The first match of the Bundesliga season, everyone is searching to get off to a good start. From the high of the previous season, Freiburg were putting all their focus on the Bundesliga after their disappoint exit from the Europa League. For Frankfurt they were looking at improving on the previous season which saw them finish 11th. They were especially looking to improve on their disappointing results they saw in the second half of the season.
A sell-out crowd at the Schwarzwald-Stadion, it was a perfect opportunity for either team to take bragging rights at full time. The whistle blew for the first game of the season and both teams sought to put their identity on the game. Initially both teams started evenly, with Freiburg and Frankfurt applying pressure and trying control the match. Passing appeared to be an issue for both teams in the opening 10 minutes, especially long balls, where Freiburg failed 3 of their 7 attempts and Frankfurt failed 4 of their 6 attempts. The passing radar wasn’t quite switched on yet.
As the game started to progress, Frankfurt were looking the better side. Primarily attacking down the right in the opening 10 minutes, Chandler, Kamada and Haller were connecting. As result, the first shot of game came in the 9th minute from Haller, whose shot was saved by the Freiburg keeper. This opportunity appeared to give Frankfurt the upper edge as another shot came in the 11th minute from Gacinovic.
It was a good opening 15 minutes from the away side. A great chance fell to Frankfurt, Falette headed just wide. With that, Freiburg immediately went in the other direction, Kleindienst scored but unfortunately for the home side it was ruled offside by VAR. This was Freiburg’s first real opportunity in the first half. Limited creativity and chances for the home team, Frankfurt were looking to take advantage of the situation. Their best chance came in the 36th minute, Haller produced two great turns on the run for his shot to hit the crossbar. Freiburg didn’t register their first shot until the 36th minute, compared to Frankfurt who had already registered 9 shots in that period. Going into half time, it was advantage Frankfurt. Despite no goals, the away side looked the better team.
Freiburg came out looking to improve on the first half, they did that immediately by catching out Frankfurt with a free kick. Kempf at the far post put his shot over. Despite the positive start to the second half, Freiburg were still struggling to create chances. 10 minutes into the second half and Freiburg are yet to create a chance. Frankfurt weren’t much better themselves. Looking to change the limited creativity and chances up top, the home team brought on super sub, Nils Petersen.
Unfortunately, for the home side the issues still remained. Creativity and chances were lacking. They are clearly feeling the hole left behind by their primary creators last season, Philipp and Grifo. Similar to the first half, Frankfurt took a few minutes to get going, but when they did, they started to get into the game and looked to break the deadlock. Their improvement in their performance in the second half came with Kevin-Prince Boateng making his debut. His influence on the match was clear. Frankfurt started to up the ante and were becoming the dominant side.
Improving the attacking options for the away side, Boateng had some opportunities to score himself. Despite looking the most threatening side, Frankfurt were unable to get any clear cut chances. For Freiburg, the story remained. They struggled create chances and were unable to breakdown Frankfurt. In the end, the home side will be fairly happy coming away with the point.
Augenblick: The opening game of the Bundesliga season at the Schwarzwald-Stadion didn’t provide many defining moments. A moment which saw the game change, especially in the second half, was the debut of Kevin-Prince Boateng who improved the attacking options for Frankfurt.
Man of the Match: Difficult to decide, but it would have to be a Frankfurt player. Jetro Willems gets Man of the Match.
Key Stats: Shots and Chances Created tell the story of game. Freiburg came away with 7 shots, with only 1 on target.
It wasn’t much better for Frankfurt. More shots than Freiburg with 15, but they weren’t clinical enough with their chances, only having 2 shots on target.
Chances Created show more of a positive side of the game for Frankfurt who has a total of 11 chances created, compared to only 3 from Freiburg.
Talking Points for Freiburg:
- Lacking creativity in attack: The outgoings of Philipp and Grifo were clearly felt today. Freiburg struggled produce when going forward. They will be hoping they can improve on this area going into their next game.
- Midfield: Today’s game became a battle of the midfield and it appeared that Frankfurt won that battle. Unfortunately Freiburg they struggled to get a real foothold in the game.
- Defense: Despite Frankfurt having upper hand in terms of chances, the Freiburg defense were generally able to deal with the situation. Schuster, Kempf and Lienhart combined for a total of 7 interceptions, 16 clearances, and 7 blocks. A performance that can be built on.
Talking Points for Frankfurt:
- No final punch: Frankfurt came away the better side from a game that lacked that final gear. Despite the game only being a draw, Frankfurt will be looking at the positive aspects of their performance and build upon that going into their next game.
- But the Eagles threatened: On several occasions Frankfurt looked threatening in attack. Primarily attacking down the right with Willems and Chandler, Frankfurt were somewhat unlucky in not coming away with a goal.
- Not enough on-target shots: Frankfurt need to make the most of their chances. Despite having a total of 15 shots, only 2 were on target. Niko Kovač will be looking to improve on this area going forward.
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