SC Freiburg were desperately hungry for points coming into Saturday’s rainy fixture in the Volkswagen City, and Christian Streich needed to lead his team to glory. There is no denying that the team from the Black Forest are struggling in the Bundesliga. The picture hasn’t been so bright for VfL Wolfsburg, either. Since becoming manager, Martin Schmidt has yet to record a win in the league, as each contest under his tutelage has ended in a draw, enough to keep the Wolves floating above the relegation zone, but a frustrating situation for a talented club. Hoping to break his streak of draws, Schmidt will had VfL on high alert in rainy Wolfsburg.
The whistle blew at the Volkswagen Arena and the home side went hunting immediately. Quickly establishing their prowess, Wolfsburg scored in the 3rd minute. Working from the back, the home side produced some accurate passing in pushing further up the pitch. Finding space in Freiburg’s half, Wolfsburg brushed their opponents with relative ease. A Yunus Malli longball found Daniel Didavi in the box, who was able to set up Yannick Gerhardt to put the home side in the lead. Wolfsburg had an immediate impact and they made sure it was deadly. As time progressed so did Martin Schmidt’s side in cementing their superiority. Winning the possession and passing battle, Wolfsburg fans looked to be in for a treat.
Hoping to create opportunities, the home side went on the attack, especially favouring the right side. Despite the possession and passing ability, Wolfsburg were somewhat struggling to breakdown their opponents. Known for their physical defense, Freiburg weren’t making it easy. However, Martin Schmidt make sure his side didn’t give up and continued their attack. Ultimately this paid off. The 29th minute saw Wolfsburg increase their lead when Malli’s effort found the back of the net. The home side were in the driver’s seat and showed no signs stopping. Freiburg now faced the prospect of seeing out the first half and hope to hit the second half with a bang.
Unfortunately for Streich’s side, it didn’t exactly go to plan. Starting off well and progressing further on an attacking footing, Freiburg were hungry to correct the disappointment of the first half. Streich’s decision to bring on Bartosz Kapustka turned out to be exactly what his side needed. Rejuvenated with added prowess going forward, the away side were hunting for their first goal, and the young Polish winger, scored 15 minutes after coming the pitch, his first goal in Bundesliga play. Freiburg now had the possibility of drawing the game level.
Unfortunately for Freiburg the beautiful game can be unkind. Two minutes after celebration and hope, everything was smashed when Malli scored his second goal of the game to extend VfL’s lead. Ultimately this proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Despite their improvement in the second half, Freiburg were unable take down the pack of wolves.
Streich now faces a very difficult situation. Sitting in 16th place, Freiburg will have to go back to the drawing board and hope to register their second win of the Bundesliga season in the very near future –otherwise this may end up being too much for the team from the Black Forest. For Martin Schmidt and Wolfsburg this was a much-needed victory to end draw streak that was mounting. A solid performance for the hosts was rewarded provides an important stepping stone going forward. Finally get his first win in charge of Wolfsburg, Martin Schmidt will be hoping there are more to come.
Yannick Gerhardt’s goal in the 3rd minute set the tone of the game and helped spur Wolfsburg forward in their victory of Freiburg
Man of the Match
Yannick Gerhardt (1 goal, 1 assist, 4 key passes, 4 tackles, 3 interceptions)
- Wolfsburg: 49%
- Freiburg: 51%
- Wolfsburg: 15
- Freiburg: 12
- Wolfsburg: 9
- Freiburg: 9
Talking Points Wolfsburg
- The Streak Is Over – Finally! The streak of draws is over. Martin Schmidt registered his first win as manager of Wolfsburg against Freiburg. A solid performance put smiles on the faces of Wolfsburg fans. They will especially be hoping that more is to come.
- Attack – Wolfsburg attack was potent, especially with their three goals scored. From the start with Gerhardt, to Malli sealing the win, Wolfsburg showed potential of an attack that could do damage. With three points in the column and progressing up the table, Wolfsburg will be happy with their performance.
- Stepping Stone – Wolfsburg victory against Freiburg can provide a stepping stone going forward. Struggling and frustrated with draws, Wolfsburg put in a performance that saw them come away as victors. With this being the case, Wolfsburg have the ability to use this performance and the confidence gained from it and apply it in their future fixtures, first being a road match at FC Augsburg against a solid side that has struggled the last weeks.
Talking Points Freiburg
- Attack – It has been clear that Freiburg struggling going forward. Departures in the transfer window had an impact and left a space that continues unfilled. 12 goals and 9 chances created, Freiburg did have attacks that caused issues for Wolfsburg, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. This is becoming a familiar story for the team from the Black Forest, and becomes more desperate with the season-ending knee injury to leading goalscorer Florian Niederlechner a few weeks back.
- Kapustka – Coming on the 53rd minute, Kapustka added a much-needed attacking rejuvenation for Freiburg. Scoring in the 68th minute to give his side a chance of mounting a comeback, Kapustka was out to make a point and prove his place in the side. Despite the loss, Kapustka gave his side hope when all looked grim.
- Struggling – The situation at Freiburg is becoming clear. Sitting in 16th they currently face the very real prospect of fighting for their lives in the Bundesliga. With only one game won this season, Christian Streich will need to do as much motivating as possible to turn around his sides misfortunes. A likeable team, many will be sad if Freiburg are relegated. Despite the current disappointment, Freiburg’s fans remain optimistic about their future with their next fixture being a home match against Mainz.
Header image courtesy of SCF FB page
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