can say just that and it’s true. Schwolow’s played well for the better part of the season but last night was something else entirely. In the dying minutes of the game he provided a save which as well as being world class also kept Freiburg in the game. With that one save he helped provide three vital points which could turn out to be the difference between getting promoted or not. Bürki despite being excellent all season could not prevent Freiburg from getting relegated, but Schwolow may just yet help them get promoted.

Out of all the games in the second half of the season this was the one I’d been most worried about, not just because of the opposition but because of the timing of it. It’s not a great game to play after having played in midweek as well. But it worked out fine, no doubt the loan signing of Florian Niederlechener was a big help in this regard. Yesterday I wondered if me securing a trade for his Heidenheim card was a sign of some sort. I am so very happy that turned out to be true. This is probably my favourite game of the season so far, not because it’s the team’s best performance. I think that’s a little difficult to judge because of the weather situation. It’s not like Freiburg could play like they prefer to, not that they could have done so against Leipzig anyway since of course they like to play a possession based game too. It’s more my favourite because of the weather, what this game could turn out to mean and partly because of the pre-match show on Sport1. As expected sky had a pre-match segment about Florian Niederlechner. They were outdone by Sport1 and their highly amusing christening of this game as Streich Wars. Not only that but casting Streich as Meister Streich, Ralf Rangnick as “Darth Rangnick,” Immanuel Höhn as “Höhn Solo” and saving the best till last Alexander Schwolow as “Schowbacca”:

Streich Wars 1 Streich Wars 2 Christian Streich als Meister Streich Ralf Rangnick als Darth Rangnick Immanuel Höhn als Höhn Solo Alexander Schwolow als Schowbacca Streich Wars 3

The full video of the pre-match show in two parts:

Back-up links: Part One & Two

Video of the full match:

SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig – 1st half: Part one & two

SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig – 2nd half – Part one & two

It wasn’t a game I expected to be particularly easy, even without the inclement weather. The last time they met was a tough battle with Freiburg running out of steam in the second half and having to resort to just doing all they could to keeping Leipzig from taking the lead. Leipzig equalised just after the start of the second half and never stopped looking dangerous for the rest of the game. It was almost a pattern that was repeated last night. Thankfully Nils Petersen had a thing or two to say about that.

Other than the weather there was another surprise for last night’s game with Christian Streich making just one change and that was a forced one. The injury to Marc Torrejon on Wednesday afternoon meaning Immanuel Höhn took his place in the center of defence alongside Marc-Oliver Kempf. Petersen meanwhile how scored the all important goal against Leipzig on MD8 found himself on the bench, displaced by the newfound strike partnership of Florian Niederlechner and Karim Guede.

The opening few minutes of the game were as you would expect, lots of misplaced passes because of the snow and possession changing hands fairly quickly. Leipzig got their first shot on goal before barely a minute had been played but it turned out to be an exceedingly tame shot and was picked up easily by Schwolow. The first few minutes it was all Leipzig because whilst the possession was fairly balanced Leipizg had all the chances. Poulsen in particular looking a real threat and getting two chances in a matter of minutes. Both times the defence dealt with it, Abrashi the first time seeing it out for a corner and Pascal Stenzl dispossessing Poulsen the second. Freiburg’s first attempt at an attack turned out to be nothing of the sort. Mike Frantz making the run but ending up on the floor, claiming he was elbowed in the back. The replay showed some contact but probably not enough to bring him down. And that was the only time Freiburg got close to goal in the first eight minutes.

The action resumed with Leipzig wasting no time in getting up-field and threatening once again. As it turns out Freiburg’s first shot on goal was to be their first goal. It started out with an easy save by Schwolow, he then kicked it up-field whereupon a Leipzig player tried and failed to control it. Niederlechner helped himself to the ball and made the pass to Frantz who in turn set up the arriving Grifo for his 11th goal of the season. Grifo’s celebration was great but Schwolow’s was better. I find it funny they were at opposite ends of the pitch yet ended up celebrating in the exact same way, I don’t know if Schowlow saw Grifo sliding and thought he’d join in as well or if it’s just coincidence. Either way it was cool. Freiburg 1 Leipzig 0. It took just nine minutes and twenty seven seconds for them to take the lead.

Vincenzo_Grifo_celebrates_SC_Freiburg_v_RB_LeipzigAlexander_Schwolow_celebrates_SC_Freiburg_v_RB_LeipzigChances were few and far between for the next few minutes but what the few of them there was were for Leipzig. One of Freiburg’s few chances was when Niederlechner made a good run in the 15th minute but he was dispossessed right outside the box. Guede had a chance at a solo run a few minutes later but the defender got there in time. The commentator questioned whether or not if Streich had started Petersen instead of Geude that they’d have taken the lead sooner. I don’t think so, I think Guede was perfect for this game with his physicality. It turned out to be very useful especially given the weather conditions. Besides it’s like they say “never change a winning team.”

Despite Leipzig’s attacking threat Schwolow had few difficult saves to make in the first twenty odd minutes of the game. But he was the busier of the two keepers despite making few noteworthy saves in the first half.  As you’d expect Leipzig continued to dominate in terms of possession but were so far unable to make this count. Misplaced passes due to the snow covered surface continued to be a common feature, as did defensive errors on Freiburg’s part. Then in the 31st minute there was something which is not so common an occurrence, a time out for snow shoveling. The referee calling a halt to play because the lines of the box were no longer visible. Play resumed about three minutes later with the time to be added on. There is one good thing about the snow, Leipzig not being able to run Freiburg ragged quite as effectively as they did last time. In the 40th minute the first yellow card of the game was handed out to Yussuf Poulsen for clashing into Amir Abrashi, the latter looking a little confused as he was picked up off the floor. But luckily he was able to continue. The subsequent free kick was of course taken by Grifo but it was saved by the keeper. At the end of the first half Freiburg were still one up, for the time having managed to hold off Leipzig.

At the start of the second half both teams made just the one change with Freiburg taking off Karim Geude and replacing him with Maximilian Philipp. Both teams came out ready for battle in the second half, neither of them lacking in energy despite the intensity of the first half. At first it seemed my initial fears were unfounded, that they’d concede an equaliser in the same circumstances as last time. I was wrong on that count unfortunately. Niederlechner in particular continued to be outstanding, winning the ball back in dangerous places and very much remaining an attacking threat.

Leipzig on the other hand whilst causing plenty of problems still weren’t giving Schwolow much hard work to do. That is until the 55th minute when they caught him and Marc-Oliver Kempf by surprise. What’s not a surprise is that Yussuf Poulsen had something to do with it, you’d have put money on that. It was his initial pass into the box which resulted in the goal by Kaiser. Kempf was there but not close enough, no-one picked Kaiser up. From this point on it seemed like the game was going to go as the last one did. Freiburg just doing their best to hang on for the point. Good thing Streich had an ace up his sleeve in the form of Petersen. Ten minutes after they conceded the equaliser Freiburg brought on Petersen to replace Frantz, the idea probably being for him to take over Niederlechener’s position up front and for him to fill Frantz’s space. That’s not quite how it turned out. For once Petersen got to be the man providing the assist instead of scoring the goal himself. A game changer indeed, just one minute after he came on the goal was scored.  It was him and Niederlechner working together all the way, they were the only two players up there. Niederlechner headed the long pass so it fell for Petersen, he then made the well timed pass and Niederlechner skipped past the unsuspecting defenders, went one on one with the keeper and scored. All the defenders protested for offside but it wasn’t given, they were all caught napping, all four of them that were there. It wasn’t only Petersen’s first real involvement in the game but was actually his first touch of the ball.

There was no time to rest with action quickly resuming and Schwolow was finally called upon to make a significant save, going one on one with Poulsen and denying him the chance to equalise:

Alexander_Schwolow_save_1_SC_Freiburg_v_RB_LeipzigNot long after Niederlechner got a chance to make it 3-1 but was unable to make the most of his opportunity. He was however continuing to run the Leipzig defence ragged which makes for a nice change of pace. In their first encounter Freiburg were by this point just trying to hang on, whereas here they were not only still in the game but still posing a threat. Speaking of threats Leipzig tried to play their own joker card by bringing on Selke in the 72nd minute. Their very expensive six million joker, but he proved unable to make the difference.  There were plenty of chances and just as much drama in the final fifteen minutes but there was nothing doing for Leipzig. And Schwolow is a large part of the reason that’s the case. In the 86th minute he made the first of one of those very important saves, though I think it’s fair to say it was more of a scramble than a save. Whatever you want to call it Schwolow with the help of a little bit of luck kept the lead intact:

Alexander_Schwolow_save_2_SC_Freiburg_v_RB_LeipzigThere was plenty more drama to come in the last few minutes with Grifo coming very close to making it three, a nice little bit of skill from him but the defender took him out with a well timed tackle:

Grifo_almost_makes_it_three_SC_Freiburg_v_RB_LeipzigAnd then came Schwolow with his most important save of the match, 92 minutes and 12 seconds played, with 48 seconds left to play he saved the day and denying Sabitzer the equalizing goal.That could turn out to be the moment which defines the rest of the season. It’s certainly the equal of any of the saves Bürki made against Bayern at the weekend:

Alexander_Schwolow_save_of_the_game_SC_Freiburg_v_RB_LeipzigThanks to Schwolow it stayed 2-1 and that makes four victories in a row for Freiburg. They face Frankfurt next which on paper at least should not be a game which causes them any problems. Leipzig probably have the tougher task, they host 1860 München who have pulled off some pretty good results in the past few weeks. Forget about them losing, all that’s needed is for them to draw with 1860, 1.FCN or perhaps Bochum and for Freiburg not to drop any points. That’s all it would take for Freiburg to take the top spot again. But 1.FCN are still close behind, just three points behind in fact. MD27 has two important clashes, on the Sunday Leipzig play 1.FCN and then on Monday Freiburg play KSC. They’re all must win games but that one in particular. Freiburg’s victory was  not the only interesting result this weekend. Both Bochum and St Pauli dropped points, the former drawing 2-2 with Bielefeld thanks to a last minute penalty and Pauli surprisingly losing to Heidenheim. How ironic that is, Niederlechner’s former team lending a helping hand. Paderborn after having sacked Stefan Effenberg got a very credible draw against Greuther Fürth but of course a point is not enough for them.

SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig highlights

Bochum v Bielefeld highlights

Heidenheim v St Pauli highlights

2.Bundesliga MD25 results 2.Bundesliga MD25 table 1 2.Bundesliga MD25 table 2

Florian Niederlechner - pre-match show - SCF v RBL 1 Florian Niederlechner - pre-match show - SCF v RBL 2 Florian Niederlechner - pre-match show - SCF v RBL 3 Florian Niederlechner - pre-match show - SCF v RBL 4 Florian Niederlechner - pre-match show - SCF v RBL 5SCF v RBL 1 Nicolas Höfler - SCF v RBL 1 Nicolas Höfler - SCF v RBL 2 Florian Niederlechner - SCF v RBL 1 Amir Abrashi - SCF v RBL 1 Vincenzo Grifo - SCF v RBL 1 SCF celebrate Grifo's goal - SCF v RBL Schwolow celebrates Grifo's goal - SCF v RBL 1 Schwolow celebrates Grifo's goal - SCF v RBL 2 Schwolow & Kempf - SCF v RBL Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 1 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 2 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 3Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 4 Nils Petersen - SCF v RBL 1 Nils Petersen - SCF v RBL 2 Florian Niederlechner - SCF v RBL 2 Petersen, Grifo & Niederlechner celebrate - SCF v RBL Niederlechner goal - SCF v RBL 1 Niederlechner goal - SCF v RBL 2 Niederlechner goal - SCF v RBL 3 Nils Petersen - SCF v RBL 3 Nils Petersen - SCF v RBL 4 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 6 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 7 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 8 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 9 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 10 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 11 SCF v RBL final score Christian Streich - SCF v RBL Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 12 Alexander Schwolow - SCF v RBL 13

2.Bundesliga MD10 2015/16 – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg

After a routine 2-0 victory over FSV Frankfurt the previous weekend on match-day 10 Freiburg visited their neighbours KSC. The game being made extra interesting for two reasons, firstly because of course they are both former teams of Jogi’s and secondly because there was another Baden-Württemberg derby that same weekend with Stuttgart visiting Hoffenheim. Funnily enough their game ended in a draw too and also featured a last minute equaliser. On the subject of local derbies the previous weekend KSC played their other neighbour 1.FC Heidenheim, they drew 1-1. A result which no doubt would have left them wanting something from this game even more. Not to mention the fact they were without a win in five games, including a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Eintracht Braunschweig and a 3-0 defeat to 1.FC Union Berlin. Their last victory came on MD4 against bottom of the table Duisburg, hardly a vote of confidence in their form. At the time it was only one of two victories to their name. Just one season after finishing in 3rd place KSC found themselves struggling in fourteenth place. And yet you wouldn’t have known it from the way they played against Freiburg. Whether it was determination not to extend their run without a win to six games or simply a matter of pride it worked for them. It may have been a game in which both goals came extremely late but it was once full of excitement. It was also a game which was very competitive, that’s probably not the best word for it but it’s the only one I can think of. Let me put it another way, it took precisely eleven seconds for the game to be stopped for the first free kick and there was many more after it.

In fact in the first few minutes of the game there were more fouls and free kicks than there were chances with both teams taking a little while to get going, KSC understandably a little cautious against going up the best attack in the league. Both teams were pretty evenly matched in the first five minutes but it was KSC who got the first chance, earning themselves a corner. It came to nothing, Peitz headed it over the bar and Schwolow didn’t need to do anything but watch it sail over. Schwolow was first called into action in the sixth minute but it wasn’t a real save after an absurdly optimistic shot from KSC’s Dimitri Nazarov. In the next few minutes KSC had a couple more attempts on goal, though none on target. Freiburg for their part were getting nowhere near their goal and KSC’s keeper Vollath playing in place of Dirk Orlishausen found himself with nothing to do.

The tussling and the midfield battle continued for the next several minutes, the first yellow card came in the 13th minute for KSC player Peitz after elbowing Karim Guede in the head and grabbing his neck on the way down. Less than a minute later Freiburg got their first real sniff of an opportunity with Mujdza sending a long pass downfield to Philipp who was waiting just outside the box. He couldn’t get on the end of it and it ended up being put out of play for a corner by a nervous looking Valentini. With usual corner taker and dead ball specialist Vincenzo Grifo on the bench Mike Frantz was the man tasked with taking it. The ball in was headed out easily by the defence where it was collected and battled for by a waiting Christian Günter.  The resulting cross from Nicolas Höfler resulted in a little game of pinball in the box but it ultimately came to nothing.

The game continued in much the same pattern for the next few minutes, plenty of small fouls but nothing significant and no attempts on goal. That is until the 17th minute when Marc-Oliver Kempf rightly earned himself a yellow card for blatantly shoving a KSC player in the back right in front of the linesman. It wasn’t the smartest decision he made all day especially seeing as how it was his mistake to begin with. Put under pressure he went backwards with the intent of passing the ball to Schwolow or one of his fellow defenders but instead slipped and found himself in a foot race with his marker. When his marker got in front of him saw no option but to take him out, in order to prevent him from having a free run at goal. A price worth paying. The resulting free kick was no problem at all nor the shot afterwards which Schwolow watched go wide.

In the 20th minute Nils Petersen finally made some impact on the game with an impressive solo run down the left flank which unfortunately came to an end when he elbowed his marker in the back. Petersen got another chance just two minutes later with a cross in from the right but his marker prevented him from connecting with it.

For the next ten minutes the game started to flow a little better, at least there wasn’t a free kick every other minute anyway. Unfortunately the balance of play favoured KSC, they were the one who had a few chances. Admittedly most of them were off target and the few which were posed no significant difficulties for Schwolow, but at least they were getting through. Frantz almost broke through on the right but quickly found himself swarmed by three defenders. A short while later Frantz earned himself a yellow card for sliding in behind and taking out Nazarov. KSC got a few more chances in the final minutes of the first half, given the fact they were having a lot more success in this regard it wouldn’t have surprised me had they scored first. Freiburg scoring from open play seemed a little unlikely, no matter what they tried it just wouldn’t go. If they were going to score  it was most likely going to be from a set play.

It was no surprise at the start of the second half to see Vincenzo Grifo being brought on for Christian Günter in an attempt to address the lack of creativity in midfield. Hopefully bringing Grifo into the game would increase the quality of the passes into the box and he could maybe go off on some of those marauding runs of his. Or more likely to score from a free kick because it didn’t seem like anybody not even Grifo was going to get through. They certainly didn’t waste any time in getting started, having two long range attempts on goal in the first two minutes after the restart. But neither of them were especially close, neither Guede’s nor Abrashi’s. Grifo got his first chance to have some effect on the game with a corner in the 48th minute, which unfortunately the KSC defence had no problem dealing with. Despite the presence of Grifo the game followed a pattern similar to that of the second half, lots of niggly little fouls and plenty of free kicks, with few real chances for both sides and a continuous battle for possession.

In the 58th minute Grifo went off one of those tricky little runs of his, getting between two defenders but the second of them manged to put enough pressure on him so that his pass into the box went over the bar. A short while later Freiburg made their second change of the game with Tim Kleindienst coming on for Karim Guede. Most of the attempts on goal for both sides were from outside the box, a pattern that continued in the second half. Most such shots posed on problem for either keeper but in the 60th minute Schwolow was called into action to react to a troubling shot from Nazarov. Luckily Schwolow was able to just tip it out for a corner. A corner which resulted in a goal kick for Freiburg, deserved or not I don’t know, there was a lot of pushing and shoving in the box from both sides.

The next few minutes continued in the same fashion as the rest of the game, the only exception being a little bit of luck for KSC which saw Erwin Hoffer find some space in the box. His shot however went straight towards Schwolow who collected it easily. 70 minutes in Streich made his third and final change with Lucas Hufnagel replacing Maximilian Philipp, perhaps in the hope he could repeat his feat against Bielefeld and get another all important goal. He came on just as KSC were about to take a free kick which was harmlessly headed out for a corner. The resulting corner however provided plenty of danger, whilst Schwolow managed to push away Peitz’s header he couldn’t get a grip on it, luckily for him the follow up shot went just wide.

With both teams proving to be matched in every regard it seemed more and more likely the game would end in a 0-0 draw, had it done so it would have been a fair result. Neither team had really done enough to win it. There were few events of note in the next few minutes but one which has to get a mention is Schwolow in the 70th minute coming out of his box and clearing the ball Neuer style. Not quite as adventurous as Neuer often is but still an impressive moment for him.

Schwolow_clearance_KSC_v_SCFEarlier in the game Freiburg brought on their Georgian joker Lucas Hufangel. Well as it turns out KSC had one to match in the form of Russian Vadim Manzon who in the 85th minute replaced Erwin Hoffer. For the next few minutes Schwolow was on full alert. He dealt with the header from the free kick with no problems, tipping it over the bar for a corner. From this point you would assume both teams were playing for the draw, neither of them seeming like they were going to take any major risks. Manzon himself got a shot on goal just a few minutes after coming on but like so many of the others it was off target, unluckily only because it took a deflection which meant a corner and Schwolow being called into action again. It was punched out by Schwolow but it didn’t matter, after stopping the corner from being taken the first time and warning the players the referee blew his whistle afterwards because of more such antics.

As it turned out it was a corner which created the chance for Freiburg’s goal, that and KSC being a little over cautious. In the 88th minute one of their defenders chose to head out Nicolas Höfler’s very harmless cross, it went out for a corner to be taken by none other than Vincenzo Grifo and then headed home by Nils Petersen. A goal which wasn’t really deserved but when all is said and done that doesn’t matter. It’s a goal which had it been the winner would have seen Freiburg go back to the top of the table. That is if Vadim Manzon didn’t have other ideas. The happiness lasted just over a minute. Despite there being just two minutes of extra time to hold out for and having all but two men back in their own half to defend Freiburg still ended up conceding a late equaliser. In all fairness it was nothing less than KSC deserved but that doesn’t stop me from feeling cheated. At least the draw extended their unbeaten run to seven games which at this point was the longest streak in the league.

Only getting a point from the game meant Freiburg gave up the top spot to Bochum who routed Greuther Fürth 5-0. They went top on goal difference with both teams having 21 points but Bochum having the slightly better goal difference. I could at least take comfort in the fact St Pauli lost to Sandhausen meaning there was a three point gap between them and Freiburg. Though even if they did win Freiburg would remain in second place with a plus ten goal difference compared to their three.

2.Bundesliga MD10 results 2.Bundesliga table - MD10 1 2.Bundesliga table - MD10 2Highlights:

Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg

Greuther Fürth v Bochum

St Pauli v Sandhausen

Post-match interviews with Alexander Schwolow, Nils Petersen & Christian Streich:

Pictures from Freiburg’s game:

Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1 Mensur Mujdza - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Mensur Mujdza - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 3 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 3 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 4 Marc-Oliver Kempf - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1 Marc-Oliver Kempf - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 5 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 3 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 6 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 7 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 4 Karim Guede - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 3 Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 4 Maximilian Philipp - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 8 Maximilian Philipp - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 9 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 10 Alexander Schwolow – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 11 Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 5 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 5 Nils Petersen & Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 1 Nils Petersen & Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen & Vincenzo Grifo - Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 3 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 7 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 6 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 8 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 9 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 10 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 11 Nils Petersen – Karlsruher SC v SC Freiburg 12Alexander Schwolow - post-match interview - KSC v SCF 1 Alexander Schwolow - post-match interview - KSC v SCF 2 Nils Petersen - post-match interview - KSC v SCF 1 Nils Petersen - post-match interview - KSC v SCF 2 Nils Petersen - post-match interview - KSC v SCF 3 Nils Petersen - post-match interview - KSC v SCF 4

SC Freiburg Cards 2015/16

Alexander Schwolow - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Vegar Eggen Hedenstad - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Marc Torrejon - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Immanuel Höhn - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Mike Frantz - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Tim Kleindienst - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Mats Møller Dæhli - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Lukas Kubler - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Florian Kath - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Marc-Oliver Kempf - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Patric Klandt - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Julian Schuster - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Mensur Mujdža - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardJonas Föhrenbach - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardMaximilian Philipp - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardNicolas Höfler - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardMarco Hingerl - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardKonstantin Fuhry - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardChristian Günter - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardKarim Guede - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Vincenzo Grifo - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardCaleb Stanko - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardAmir Falahen - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardLucas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Christian Streich - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Lars Voßler - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Patrick Baier - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Andreas Kronenberg - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Simon Ickert - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card

2.Bundesliga MD 9 2015/16 – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt

At the end of “die englische Woche” Freiburg played host to Vincenzo Grifo’s former team FSV Frankfurt. Though he wasn’t in the starting eleven, instead coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute for Lucas Hufnagel. Also on the bench was Patric Klandt who of course came to Freiburg from Frankfurt. To make it trio of players going up against their old teams leading the attack for Frankfurt was Dani Schahin who played for Freiburg last season, having been on loan to them from Mainz.

It was all things considered a good time to be playing mid table Frankfurt after the game on Thursday night against RB Leipzig. After the considerable exertion which went into winning that point it was a welcome change of pace to be playing Frankfurt. It was also fortuitous that it was Frankfurt up first and not KSC which was the game after this one. The reason being that game was every bit as much a battle as the Leipzig one had been. Frankfurt on the other hand whilst they were not unworthy opponents and did not lose their heads against Freiburg were eventually broken down. It was a test of patience and concentration more than anything else, Frankfurt needing to remain disciplined in order to keep Freiburg from posing any threat. With Frankfurt putting all their energy into maintaining their defensive strategy and Freiburg no doubt being somewhat tired from the game against Leipzig the game got off to a bit of a slow start. Fifteen minutes into the first half and there was still no real chance for either side, no anything approaching a play which looked remotely dangerous. It took until the 25th minute for Freiburg to get close to having a real chance. But it remained an almost chance since Maximillian Philipp was brought down in the box before he was able to get a shot off. He was calling for a penalty but none was given.

After this the pace of the game started to pick up with Frankfurt getting an opportunity of their own just two minutes later. Their fast break down the left however came to a swift end when the only man in the box to receive the ball found himself surrounded by a swarm of Freiburg players. This is something Freiburg did well pretty much the whole game. When they lost the ball they almost always regained possession extremely quickly, Frankfurt weren’t allowed any considerable amount of time on the ball meaning it was difficult for them to really put anything together. They looked a little harried and often found themselves surrounded by three or four Freiburg players. Wherever they where there was someone to greet them.

From this point onward things started to get a little more exciting and Freiburg were given the chance to open the scoring in the 29th minute when they were awarded a penalty. The strangest thing happened, Petersen stepped up to take it and it was saved by the keeper. He would prove to have something of a quiet day, he didn’t get on the score sheet at all which is a little unusual. It wasn’t a problem however because Frantz and Hufnagel both had a good game. Frantz himself had a few good chances before the first goal was scored by Maximillian Philipp in the 38th minute. Höfler did well to win the ball back and to shield it in order to make the pass whereupon the waiting Phillipp nicely took his shot and struck it perfectly into the lower left corner, right past the keeper who despite being right there saw nothing until it hit the back of the net. It’s only his second goal of the season, he’s usually setting up goals than scoring them so it’s nice to see him get on the score sheet. He had plenty of time and room to take his shot, there were three defenders making their way to him but none of them were close or quick enough. Freiburg’s patience paid off and they continued putting pressure on Frankfurt immediately at the start of the second half. The game was theirs for the taking if they wanted it and knowing this they wasted no time in putting a little bit more pressure on Frankfurt. Their efforts were rewarded quickly when Amir Abrashi made it 2-0 in the 48th minute in a terrific solo effort from him. He made his run down the left hand side but instead of setting someone else up he took the shot. Evidently Frankfurt had not learnt their lesson from earlier he like Philipp had plenty of time and space. There were three defenders there, one nearby, one next to him and one in front of him. Yet they all reacted too slow.

By now Freiburg were firmly in control and looked unlikely to sacrifice their hard earned 2-0 lead. Frankfurt did pose more of a threat in the second half and Schwolow actually had some real saves to make but apart from that it was all Freiburg. Frantz set up a couple of more chances including a very nice back heeled pass to Christian Günter which unfortunately went straight to the waiting keeper. Petersen got an opportunity in a one on one with the keeper but the keeper pushed the ball out to a waiting Philipp who despite having plenty of time put it wide. It just wasn’t Petersen’s day and he was taken off in the 78th minute for Tim Kleindienst. Also brought on in the 71st minute was Vincenzo Grifo for Lucas Hufnagel who looked impressive in his second start of the season. Grifo quickly made his presence felt, getting a chance to make it 3-0 not long after coming on. He went one on one with the keeper and had him beat but he put it wide. He also took a free kick which just went over the bar.  Sub Kleindienst also got a chance to make it 3-0 and to score his first goal for Freiburg. After Günter won the ball back he made a nice pass to Kleindienst who was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. In the 89th minute they made their final change with Julian Schuster coming on for goal scorer Amir Abrashi. He was not to be a last minute joker this time however like he was on MD1 against 1.FCN. Not that it mattered, another important three points all wrapped up. Taking advantage of the fact Bochum lost to Kaiserslautern and St Pauli drew with Paderborn it meant the top spot for Freiburg after dropping two points against Leipzig. Speaking of the devil Leipzig after drawing with Freiburg on Thursday night also drew 2-2 with struggling 1860 München.

MD9 - 2.Bundesliga results 2.Bundesliga table - MD9 1 2.Bundesliga table - MD9 2

Highlights – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt

Post-match interviews with Christian Streich and Amir Abrashi:

Mensur Mjudza – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Maximillian Phillip & Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 5 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 6 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4 Vincenzo Grifo – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 5 Lucas Hufnagel – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Lucas Hufnagel – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Vincenzo Grifo – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Julian Schuster – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 5 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 8

2. Bundesliga MD8 2015/16 – RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg

Match-day 8 saw Freiburg visit Leipzig, playing in the same stadium and city that Germany would end their European qualifying campaign two weeks later. It was the game of the week of “die englische Woche” and it did not disappoint. The main advantage of this fact being that the game was played on Thursday, meaning all the other games had been played and there was no waiting around to see how other results would affect Freiburg’s standing. Going into this game Bochum were top of the table with seventeen points and Freiburg were in second with sixteen. Both teams went into their games on the back of a draw, the previous weekend Freiburg drew 2-2 at home with Bielefeld and Bochum 1-1 with Fortuna Düsseldorf. As luck had it Bochum continued their run of draws, racking up their third in a row, meaning if Freiburg beat Leipzig they would go top of the table for the international break. It was all so perfect, but it didn’t work out that way.

2.Bundesliga table - MD8A trip to Leipzig was always going to be a difficult game, the most expensive team in the league against the youngest. It would have been extremely nice to come away with all three points and to spend the international break at the top of the table, but it would be wrong to be unhappy with only getting a point. It is a terrific result, they were never going to be able to continue playing with the same energy and tempo they did in the first half. Keeping that up would have been impossible and would only have led to making even more mistakes. I don’t like having to play for a draw but anything else would have been reckless.

It was a classic game of two halves, the first belonged to Freiburg and based solely on that, they deserved the three points. They played Leipzig at their own game, pressing them constantly, winning the ball back quickly, being extremely offensively minded. They turned in a great performance for the first 45 minutes with Nils Petersen scoring his goal in the 29th minute. It was a classic Petersen goal, originating from a wonderfully precise pass from Christian Günter to Petersen himself who laid it off for Guede. He in turn passed to Phillipp who spots Petersen in plenty of space in the left hand side of the box. Petersen stays cool as always and puts it past the keeper. Leipzig got caught out, they only had two men back, the rest were on their way but couldn’t get their in time. No doubt being run ragged for the past 20 odd minutes had something to do with that.

21 games played for Nils Petersen and 20 goals scored. He is in the words of the commentator, the Robert Lewandowksi of the 2.Bundesliga. I don’t care for such comparisons, not because I don’t like Lewandowksi, I do like him very much and I consider the comparison a great honour to be bestowed upon Petersen. It’s just that Petersen is well, Petersen. I don’t need or want to compare him to anyone else. He’s not a bargain basement Lewandowski, he’s Nils Petersen.

He was outstanding in the first half, as was almost all of the team. Alexander Schwolow continued with his excellent performance from the Bielefeld game. There was a few moments when he looked a little shaky, but he was excellent for the most part making some very important saves and in the second half he is a large part of the reason they have a point to take home.

A bit of luck was involved getting that point I must admit, towards the end of the first half Leipzig had a goal ruled off-side when in all probability that decision was incorrect. I’m kind of glad in one way, not because that goal may have been the difference between getting a point or not but for Alexander Schwolow’s sake. It was not his finest hour. The corner was no problem, it was headed out, though straight to a Leipzig player who took a shot. Said shot took a deflection and hit the post. Schwolow was left grasping for the ball, desperately scrambling to get there before either of the Leipzig players did. He succeeds the first time but not the second. Not that it made any difference because the whistle had already gone. Schwolow is protesting for off-side or for a foul on him, anything to spare him the embarrassment of that being a goal I suppose. The replay makes it clear, it’s neither off-side nor a foul of any kind on Schwolow. The linesman however disagrees. I should feel lucky, it’s a decision that went in Freiburg’s favour, and I do feel a little lucky. But mostly I just feel wrong, how anyone could call that one wrong I have no idea.

RB Leipzig goal – incorrectly ruled off-side

As a result Freiburg went in at half-time 1-0 up, it was not to last. After being bossed around in their own stadium, Leipzig came out flying in the second half and wasted no time in showing Freiburg who was going to be in control for the second half. It took them just over one minute and twenty seconds to get their equaliser. There were two players with Davie Selkie and neither of them could prevent the pass from reaching him or prevent him from taking a shot. His one touch shot left Schwolow helpless, curling right round him, he didn’t see it till it was already heading past him.

The rest of the second half was a long one, Leipzig now had Freiburg on the run. They kept Schwolow busy with plenty of dangerous looking attempts, him making a particularly important save in the 63rd minute against Davie Selkie. From then on Freiburg didn’t get many more chances and most of the ones they did get were restricted to outside of the box. I was just glad when it was all over. There were quite a few nerve-shredding moments as Leipzig firmly asserted their control over the game and it stayed that way till the very end. Despite Leipzig’s ever increasing pressure Freiburg managed to hang on to their point and deservedly so, the wrongly ruled off-side goal notwithstanding.

Pictures and videos:

Pre-match show feature with Bosnian Freiburg defender Mensur Mujzda:

Pre-match interview with Christian Streich:

Nils Petersen post-match interview – RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg

Christian Streich post-match interview – RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg

Jochen Saier – post-match interview – RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg

Nils Petersen goal – RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg

Davie Selkie goal – RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg

Mensur Mujdza & Alexander Schwolow - RB Leipzig v SC FreiburgAlexander Schwolow - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 1Maximillian Phillip & Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 1 Maximillian Phillip & Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 1 Mensur Mujdza - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 1 Mike Frantz - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 3 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 3 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 4 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 5 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 6 SC Freiburg celebrate Petersen's goal v Leipzig 1 SC Freiburg celebrate Petersen's goal v Leipzig 2 SC Freiburg celebrate Petersen's goal v Leipzig 3 SC Freiburg celebrate Petersen's goal v Leipzig 4 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 7 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 8 Christian Streich & Alexander Schwolow - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg Christian Streich v Tim Kleindienst - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg Nicolas Höfler - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 9 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 10 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 11 Nils Petersen - RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg 12

2.Bundesliga MD7 2015/16 – SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld: Schwolow’s Showdown & The Georgian Joker

MD7 was something of a special day for Freiburg’s goalkeeper, Alexander Schwolow. The reason being he spent last season on loan at Arminia Bielefeld and Friday night was the first time he’s played against them in a Freiburg shirt. With that in mind it makes a little more disappointing that Freiburg didn’t take all three points. But I have little reason to complain. They salvaged the game, rescued a point and Lukas Hufnagel (the joker referred to the in title) got his first Bundesliga goal. I’m sure if there was more time they could have come up with a third, but overall I’m happy. Though I’m sure I would not be so satisfied with the result had Bochum not drawn as well. They conceded a last minute equaliser to Fortuna Düsseldorf, meaning they don’t get to pull ahead at the top of the table. So if you’re going to pick a time to drop points, it was not the worst time to do so. As things stand just one point separates Bochum and Freiburg. It’s also helpful that both Leipzig and St Pauli drew too.

At the other end of the table, Paderborn got their first win of the season, beating fellow strugglers Karlsruher SC. Duisburg’s search for their first win continues and they remain rooted to the foot of the table. And 1860 pulled off a surprise draw with promotion hopefuls (only in their own minds it would seem) Kaiserslautern.

MD7 2.Bundesliga results 2.Bundesliga table - MD7Highlights:

SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld

VfL Bochum v Fortuna Düsseldorf

Heidenheim v RB Leipzig

1860 München v 1.FC Kasierslautern

SC Paderborn v Karlsruher SC

1.FC Nürnberg v SV Sandhausen

On paper and by rights this should have been a win for Freiburg, but look a little closer and you’ll see that whilst Bielefeld have only won one game, they have also only lost one, with five draws to their name. Clearly they’re not an easy side to break down. And they did hold up well against the pressure Freiburg put on them right from the off. Freiburg created plenty of chances in the first half and looked plenty dangerous, so it was somewhat of a surprise when they conceded just before the end of the first half. The goal coming after the first shot rebounded off the post, then a poor clearance by Günter which resulted in the ball getting straight back in the path of Fabian Klos who put it past Schwolow. The second goal came just after the beginning of the second half and was also the result of a not so great clearance. The ball once more falling straight into the path of a Bielefeld player and after taking an unlucky deflection, in the back of the net past a very angry Alexander Schwolow. Here’s the GIF of his reaction:

Angry_Alexander_Schowlow_SCF_v_BielefeldIt’s strange how things work out, in a game against the team he played for last season I finally make up my mind about getting a jersey with his name on. I don’t know the reasons for it, but now I know, I can get one with his name on and not feel like I’m betraying Roman. With that decision made, maybe now I can finally learn to spell his name right too.

On the subject of shirts, here’s the pictures I should have posted last week. Typical, it got here in time for the Kaiserslautern game and then I forgot to include the pictures in that game’s post. Here they are now, my very own Löw Freiburg shirt:

IMG_20150911_160416IMG_20150911_160452Freiburg looked a little out of sorts in the first few minutes of the second half but they quickly got their heads back in the game and resumed putting pressure on the Bielefeld defence. It took until the 60th minute when they started to liven up, with the substitution of Karim Guede for young Lukas Hufnagel who immediately made his presence felt with a shot on goal barely a minute after coming on. It started to feel like it would just be a matter of time until they pulled one back, which they eventually did in the 66th minute. The assist coming from Maximilian Phillipp who provided the cross for Nils Petersen, getting his seventh league goal. Freiburg continued to step up the pressure in search of their equaliser and they were duly rewarded in the 89th minute. The goal being scored by the Georgian joker Lukas Hufnagel, the pass coming in from the left from Mike Frantz and Hufnagel somehow managing to shake off the two defenders around him and put the ball in the back of the net. It was not a particularly pretty goal, but it was a very important one.

If they’d managed to pull one back a little earlier, they probably could have won the game. But they didn’t and in the end you can’t complain. It’s of some comfort to know the result doesn’t accurately reflect how they played, that they did play well and it wasn’t for lack of effort. There’s two games to enjoy this week because it’s what known as the “die englische Woche.” A very busy week, midweek games and then the regular games on the weekend too. The most exciting Bundesliga match-up is obviously Bayern v Wolfsburg. In the 2.Bundesliga meanwhile, Freiburg’s game against Leipzig is the designated match of the week with them playing on Thursday. Which is a good in one way, it means not having to wait to see how the other games will turn out and what effect they’ll have on the table. Then on Sunday they’ll play host to FSV Frankfurt. Bochum play Bielefeld on Tuesday and then Kaiserslautern on Friday, the latter should prove to be good game.

Plenty of videos and pictures this week, including post-match interviews with Alexander Schwolow, Nils Petersen and Christian Streich, at the end is three pictures of Schwolow during the penalty shoot-out in last year’s DFB Pokal, when Bielefeld knocked out Gladbach:

SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld - line-up Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 1 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 1 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 2 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 3 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 4 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 5 Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 2 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 6 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 7 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 8 Lukas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 1 Lukas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 2 Lukas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 3 Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 3 Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 4 Lukas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 4 Christian Streich - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 1 Christian Streich - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 2 Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 5 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 9 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 10 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 11 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 12 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 13 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 14 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 15 Alexander Schowlow - SC Freiburg v Arminia Bielefeld 16

2.Bundesliga MD6 2015/16 – 1.FC Kaiserslautern v SC Freiburg

Match-day 6 saw Freiburg visiting the usually imposing Fritz-Walter Stadion, though at the moment the place is proving to be more intimidating to Kaiserslautern’s own players than to opposing teams with their fans growing impatient as their season gets off to a slow start. After initially getting off to a good start with an admittedly predictable 3-0 win against newly promoted Duisburg they’ve struggled ever since.

Freiburg on the other hand have no such troubles and with the victory against Kasierslautern are managing to keep up the pressure on Bochum who were only able to draw 1-1 with Sandhausen, meaning that only one point separates them now. All it will take is one slip up by Bochum and for Freiburg to be ready and waiting, and they can take their place once more at the top of the table. Also keeping pace with the league leaders are St Pauli who beat Duisburg 2-0 on Monday night.

At the other end of the table Duisburg return to the foot of the table, they are still looking for their first win of the season. And Karlsruher continue to struggle, after getting smashed 6-0 by Eintracht Braunschweig on match-day 5, they lost 3-0 to Union Berlin, as a result moving two places down in the table.

MD6 2.Bundesliga results 2.Bundesliga table - MD6 1 2.Bundesliga table - MD6 2The goals on Friday night were scored by Amir Abrashi, getting his first ever goal for the club and the second was scored by none other than Nils Petersen who is now in double figures, with six league goals and four Pokal ones. The assist for both goals came from Karim Guede. They may have left it late to earn all three points, with Abrashi’s goal coming in the 72nd minute and Petersen’s in the 87th but they always looked like the more likely to score. Abrashi’s goal was the first real threat but Freiburg were always in control of the game. That’s three wins in a row for them now, a pattern they should by rights continue this coming Friday when they play host to Arminia Bielefeld whose only win so far was a 2-1 defeat of Paderborn. It’s important not to slip up for Bochum play Fortuna Düsseldorf, a team they are unlikely to drop any points against. A potentially interesting match-up from the other end of the table is Paderborn v Karlsruher. Can even Paderborn add to KSC’s misery and secure themselves some much needed points?

Highlights of FCK v SC Freiburg.

Highlights of SV Sandhausen v VfL Bochum.

Highlights of Karlsruher SC v 1.FC Union Berlin.

Videos and pictures, first a pre-match interview with Karim Guede and then a post-match interview with Nils Petersen:

Amir Abrashi - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 1 Amir Abrashi - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 1 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 3 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 4 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 5 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 6 Karim Guede & Christian Streich - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg Christian Streich & Alexander Schwolow v 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 1 Christian Streich & Alexander Schwolow v 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 2 Christian Streich & Amir Abrashi - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg

2.Bundesliga MD5 2015/16 – SC Freiburg v SV Sandhausen

It certainly was not a good idea to leave it until now to get this post finished. Despite the memorable score-line I can barely remember it, the excitement of the international break overshadowing everything else. Even a 4-1 win over Freiburg’s local rivals it seems. It was not only the Baden-Württermburg derby but also a match-up between Jogi’s team and Hansi’s team.

Going into the international break, Freiburg were in second place, since Bochum managed to find their way past 1860 München. Even if that hadn’t been the case, Freiburg could not have topped the table anyway, Sandhausen’s late consolation goal prevented such a thing being possible. But still it’s all good, four wins out of five and they’re keeping pace with Bochum. Tonight they visit Kaiserslautern who in their last game lost 3-1 to Heidenheim and who so far have not looked like the promotion contenders they consider themselves to be. After their 3-1 victory against Duisburg on MD1 they have failed to impress so far.

Freiburg weren’t the only one scoring a lot of goals on MD5, also getting in on the act were Eintracht Braunschweig in a 6-0 defeat of Karlsruher SC. If they had gotten one more goal, they would have beaten the record set by SV Sandhausen a few weeks ago when they knocked Paderborn for six. Obviously getting a copy of Freiburg’s match is my no.1 priority every week, but this time around it was getting to see KSC’s game that was all so exciting. A little piece of history on my hard-drive.

Exciting as that is, it’s not the best part of that weekend. That honour goes to Grifo and his very special GIF:

Grifo_gets_a_hug_SC_Freiburg_v_SV_Sandhausen

2. Bundesliga - MD5 results 2. Bundesliga table - MD5 1 2. Bundesliga table - MD5 2Highlights of SC Freiburg v SV Sandhausen.

Highlights of Eintracht Braunschweig v Karlsruher SC.

Pre and post-match interviews with Vincenzo Grifo, Mike Frantz and Christian Streich:

Nils Petersen - SCF v SVS 1 Nils Petersen - SCF v SVS 2 Nils Petersen - SCF v SVS 3Mike Frantz goal - SC Freiburg v SV Sandhausen 8Mike Frantz goal - SC Freiburg v SV Sandhausen 9Vincenzo Grifo - second goal - SC Freiburg v SV Sandhausen 13Vincenzo Grifo - second goal - SC Freiburg v SV Sandhausen 14Vincenzo Grifo and Chrisian Streich - SC Freiburg v Sandhausen 1Vincenzo Grifo and Chrisian Streich - SC Freiburg v Sandhausen 2Vincenzo Grifo and Chrisian Streich - SC Freiburg v Sandhausen 3Nils Petersen - SCF v SVS 4 Nils Petersen - SCF v SVS 5 Nils Petersen & Mike Frantz - SCF v SVS 1 Nils Petersen & Mike Frantz - SCF v SVS 2 Nils Petersen goal - SCF v SVS 1Nils Petersen goal - SCF v SVS 2 SC Freiburg celebrate - MD5

2. Bundesliga MD4 2015/16 – Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg

I’m a little short on pictures and videos this week but happily not short on points, despite a somewhat improvised back four thanks to the sending off last week of Mensur Mujdza and Marc Torrejon. A situation which resulted in a few changes to the line-up that no doubt Streich would rather not have made, such as handing a debut to 19 year old Jonas Föhrenbach who did not have the greatest of games in his first outing in a Freiburg shirt. It was his rashness in the 58th minute that could have cost Freiburg the three points when he brought down a Düsseldorf player in the box. Luckily for him Schwolow managed to save the resulting penalty and there was no equaliser to come. The two goals for Freiburg were scored by Vincenzo Grifo, scoring his first for the club and Nicholas Höfler. Nils Petersen didn’t start, getting a well deserved rest after having played every other game so far of the campaign. But Freiburg did just fine without him, nothing particularly spectacular. Just some hard work and a little bit of luck to secure a much needed win after the disappointment of last week.

Luck elsewhere too, because fellow Baden-Württemberg side SV Sandhausen had a quiet night on Friday against Heidenheim after the excitement of their six goals against Paderborn last week. Only taking one point means they missed the chance to top the table. Bochum retain their place at the top of the table, after going down 1-0 to Nürnberg in the second minute of the game they were able to pull two back to take all three points. In second place is St Pauli who manged to pull off a surprise victory against RB Leipzig. Taking the three points means Freiburg move up to third. Just below them in fourth is Kaiserlautern who move up from seventh after picking up an undeserved win against Paderborn last night. Paderborn just cannot catch a break at the moment, getting knocked for six last week and being the much better side this week, but failing to translate that into goals or points. The only goal of the match came from a penalty conceded by Moritz Stoppelkamp who brought down the same player in the box twice in a matter of seconds. Everything up until them was going great, certainly much better than last week when they conceded three goals in eighteen minutes.

It wasn’t only Freiburg who were forced into improvising last weekend. So was I in regards to getting to see the game. I was lucky to see it at all, certain changes making the situation a lot more difficult and unpredictable than it was previously. A situation which cannot be allowed to continue. Having to watch such low quality and unreliable video is not cool at all, nor is the constant worrying about whether or not I’ll get to see the game. Here’s hoping the plan I’m working on in regards to this turns out as I hope it will. I hope I don’t have to resort to the more expensive and complicated option. Whichever option turns out to be the way to go, directly relying on one source is never a good idea. Thinking flexibly is the way to go, you can’t only have one game plan after all.

This Friday Freiburg play host to SV Sandhausen in their first Friday evening game of the campaign. A win could see them move up to second place at best. Even if Bochum were to lose to 1860 München on Monday night, they still cannot top the table because of goal difference, those three they conceded against Bochum last weekend preventing that, meaning they cannot go into the international break top of the table, which obviously would have been nice. It’s hard to believe that Germany play Poland a little over a week from now. It felt like it would never get here. It’s even harder to believe that their qualifying campaign kicked off just under a year from now and that Hansi has not been there for a whole year now.

To finish, video of the highlights and some pictures from the game:

Nils Petersen - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 1 Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 2 Vincenzo Grifo - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 1 Vincenzo Grifo - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 2 Nicholas Höfler - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 1 Nicholas Höfler - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow - Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 2 SC Freiburg celebrate 1 SC Freiburg celebrate 2

2.Bundesliga MD3 2015/16 – SC Freiburg v VfL Bochum

Saturday was just not Freiburg’s day, Nils Petersen missing right in front of the goal in the 32nd minute, Mensur Mujdza getting two yellow cards and then Marc Torrejon seeing a straight red, not a few minutes after he’d just pulled one back for Freiburg. At first glance and looking at only the scoreline (3-1 in Bochum’s favour) it seems terrible, a reason to despair. And yet I’m not. Not only that but it’s not the worse thing that happened this weekend, nor is it the worst thing that could have happened. For me personally the worst thing was missing the Jogi interview on ARD. Looking at the bigger picture, you want to know how it could be worse, well ask Paderborn who got knocked for six by SV Sandhausen. And that’s not a metaphor, they really did concede six goals.

Karlsruher on the other hand after conceding an absurdly early goal to Frankfurt, I think it was about 27 seconds went on to pick up their first three points of the season. After their disastrous league start and getting knocked out of the DFB Pokal, a little rebuilding time is in order for them. Though that’s not bad thing from Freiburg’s perspective, I mean it’s one less direct competitor for the all important promotion spots.

Whilst the scoreline of the Paderborn game is a fair reflection of how badly they played, that is not the case with Freiburg because they were the better team until the sending off completely altered the dynamic of the game. Up until then they’d been the one creating chances and looking dangerous, though admittedly their finishing let them down. A little more precision in front of goal and things could have been very different. Nils Petersen’s chance right in front of goal in the 32nd minute being the key opportunity. A great ball in from Grifo, any other day and Petersen would have put it away, no doubt. Him and Grifo are combining to good effect so far, a fact which certainly takes the sting out of losing Mehmedi. Though seeing him in a Leverkusen shirt on Saturday was a painful reminder, made worse by him going on a great run to set up Julian Brandt for Leverkusen’s second goal. Seeing that you can’t help but think, how come you couldn’t deliver a little more quality like that last season. Pointless I know, but I can’t help it. Not that I make a habit of watching Leverkusen anyway but they’ll be a team to avoid unless absolutely necessary for the time being in terms of picking games to watch.

After Mujdza was dismissed in the 57th minute Bochum started to take advantage of their numerical superiority and were a little less conservative than they’d been in the first half. They didn’t have to wait long to get their first goal, just eight minutes. Misery was added by two goals from Simon Terodde in the 70th and 75th minute. Marc Torrejon’s goal in the 83rd minute was to prove a mere consolation goal. At the time though it seemed like pulling another two back wasn’t impossible, unlikely but not impossible. At least that was the case until Torrejon’s dismissal in the 89th minute. I’m not going to waste time arguing the rights or wrongs of either of the red cards. Firstly because it’s pointless to do so and secondly because in the case of Torrejon, there’s no argument to make. In the heat of the moment you feel hard done by, when it comes to your own team and especially in a tense match like this one, any sense of reason tends to disappear. But after watching the replays I can see how high his boot was. Mujdza on the other hand, that I’m less sure about. Terodde is convinced it was the right decision but then he would be, wouldn’t he. It didn’t look like he elbowed him to me, I’m even less convinced because of the way they managed to take Mujdza down with them. I know there’s no point obsessing over it, so I’m not. It’s not another Kacar situation, this is not something I’m going to be talking about or even thinking about three months from now.

With that defeat, Freiburg obviously don’t get to hang on to their position at the top of the table and after results elsewhere, they slip down to fifth place. Disappointing but not the end of the world, far from it in fact considering the company they are in at the moment. Bochum and Sandhausen (the three points docked from them before the season started for licensing irregularities coming in useful here) are mid table strugglers normally, St Pauli only just avoided getting relegated last season. In the top five only Leipzig are a direct competitor for promotion.

I know it’s just superstition and is completely meaningless but I’ve just seen the schedule for the rest of the season and on the last day of the season they’ll be away from home, playing Union Berlin. It’s the fact they’re away from home I’m unhappy about and it’s not because I’m thinking that if everything were to go right, they’ll be celebrating their return away from home. No, I’m thinking that they were away from home on the final day of last season and look how that turned out. Though obviously that’s not going to happen again. Just like Saturday’s defeat however, it could be worse. Spare a thought for Duisburg who have to face Leipzig on the final day of the season. Of course if they continue struggling the way they are, it may not matter. Their 2-2 draw against Bielefeld might indicate some signs of improvement but I wouldn’t draw any hasty conclusions from that. They went 2-0 down and only managed to get back on level terms after Bielefeld had a man sent off.

Fortuna Düsseldorf are up next for Freiburg and they are without a win so far, here’s hoping Nils Petersen can enjoy some target practice and have some fun in his usual manner. Seeing as how they’re away it would be cool if my new shirt were to get here in time, though I think that’s unlikely give that the eight days for the custom printing are up tomorrow. Plus one to two days for dispatch time, it and the rest of my order will be dispatched by the end of the week at least. But then again, my home shirt miraculously arrived on the day of their first game of the season, so maybe there is some hope.

The week after is a Baden-Württemberg derby because they’ll play host to SV Sandhausen. Not only that but it’ll be Jogi’s team vs Hansi’s team. Speaking of that scenario MD1 of the Bundesliga offered such a match-up, Stuttgart vs Köln. Stuttgart have a terrible record against them, all the more so at home. They haven’t won any of the last ten games again Köln at home. And saving the best fact till last, the last time they beat Köln at home was in the 1996/97 season when they won 4-0. A very special fact because that was Jogi Löw’s first season in charge of Stuttgart. And a fact I’m not so fond of, the first goal was scored by one Thomas Schneider. The reverse of the fixture that season was no doubt spectacular too, Stuttgart won 5-1.

It’s strange, Freiburg and Stuttgart have something in common this weekend, something beyond both being south-western teams and being a former team of Jogi Löw. In both games one event completely changed the way the game was going and ended up in the result not really reflecting the overall balance of play. In Stuttgart’s case it was a penalty, for them it all went downhill from there. Just like Freiburg they lacked that killer instinct in front of goal and also had the misfortune of some near misses. It’s not how they would have wanted to start the season but there are some positives they can take from the game, their improved organization defensively speaking for one thing, lack of which cost them dearly last season.

On MD2 they face HSV which should prove interesting but it’s MD3 that I can’t wait for, then they play Eintracht Frankfurt.  Both matches last season provided plenty of goals, nine in Frankfurt and four in Stuttgart, the results being 5-4 and 3-1 in Stuttgart’s favour. It’s an encounter made all the more interesting by who Frankfurt’s current coach is, one Armin Veh who left Stuttgart prematurely last season of his own accord. Funnily enough Stuttgart will be facing a familiar face on MD2 as well, because Bruno Labbadia who’s currently in charge of HSV was in charge of Stuttgart from 2010 to 2013. And continuing the trivia, he was replaced by Thomas Schneider in 2013 who was fired after seven months in the job. Stuttgart’s saviour that season was of course Huub Stevens who did the same job last season. That was a little longer than I’d intended and technically should be in the MD1 Bundesliga post, but it may as well stay here. As for the diversion, well I am a sucker for random trivia, what can I say, I couldn’t help myself, all those random facts served up like that.

To finish up, the video of the highlights.Then the post match interview with Nils Petersen:

And whilst there are obviously no celebratory pictures this week, I can at least include one nice picture of him from before kick-off:Nils Petersen - SCF v VfL 2.Bundesliga results - MD3 2. Bundesliga table - MD3 1 2. Bundesliga table - MD3 2