Tag Archives: Florian Niederlechner

Advent Calendar Day 21: Snow King Florian Strikes Again

I wasn’t sure I could enjoy any part of this evening’s games, indeed it took a little while before I could focus on what I was watching. I still felt a little guilty about being so easily distracted but I guess that’s normal. Whilst Tuesday’s round of games were a little disappointing and maybe didn’t offer sufficient distraction Wednesday was very different. I’m certainly glad I chose not to watch the news before the game (a mistake I made the previous night), had I done so it may have ruined what came after. Both games which were of most interest delivered not only on their promise of distraction and entertainment but in giving me exactly what I wanted. Three points a piece for Bayern and Freiburg from their respective games, and Leipzig being given no chance of resuming their brief stay at the top of the table. They I’m very happy to say are not the winter champions. It pains me to say they were last season, with them having a three point lead on Freiburg in the 2.Bundesliga table but they couldn’t repeat the feat in the top flight. I didn’t get my Christmas wish last year but I have now, it may seem unambitious in comparison to what Leipzig are aiming for but I don’t care. Freiburg are in the top half of the table and will stay there for another month. They are very far off from the position they were in two years ago, back then they were in the relegation zone and it’s where they spent the winter break. It’s nowhere near where they are now:

bundesliga-table-md16-2016-17

In their final game before the Christmas break in 2014 they played Hannover and drew 2-2, conceding a late goal which thanks to a technical fault I didn’t get to see. Matter of fact I still haven’t seen that goal, I guess some things you don’t need to see. There is one good thing from that game, the two players who scored the goals, Mike Frantz and Marc-Oliver Kempf are still part of the squad. This time round they faced Ingolstadt who are doing their best to do what Freiburg were doing two years ago, avoiding relegation. As the title suggests it was Florian Niederlechner who scored the winning goal, actually he scored both of them. It didn’t snow but that doesn’t matter, I like calling him a snow king. Nils didn’t start again which is always disappointing, even more so is that he didn’t get to add to his tally when he did come on. In his absence it fell to Niederlechner to take the penalty, and in scoring those two goals he got his first Bundesliga brace. It wasn’t an easy game and they worked hard for those three points, Schwolow like he did in the previous two games at his best to keep the score as it was towards the end. One final thing I have to mention about Hannover, neither they nor Stuttgart get the honour of being winter champions either. Both of them being overtaken in the table by Eintracht Braunschweig. Something which makes me happy for two reasons, firstly Braunschweig are my promotion pick for the season and secondly I don’t want them getting something Freiburg didn’t get.

Speaking of getting something Freiburg didn’t Bayern did that and then some, putting three goals past Leipzig and not just beating them but taking them apart. I know it’s wrong to enjoy someone else’s misfortune (not least when it’s Freiburg who face Bayern next) but I make an exception when it comes to Leipzig. As always Neuer celebrated the goal as he usually does, the GIF isn’t quite as good as the other celebatory ones of him but I had to make it:

manuel_neuer_celebrates_bayern_v_rbl_2016_17Same as I had to add some pictures of Florian and one of Nils to complete the set:

florian-niederlechner-ingolstadt-v-sc-freiburg-2016-17-1 florian-niederlechner-ingolstadt-v-sc-freiburg-2016-17-2florian-niederlechner-ingolstadt-v-sc-freiburg-2016-17-3florian-niederlechner-ingolstadt-v-sc-freiburg-2016-17-4 nils-petersen-ingolstadt-v-sc-freiburg-2016-17It’s funny in a way, I’m totally focused on football after being unable to stop thinking about bad stuff and now the football is over. I’ll have to find something else to occupy myself with until the 20th January. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, it’s only 29 days without football. To be more precise without German football. The time will most likely fly by, if these past few weeks are anything to go by I won’t even notice it, let alone remember.

I don’t know how much of that I’ll remember but for the next few days there’s one thing I can’t forget, the last few days of the advent calendars. Day 21 saw defender Marc-Oliver Kempf make his appearance which is excellent timing on his part, seeing as how I was just talking about the Hannover game in which he scored the first goal. Though to be honest there’s not a bad time for him to make his appearance, he’s the kind of person I’d always be happy to see. In the Dortmund calendar was midfielder Felix Passlack whose last appearance for Dortmund was in the crazy 8-4 win against Legia Warsaw, in fact he scored the seventh goal. And because it’s Marc-Oliver’s day I think the GIF of him and Grifo dancing should make a reappearance, it’s so good it should be used twice:

Grifo_Kempf_dance_SC_Freiburg_v_1860Marc-Oliver Kempf – SC Freiburg v KSCMarc-Oliver Kempf & Nils Petersen – Braunschweig v SC Freiburg 3SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 - Christian Streich & Marc-Oliver Kempf20161222_033427-1

Advent Calendar Day 6: Snow King Florian and Papa Sokratis

Sometimes you get some sleep and it seems to fix everything, other times like today it makes no difference at all. Waking up I was just as tired as before I went to sleep and it took what felt like forever to actually get out of bed. I really did want to stay there, to not have to move and get up. I had nothing I really had to do today yet I felt that way anyway.  And I don’t feel much different to yesterday. In fact I feel worse in one way but that’s entirely my own fault. I shouldn’t be reading about such things when I’m in a good mood let alone when I’m feeling like I am right now. It’s not like I need a reminder of people’s ignorant attitudes toward disabled children and disability in general. I recorded three games tonight and haven’t really watched any of them. I’ve seen a little bit of all of them and that’s all I’ve done, I just couldn’t focus on anything. And to make the night a little bit more disappointing I didn’t get a Jogi video. Though I did at least get one of Miro to make up for it. So at least that’s not so bad. There’s nothing like that to make up for the rest of the stuff but at least I got something to show for the night, even if the day once more went to waste the night didn’t. Well not for me anyway, for Gladbach on the other hand it’s a night they’ll very much want to forget having lost 4-0 to Barcelona. Bayern were also facing Spanish opposition in the form of Atletico Madrid. They got a much wanted 1-0 win, the points meaning nothing in terms of the final group standings but it being very much a point of pride. The goalscorer was Robert Lewandowski and he has something else to be rather proud of, announcing that he’s going to be a father.

I don’t know how to straighten this all out, everything I’ve tried hasn’t worked. Leaving me to consider that at this point maybe I should just accept it. I mean it’s not like it makes much difference,  I have nowhere to be in the day. It’s not going to cause any real problems right now. All that matters is being awake in the daytime for weekends. No-one would care if I disappeared out of sight completely during the week. It would be a relief in a sense to stop fighting it. I don’t know what if anything I should do, I’m just tired of feeling tired and I want all of this to go away.

When I wake up I can’t and don’t want to think about anything. And after a few hours when it gets really late then I can’t stop thinking. All these thoughts come out of nowhere and I don’t know what to do with them. Most of them aren’t of any use, there’s nothing to channel into a story. It’s just anger and frustration at the ignorance of other people mostly. There’s nothing that can be channeled into anything constructive. And right now that anger extends to the book I’m reading. It’s the Icelandic one I mentioned in yesterday’s post named “The Draining Lake.” The source of my anger being the fact Erlendur agrees with a suspect who makes a comment about how you’re not allowed to call mentally disabled people halfwits anymore. They both agree that political correctness has rendered language useless in order to avoid offending anyone. From my experience people who complain about language being too politically correct these days are usually the ones who want to say the most offensive things and are unhappy they can’t anymore. How would they feel if they had a disabled relative and someone saw fit to refer to them as backwards or a halfwit. No doubt they wouldn’t like it very much. But then such people tend to be hypocrites of the highest order. It’s a curious book to be reading right now because part of it takes place in Leipzig and there are characters named Tomas, Niels and Emil. With the setting and that last name it just adds insult to injury. I really don’t like Leipzig, not the city of course, just their football team.

I don’t want to be thinking about any of that but it took root in my mind and I got fixated on it just like always. I want to be thinking about the stories I’m meant to be finishing but they aren’t going well. It’s just so hard to focus on anything. When it’s late enough like it is now I can at least read, whilst I’m grateful for that I’d much rather be able to write something. I hate not doing anything, if I’m going to spend all my time alone in my room I at least want something to show for it and something other than countless hours racked up on yet another game. Not that it’s an option anyway, I can’t even be bothered to do that. The only thing I really care about is getting back to my stories, writing is the only thing which feels important. I know ultimately it’s just as meaingless as anything else I do but they matter to me. Obsessing over the fact I’m struggling to write probably isn’t helping. I should be working out how to get in the right kind of headspace to do that, focusing on being calm and relaxed enough, in other words not getting angry at random people on the internet. I think spending a bit less time reading such things and more time reading books is what’s called for. I do at least have plenty of books to read and I don’t have to worry about picking any either. I know what I’m reading over Christmas, one of those books being  my by now annual re-read of The Book Thief. Plot hole or not it’s one of my favourite books and reading it in December has become something of a tradition now and you don’t mess with traditions. Speaking of Christmas I woud have liked to finish Jogi and Hansi’s Christmas story by now, it would have been perfect with it being St Nikolaus day but unfortunately it’s nowhere near finished. It’s just like everything else I’m working on right now, a lot of ideas but all of it in fragments and half written chapters, no coherence anywhere in sight. Which could pretty much be said of everything right now actually.

As for what to do now I have no clue, stay up and I’ll end up regretting it, go to bed and I’ll end up feeling much the same way. Whatever I do it ends up feeling wrong. I feel the same way about my plans on Thursday but I’ve said yes now, so there’s no backing out. I don’t like letting people down. Besides it’s the same as deciding whether or not to stay up or go to bed, whatever I do I’ll end up paying for it and regretting it.

At least it was a good day in terms of what the calendars had to offer, two players that I like a great deal, the Dortmund one having provided one of my favourite ever GIFs.  The player in question being Sokratis Papastathopoulos, or for those who don’t want to brave that tongue twister of a name and are somewhat fond of him Papa:

20161207_044604-1Thomas_Tuchel_celebrates_Dortmund_v_MainzSokratis- Augsburg v Dortmund - DFB Pokal 2And Florian Niederlechner is plenty special too having scored plenty of important goals for Freiburg in their promotion campaign last year, not least the winner against RBL which is the reason he’s called the Snow King and both goals against his old club Heidenheim on the penultimate day of the season. Funnily enough he also scored against his old club Mainz when Freiburg played them a few weeks ago:

Florian Niederlechner - SCF v RBL 1Florian Niederlechner - SCF v RBL 2Florian_Niederlechner_first_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimFlorian_Niederlechner_s_second_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_Heidenheim

2.Bundesliga MD33: SC Freiburg v 1.FC Heidenheim

The previous weekend Freiburg secured promotion when they defeated Paderborn 2-1 and with the 2- 0 win over Heidenheim they sealed their position in first place. They not only sealed their return to the Bundesliga but did so in pole position, ahead of RB Leipzig. It was perfect in a sense, not least because the scorer of both goals was former Heidenheim player Florian Niederlechner. The goals were made even more perfect by the fact they were both made and scored by two jokers, Lucas Hufnagel and of course Niederlechner. Not a great game to watch by any measure but that doesn’t matter, not when what happened afterwards was so much fun.

SC Freiburg v 1.FC Heidenheim 2015-16 – 1st & 2nd half

RB Leipzig confirmed their inevitable promotion with a 2-0 defeat of KSC, being gifted a second goal after an error by KSC’s keeper. If 1.FCN hadn’t screwed up they could have taken advantage of RBL’s poor run of results in recent weeks, it could be them in second place. But they didn’t and they have to content themselves with third place which is guaranteed at least since they have an eight point lead on St Pauli. With one match-day to go everything is decided at the top of the table, all but one thing that is. Freiburg have won the league, they’re the best team offensive wise in the league and have the best home and away record. Yet there’s one thing they don’t have, it’s not Nils Petersen who’s the current league top-scorer because he didn’t score against Heidenheim and Simon Terrode did against Braunschweig. In order to be crowned top-scorer Petersen needs to score two goals against Union Berlin and for Terrode not to score against Heidenheim. Fingers crossed for Petersen, it’s already been a great season but him being crowned top scorer would make it just that little bit more perfect.

Meanwhile at the foot of the table things went from bad to worse for Paderborn after they lost 1-0 to 1860 München and Duisburg managed to salvage a point at Sandhausen. Going into the final day of the season Paderborn have the difficult task of getting at least a point from third placed 1.FCN, I suppose they can take some hope from the fact their opponents need absolutely nothing from the game. As they can from the fact Frankfurt who they need to lose face 1860. I would put good money on them beating Frankfurt. The situation at the foot of the table offers no salvation for any of the bottom three. The best all of them can hope for is the play-off place. None of them can achieve automatic safety, not realistically. In theory Duisburg could but only in theory, because they would have to not only beat RB Leipzig but score seven goals against them whilst conceding none and counting on Fortuna Düsseldorf to lose to Eintracht Braunschweig. Paderborn, Frankfurt and Duisburg can all win yet still not be safe. If that were to happen the table would stay exactly as it is, with Paderborn in 18th, Frankfurt in 17th and Duisburg in 16th.

2.Bundesliga table MD33 2015-16 1 2.Bundesliga table MD33 2015-16 2Highlights:

SC Freiburg v 1.FC Heidenheim

1 FC Nürnberg v St Pauli

RB Leipzig v KSC

Bochum v Eintracht Braunschweig

Pictures and GIFs from Freiburg’s game:

Florian_Niederlechner_first_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimFlorian_Niederlechner_s_second_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimChristian_Streich_celebrating_promotion_2015_16Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Mensur Mujzda – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Mensur Mujzda – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2 Maximilian Philipp – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Christian Günter – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2 Marc-Oliver Kempf – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Nicolas Höfler & Maximilian Philipp – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim Vincenzo Grifo – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 3 Christian Günter – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 4 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 5Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 6 Mensur Mujzda – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 3 Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v Heidenehim 1 Maximilian Philipp – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 7Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v Heidenehim 2 Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v Heidenehim 3 Vegar Hedenstad – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Lucas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Lucas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2 Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 3 Nils Petersen & Florian Niederlechner - SC Freiburg v Heidenheim Petersen, Niederlechner & Günter – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Petersen, Niederlechner & Günter – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2 Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 4 Lucas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 3Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 5 Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 6 Florian Niederlechner & Christian Günter – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 2 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 3 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 4 Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 7 Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 8 Christian Streich & Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 1 Florian Niederlechner – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 9

SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 1SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 2SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 3SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 4SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 5SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 6 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 7 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 8 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 9 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 - Christian Streich & Marc-Oliver Kempf SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 10 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 - Christian Streich SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 11 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 - Alexander Schwolow

A Lazy Sunday

In this heat I have no intention of taking a stroll anywhere. I’m not a big fan of summer. The only thing I like about it is that international tournaments are held during the summer, though I’m not particularly looking forward to this years. But today none of that matters, this is not a Jogi day or a “die Mannschaft” day. No, today belongs to Freiburg and to them alone. Today they celebrate not only their return to the Bundesliga but their status as champions of the division. And it just had to be Florian Niederlechner who scored the goals against his old team Heidenheim. Double joker today because the goals were scored and created by two substitutes, providing the assist for both was Lucas Hufnagel who himself scored a very important joker goal against Bielefeld earlier in the season.

Florian Niederlechner’s goals:

Florian_Niederlechner_first_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimFlorian_Niederlechner_s_second_goal_SC_Freiburg_v_1_FC_HeidenheimThe summer is far from over, there’s still the DFB Pokal final and the Euros of course but as far as I’m concerned I have the thing I wanted the most. I’d like to see Dortmund and Matze beat Bayern in the final but that would just be an added bonus. All that matters to me is Freiburg back in the Bundesliga, Dortmund coming to the Schwarzwald Stadion again, more importantly Matze going there.

Seeing all the celebrations after the game was wonderful but there’s one thing above all that I found amusing. That was Christian Streich going back to the team after his interview. Him celebrating by himself as he made his way back over there and the commentator saying that he’s a very special man. Indeed he is and I just had to make a GIF of that moment. To me it sums up why Freiburg. Like Christian Streich they march to their own tune:

Christian_Streich_celebrating_promotion_2015_16Also amusing was Vincenzo Grifo wandering around bare-footed having given his boots to a fan. That is one lucky person, I hope they appreciate what they’ve been gifted, a pair of boots from a true artist.

After celebrating I’m going back to my second play-through of Mass Effect 3, it’s way too warm to do anything else. I have stuff to do but it can wait till tomorrow. Ironic that part of having a lazy day is saving the galaxy, but to be honest I don’t really care about that. I don’t even like Mass Effect 3 that much, the main reason I’m playing it again is so I can make my character Thomas fall in love with Kaidan. But before that it’s party time, well a real party for them, more of a virtual one for me:

SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 1 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 2 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 3 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 4 SC Freiburg - Meister der 2.Bundesliga 2015-16 5 Nils Petersen interview - SCF v 1.FCH Alexander Schwolow interview - SCF v 1.FCH

2.Bundesliga MD24 2015/16: Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg

Before the game Christian Streich talked about having respect for Bielefeld and not underestimating them. His words were neither patronizing nor misplaced. After all Bielefeld drew 2-2 with Freiburg at the Schwarzwald Stadion and would have won 2-1 had it not been for a last minute goal by Lucas Hufnagel. They also drew 1-1 with Bochum and 2-2 with 1.FCN, not to mention only losing 1-0 to RB Leipzig. One thing is for certain Bielefeld are not an easy team to break down. Before this game they had only once conceded three goals in a game, when they lost 3-2 to Heidenheim. And they’d never conceded three in one half. They are usually a team which defends exceedingly well Up till this point they’d conceded in total 24 goals. By comparison Freiburg conceded 26, of course Freiburg were also outscoring everyone else to balance that out. Bielefeld on the other hand are masters of the draw, having racked up 13 of them in 24 games.

Given their obvious defensive focus it came as a surprise then that they got the first shot on goal, though it was off target. But Freiburg’s first goal was to set the pattern for the game. It was their first shot on goal, their first attack in fact. Petersen was on the bench so it wasn’t “ice cold Petersen” this time but Florian Niederlechner. Fittingly given the fact this was a homecoming of sorts for Schwolow he was the one who started the play. A long ball from him up-field, headed on by Grifo and then picked up by Niederlechner. Now he did get lucky because the ball took a slight deflection off a defender, but it was all skill when he put it past the keeper. This wasn’t a game which had a great deal of chances but what counts is Freiburg took the ones they got. It was a case of keeping up the pressure on Bielefeld and waiting for the cracks to show. The good start however was not to last with Bielefeld getting the equaliser through Christopher Nöthe in the 31st minute. A most curious goal, not because it was spectacular, more because it resembled Freiburg’s first in a sense. The only difference being the final move, Nöthe heading the ball home through Schwolow’s legs.

Freiburg however did not lose their heads and had the perfect reply just eight minutes later, the second goal being scored by Vincenzo Grifo. Their usually well organised defence was nowhere to be found, they had three players trying to close down Niederlechner but absolutely no-one in the vicinity of Grifo who if he wanted had all the time and space in the world to slot the ball home. Three minutes later Freiburg added to their woes and made it 3-1, the goalscorer this time being Mike Frantz with Amir Abrashi serving up the assist. I would say Bielefeld doesn’t deserve to be 3-1 down but it’s criminal to leave Abrashi with amount of space and to not close down Frantz. Overall them being down 3-1 seems a little harsh but based on the last ten minutes of the first half they most certainly deserve to be. All their confidence after getting the equaliser seems to have evaporated.

This wasn’t the most entertaining of games, but sometimes you don’t need entertaining, sometimes efficiency is more important and given Freiburg were to play Leipzig after this it’s obviously a high priority. The second half didn’t greatly differ from the first, the only difference being that Bielefeld managed for a while to be threatening but they didn’t get anything for their troubles. At the start of the half at least frustration set in for them, evident by the fact they picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes. A fact which led to Marc Torrejon needed to replaced by Immanuel Höhn. The third yellow of the game went strangely enough to Alexander Schwolow. Not for time wasting or an ill timed tackle, instead he got it for talking back to the referee. I’ve seen him get frustrated before but never behave that way. A short while later Niederlchener also got a yellow card, though I’m a little less clear what his was for. He handled the ball but only because he was being obstructed, a point he made very clear to the referee. Thus I’m not sure if it was for the handball or his subsequent behaviour the card was for. Not that it really matters, Freiburg’s lead was secure and despite Bielefeld looking dangerous for a while there was no real danger of them getting back into it. Any hopes of such a thing would have evaporated anyway because in the 77th minute Niederlechner made it four in what I have to say was a very cruel goal to concede, though it’s a great one for Freiburg to score. The three points means Freiburg kept pace with Leipzig who had a twist of their own on the day. At half-time they were 1-0 down to Heidenheim, unfortunately they managed to turn that around and it ended up 3-1. Had they lost it would have narrowed the gap to three points.

2.Bundesliga MD24 results 2.Bundesliga MD24 table 1 2.Bundesliga MD24 table 2Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg highlights

RB Leipzig v Heidenheim highlights

Nicolas Höfler & Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Nicolas Höfler & Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Nicolas Höfler – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Guede, Grifo & Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg Florian Niederlechner & Nicolas Höfler – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 4 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 3 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 4 Maximilian Philipp & Nils Petersen – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 5 Christian Streich & Amir Abrashi – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Mike Frantz & Vincenzo Grifo – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Vincenzo Grifo – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Marc-Oliver Kempf - Arminia Bielefeld v SC FreiburgAlexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 6 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 7 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 8 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 9 Nils Petersen - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Maximilian Philipp & Christian Streich - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 10 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 3 Vincenzo Grifo & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 4 Maximilian Philipp & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg Nils Petersen - Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 11 Maximilian Philipp & Florian Niederlechner – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Vincenzo Grifo – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 2 Maximilian Philipp – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 12 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 13 Alexander Schwolow – Arminia Bielefeld v SC Freiburg 14

2.Bundesliga MD28 2015/16: Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg

Last time Freiburg played Greuther Fürth they ran out comfortable winners with a 5-2 scoreline. Since then Fürth have obviously learned some lessons from that defeat. It was a must win game for Freiburg but then with so few games left to play and the situation at the top of the table they all are at this point. With 1.FCN and Leipzig both having won at the weekend losing or even drawing simply wasn’t an option. Winning would also mean extending their six wins in a row to seven. On that count it’s fitting then that Niederlechner would score the first goal given he wears number seven.

Interestingly enough former Freiburg player Sebastian Freis scored in the reverse of the fixture as well, though his goal was pretty meaningless then given that Freiburg were 4-0 up at the time. It certainly wasn’t meaningless this time round, he got the equaliser. Given the result last time I was sure this one would turn out to be a relatively entertaining encounter. What I hadn’t counted on was Freiburg taking such an early lead. Of course it turned out to a little too good to be true but they got the three points in the end. I know Christian Streich isn’t entirely happy with the result and you can see why but that goal is still awesome, just one minute and 38 seconds. Florian Niederlechner certainly making his presence felt after his return from suspension. It wasn’t the first action in the game though, that was a free kick a mere seven seconds in, taken by Vincenzo Grifo of course. As for the goal Maximilian Philipp gets the credit for the assist though his touch looked a little more lucky than deliberate. Either way Niederlechner got the ball, managed to keep his footing and put it through the keeper’s legs. I’m guessing that wasn’t part of Fürth’s master plan.

Despite the very quick opening goal neither keeper had a great deal to do in the opening ten minutes. Schwolow didn’t have a save to make until 15 minutes in when Fürth made their first attack. Schwolow tipped Stiepermann’s shot over the bar. Freiburg kept them busy chasing the ball to be able to put anything together before then. To Fürth’s credit they didn’t lose their composure and they didn’t allow Freiburg any real chances either. Freiburg’s next chance came in the 21st minute when Philipp almost got on the other end of Grifo’s corner. A few minutes later Fürth got their equaliser, Sebastian Freis creating the opportunity for himself and then putting the ball past a helpless Schwolow. This no doubt was part of their plan, staying cool and not letting Freiburg get to them. Freis saw his chance and he took it.

The next few minutes were fairly uneventful but there was this nice little improvised save from Schwolow:

Schwolow_save_Greuther_F_rth_v_SC_FreiburgThings continued in much the same manner, a few chances for both teams and possession changing hands fairly quickly. The next goal could realistically have come from either team but it was Freiburg who scored next, Maximilan Philipp getting himself a very nice goal indeed. For the first goal Philipp provided him with the assist and in return here Niederlechner along with Frantz managed to help him out. So Freiburg went into the break with a 2-1 lead, little of note happened between Philipp’s goal and the end of the half. Apart from a dangerous looking ball into the box which was adequately dealt with by Höfler. The resulting corner proved no problem at all. Overall it proved to be a most entertaining first half with plenty going on and the game moving at a nice pace. Though Fürth were a little too close for comfort and would remain so for the rest of the game.

They were the better team at the start of the second half, making life a little uncomfortable for Freiburg. One such moment occurred in the 49th minute when Schwolow was left scrambling for the ball and Fürth almost got themselves a free shot on goal before Höfler took care of it. Unfortunately it wasn’t the end of the trouble. Just a minute later a not so good clearance from Grifo gifted the ball to Zulj who without hesitation put it past Schwolow. With the game perhaps slipping away from Freiburg Christian Streich prepared to resort to a tried and trusted method, bringing on the ever reliable Nils Petersen. As it turned out they didn’t need him because Vincenzo Grifo making up for his earlier error scored the winner just eight minutes later. Maybe Petersen’s so lucky you just have to think about him and you get a goal. It was partly due to luck that Grifo scored anyway, he took advantage of an unlucky deflection and the rest was his usual ice cold ruthlessness. Picking up on the mistake he wasted no time in taking his shot and getting the ball past two defenders and a helpless Sebastian Mielitz. From that point on it was destined to be a repeat of the KSC game, just holding on until the final whistle. They did get a few chances to increase their lead, notably Niederlechner got a great chance in the 60th minute in a move which mirrored his goal in the first half, this time however he couldn’t take advantage of it. Fürth however were still by far the better team and had plenty of chances of their own to level the score. One thing’s for certain the remainder of the second half did not make comfortable viewing.

Once again it was a case of Schwolow to the rescue, preserving their lead with this excellent save in the 65th minute:

Schwolow_save_2_Greuther_F_rth_v_SC_FreiburgIt wasn’t Schwolow who saved them a few minutes later but the post because he was well beaten, another bit of luck there. It wasn’t for lack of trying that Fürth didn’t get their equaliser, had they done so you can’t deny they would have deserved it. At the other end Petersen had a great opportunity to put the game beyond Fürth’s reach but like Niederlechner he couldn’t take advantage of it. He should have done but he didn’t, it’s normally the kind of thing he’d have no trouble with. After bringing on Harvard Nielsen for Mike Frantz Freiburg then decided to play it safe and bring on defender Marc Torrejon to replace goalscorer Florian Niederlechner. By this point it was more a case of protecting their lead rather than going for another goal. Schwolow made another excellent contribution to doing so in the 81st minute with these two saves:

Schwolow_save_3_Greuther_F_rth_v_SC_FreiburgFürth continued their search for an equaliser but luckily most of their attempted crosses and shots were off target in the final few minutes. Freiburg for their part were committed to defending with Petersen upfront alone mostly. Just 30 odd seconds or so before the final whistle Petersen and Abrashi had the chance to make it 4-2 but Petersen’s pass was a little under-hit. And then that was that, after two minutes of extra time it was finally over. Christian Streich whilst no doubt glad of getting the three points was not a happy man at the final whistle, the complete lack of reaction from him at the end of the game made his feelings perfectly clear. As did his very short post-match interview (if you can call it that) not long afterwards, for once I had no trouble understanding him. He said that Fürth were the better team and that Freiburg were lucky to win, which is true. They’re going to need to do much better next week against St Pauli, that much is obvious. It’s not just him being a perfectionist, he’s right. They can’t slack off now or take anything for granted. With six games left and the top of the table so tight nothing can be taken for granted.

2.Bundesliga MD28 results 2.Bundesliga MD 28 table 1 2.Bundesliga MD 28 table 2Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg – complete match – including pre & post-match show

Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg highlights

RB Leipzig v VfL Bochum highlights

FSV Frankfurt v 1.FCN highlights

Nicolas Höfler – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg pre-match show 1 Nicolas Höfler – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg pre-match show 2 Nicolas Höfler – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg pre-match show 3 Nicolas Höfler – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg pre-match show 4 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 3 Nicolas Höfler - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Amir Abrashi – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Vincenzo Grifo – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Florian Niederlechner - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2 Florian Niederlechner - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 3 Florian Niederlechner - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 4 Florian Niederlechner - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 5 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 4 Maximilian Philipp - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 5Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 6 Maximilian Philipp - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2 Maximilian Philipp & Vincenzo Grifo - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg Maximilian Philipp - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 3 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 7 Alexander Schwolow & Maximilan Philipp - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow & Maximilan Philipp - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2 Florian Niederlechner - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 6 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 8 Amir Abrashi – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2 Mike Frantz – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 9 Florian Niederlechner & Vincenzo Grifo – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Niederlechner, Grifo & Philipp – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Vincenzo Grifo – Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 3 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 10 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 11Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 12 Nils Petersen - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 13 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 14 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 15 Alexander Schwolow - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 16 Nicolas Höfler - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2 Maximilian Philipp - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 4 Florian Niederlechner & Nils Petersen post-match interview - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 1 Florian Niederlechner & Nils Petersen post-match interview - Greuther Fürth v SC Freiburg 2

Bundesliga MD9 2015/16

Coming into MD9 Dortmund were without a win in three games, their last win being a 3-0 defeat of Leverkusen on MD5. They followed that up with two draws against Hoffenheim and Darmstadt, and then of course the 5-1 humiliation at Bayern. MD9 served up a game almost as special as that one, with it being Thomas Tuchel’s first return to Mainz as an opposition coach. His homecoming of sorts was a success as far as Dortmund were concerned, they got back to winning ways with a 2-0 defeat of Mainz. Nothing showy, just an effective and efficient win and I’m happy to say Roman Bürki played better than he did against Bayern. He had better luck then Weidenfeller did anyway. Last season Dortmund played Mainz on a Friday evening too, eventually the game ended 4-2 in Dortmund’s favour. But not before Dortmund went 1-0 down courtesy of a very humiliating goal which involved Weidenfeller almost falling into one of his own defenders and the ball then being put in the net by a very alert Elkin Soto who made good use of the keeper being way off his line.

Thankfully no such curse befell Bürki and he made a strong start to the game, making a good save against Muto just five minutes in:

Roman_B_rki_Mainz_v_DortmundHe wasn’t particularly busy throughout the first half but then neither was his opposite number Karius. Though it turned out not to matter because you only need to slip up once against Dortmund and they make you pay. Which is exactly what happened in the 17th minute. One misplaced pass intercepted by Mkhitaryan, two moves later and goal, Marco Reus slotting it home past Karius for his third of the season. The first half provided a few chances for both teams but nothing clear cut, the number of attempts on goal was far outweighed by the number of tackles.It was a closely contested affair to say the least, Sokratis in particular being his usual imposing self in defence for Dortmund. Matthias Ginter made a few important decisions too, in particular this clearance. Bürki probably would have got there anyway but why take that chance:

Ginter_clearance_Mainz_v_DortmundMarco Reus got an opportunity just inside the box to make it 1-o before the end of the first half but he failed to capitalize on the chance, the lay off from Aubameyang was decent but Reus’ initial pass could have been better. As could much of the passing in the final third throughout the first half. Dortmund went into the half time break with a hard earned 1-0 lead, but they didn’t deserve to be 2-0 up. They were handed an opportunity right at the start of the second half to make it 2-0 when Nico Bungert was judged to have brought Aubameyang down. It’s a penalty which should never have been given, not only did Bungert play the ball but the initial contact was outside the box. It’s perhaps karma then that the penalty was saved by Karius, according to the commentator he’s saved his last four penalties, so maybe more than just karma there.

After that the second half continued in a similar vein to the first with there being few real chances for both side. One such chance for Mainz when Muto found space between Park and Hummels was however effectively dealt with by Bürki:

Roman_B_rki_Mainz_v_Dortmund_2(1)Dortmund got the chance to double their lead in the 61st minute after a well placed pass from Ginter to Kagawa but Karius seemingly did enough to put him off and his effort went wide. They had a few more chances in the following ten minutes but most of them off target. Aubameyang however had a good chance in the 76th minute but was unable to take it, Bungert doing just enough to put him off. They finally made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute, Aubameyang setting up Mkhitaryan. The goal was nice enough but it’s not that I care about, what I care about is the reaction from Thomas Tuchel. Sokratis went over to celebrate with him, hugging him. What’s funny is he was trying to get away and Thomas Tuchel wouldn’t let go. It was such a great moment that pictures alone wouldn’t suffice, so I made a GIF too:

Thomas_Tuchel_celebrates_Dortmund_v_MainzThomas Tuchel and Sokratis - Mainz v Dortmund 1 Thomas Tuchel and Sokratis - Mainz v Dortmund 2 Thomas Tuchel and Sokratis - Mainz v Dortmund 3Random Freiburg related fact I have to mention, Florian Niederlechener made a substitute appearance for Mainz in this game, coming on in the 83rd minute for Muto. It’s funny, the future Freiburger (temporary of course – he’s only on loan) against former Freiburger’s Matze Ginter and Roman Bürki.

Florian Niederlechner - Mainz v DortmundElsewhere in the Bundesliga Bayern followed up their demolition of Dortmund with a surprising 1-0 win over Bremen, not surprising they won, just the scoreline. Holding Bayern to just the one goal is an impressive feat, though it makes no difference of course. Whilst beating Bayern would probably be expecting too much Bremen could certainly have done with the points. They could at least be grateful that both Augsburg and Hoffenheim lost.

Bundesliga MD9 results Bundesliga MD9 table 1 Bundesliga MD9 table 2Pictures from Dortmund’s game:

Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 1 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 2 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 3 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 4 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 5 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 6 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 7 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 8 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund pre-match show 9 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 4 Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 5 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 2 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 6 Marco Reus – Mainz v Dortmund 1Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 7 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 4 Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 5 Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 8 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 9 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 10 Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 11Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 12Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 13Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 14Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 15Matthias Ginter – Mainz v Dortmund 16Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 6Roman Bürki – Mainz v Dortmund 7Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 3Sokratis – Mainz v Dortmund 4Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund 2Thomas Tuchel – Mainz v Dortmund 3