VfB Stuttgart and SC Freiburg were both looking to move up the table. A win in their clash at the Mercedes-Benz Arena Sunday would boost both clubs in confidence and competitiveness in the league. With two points between both teams, Stuttgart and Freiburg were out to prove a point.
The scene was set with a bouncing crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Starting the game on an active front, both teams were looking to break each other down. With it being evenly matched in the initial stages, time was of the essence. As time progressed, Freiburg were getting the edge going forward. Solid at the back, the away side had the ability to propel forward and go on the attack. Their accurate passing between defense and midfield allowed for opportunities to be created.
Despite the progress, Freiburg were limited with the final ball in attack. This was evident in Freiburg’s inability to create chances and register shots. Looking to establish their identity on the game, Stuttgart were working their way back into affairs. with Chadrac Akolo an energetic presence for the Swabians. Twelve minutes into proceedings, a VAR review identified Çağlar Söyüncü had obviously used his hands while trying to cover Daniel Ginczek outside the box and was given a red card despite the referee totally missing the handball. Angry with the decision, Christian Streich argued with the officials, whilst Söyüncü kicked the side boarding making his way up the tunnel.
The red card worked in favour of the home side. Stuttgart had been looking to get into the game before Söyüncü’s ejection, ,and now they had the perfect opportunity to takeover. As time progressed, so did Stuttgart’s dominance. Since the sending off, Stuttgart took advantage and were on the front foot throughout, although Freiburg stood tall preventing Stuttgart from scoring. But flowing in attack and creating chances, it was only a moment of time before Stuttgart would get on the scoreboard. Pinning Freiburg back in their own half, the home side were relentless going forward. Passing through and around their opponents, Stuttgart were rewarded for their efforts when Daniel Ginczek put the ball in the back of the net after some fine work from 19 year-old midfielder Berkay Özcan. A deserved goal for the home side, it was getting from bad to worse for Freiburg. The visitorse couldn’t do anything apart from defend to the best of their ability. Struggling to create chances when at full strength, it was even worse when down to 10 men. Progressing towards half time, Stuttgart were hungry for more. The home side went hunting and they were rewarded in the 49th minute when Benjamin Pavard received a beautiful pass from Özcan. Taking on the ball in the box, Pavard’s strike went in the back of the net. Stuttgart ended their dominating first half with a two goal advantage.
Starting from where they left off, Stuttgart’s advantage was clear. On full display, Freiburg’s woes was grim viewing for their fans. Stuttgart fans must have been in a dream world watching the football on display, surely their 4th win of the season was on the horizon. The Swabians now had the objective of protecting their lead and looking to add to it. Full of confidence, Hannes Wolf had his team in attacking spirits. Despite being down to 10 men, Freiburg were still fighting and trying their best to get back into proceedings. The away side had rare attacking opportunities but were unable to convert their chances. Not giving up, Freiburg were clinging on to any hope they could find. With the intensity of the game dropping, the away side were starting to progress forward and making it more an evenly matched affair. But it was clear that their disadvantage would continue to hurt them. Using their advantage, Stuttgart would continue to press on and hope to increase their lead. The 82nd minute saw Stuttgart increase their advantage further. Receiving the ball in the box, Simon Terodde used his close control ability in the box to slot the ball into the back of the net, a nice reward for the top Bundesliga 2 scorer still trying to establish his striking credentials in the first division. The nails were in Freiburg’s coffin and Stuttgart were set to come away with three points.
Red Card – Söyüncü’s red card in the 12th changed the game. Previous to the sending off, Freiburg looked positive on the pitch and showed signs and potential of turning the game into an intense affair. When Freiburg received the red card, Stuttgart turned on their dominance. Throughout the remained of the first half, the home pinned Freiburg into their half, leaving the away side to defend as much as they could. Stuttgart were relentless going forward and it painted the picture of the outcome of the game. Finishing the game with three points and a clean sheet, Stuttgart moved up the table.
Man of the Match
Benjamin Pavard (one goal, 153 touches, 92% passing effectiveness, 3 interceptions, 2 blocked shots)
- Stuttgart: 71%
- Freiburg: 29%
- Stuttgart: 18
- Freiburg: 6
- Stuttgart: 11
- Freiburg: 4
Talking Points Stuttgart
- Dominance – Stuttgart were dominant in their performance against Freiburg. Down to 10 men in the 12th minute, Freiburg had an uphill struggle against the home side. Stuttgart dominance was on fully display throughout the remainder of the first half and progressed further into the second half. 71.1% possession and 90% pass accuracy, Stuttgart were all over opponents.
- Attack – Stuttgart’s attacking prowess was on full display against Freiburg. 18 shots and 11 chances created, the home side couldn’t be stopped. Despite the impressive victory, Stuttgart had the potential to thrash Freiburg. Three points saw Stuttgart progress up the table to the 12th berth, tied on 13 points with Hertha Berlin and only trailing by one score in goal differential.
- Progress – Stuttgart registered their 4th win of the season Sunday. In their clash against Freiburg, Stuttgart scored 3 goals, making their season goal tally of 9. Limited in goals so far this season, Stuttgart proved a point against Freiburg. Hannes Wolf will be happy with the performance and hope that this progress will spur them on in their next matches, against Hamburger SV next week before hosting a Dortmund side that has been mediocre on the road.
Talking Points Freiburg
- Red Card – The red card changed everything for Freiburg. Starting the game with positivity, their situation soon changed with the sending off. Pinned back in their own half, Freiburg were only able to defend continuously. Freiburg felt the full force of Stuttgart’s dominance.
- From Bad To Worse – Freiburg’s clash against Stuttgart went from bad to worse. The red card painted the grim picture which came at the expense of Christian Streich and Freiburg. This is Freiburg’s 4th loss of the season.
- Struggling – It’s becoming clear that Freiburg are struggling this season. Sitting in 15th with only 1 win and 6 goals scored, the team from the Black Forest are in for a difficult period, including next week’s match hosting a Schalke side on a four game unbeaten streak. Christian Streich will be hoping he can turn the performances around and get his team climbing the table.
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