SC Freiburg has fallen out of the Champions League places. SC had to settle for a 1-1 (1-0) draw against Bayer Leverkusen.
Christian Streich took the loss of the Champions League spot calmly. After the final whistle, the SC Freiburg coach laughed and hugged his fellow coach Xabi Alonso before he secured Kerem Demirbay’s jersey. In the end, Streich was satisfied with the 1-1 (1-0) win against Bayer Leverkusen, even though his team dropped back to fifth place. The Freiburg team now separates them from the front runners by five points.
“Of course we wanted to win. But Leverkusen is euphoric and has an incredible amount of quality. You can’t always win, so we’re reasonably happy with the point,” said SC offensive player Vincenzo Grifo on DAZN.
An unsuccessful defensive action by Bayer goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky after a free kick by Grifo (29th) ensured the Freiburg goal in the duel between the Europa League round of 16. With the tenth home game without defeat in a row, the sports club set its club record. Leverkusen in eleventh place are stuck in no man’s land in the table. Sardar Azmoun’s goal (67th) didn’t change that.
In front of 34,000 spectators, including national coach Hansi Flick, Leverkusen determined the initial phase in the Freiburg snowstorm – although young star Florian Wirtz was initially rested three days after the European Cup success on penalties at AS Monaco and sat on the bench.
Bayer Leverkusen even missed the win
The visitors, who had to do without the suspended Jonathan Tah, Piero Hincapie and Amine Adli as well as the injured Charles Aranguiz, did not let the Freiburg team get into the game. The fast offensive forces around Moussa Diaby conjured up several dangers for the SC goal.
The absence of the suspended captain Christian Günter, who had to sit out the starting line-up for the first time in 134 league games, was clearly noticeable for the Breisgauers. Only in the 17th minute did Breisgau appear on the offensive. Grifo’s shot just missed its target.
After 25 minutes, the Japanese Ritsu Doan had to leave the field, SC trainer Christian Streich brought on the Hungarian Roland Sallai for him. Despite the change, Freiburg got along better and better with the guests during this phase. The lead after the free kick Grifos was still happy. The ball bounced off the post to Hradecky’s back – and from there into the goal.
In the minutes leading up to the break, Leverkusen pushed for an equalizer. Kerem Demirbay (39th), Jeremie Frimpong (40th) and Diaby (45th + 1) missed their top-class opportunities.
At the beginning of the second half, Wirtz came on for Adam Hlozek. The offensive player enlivened the game for the guests, but Freiburg also sought salvation on the offensive. Goals were in the air on both sides. Azmoun scored for Bayer, while Freiburg failed to convert a triple chance including hitting the post in the 71st minute. On the other hand, Bayer joker Patrik Schick also hit the post in injury time.
SC Freiburg – Bayer Leverkusen: The voices
Christian Streich (Coach SC Freiburg): “Leverkusen were really good, they had a lot of grip and were lively. Leverkusen were better in the first half, but we’re 1-0 up. We were better in the second half, I’m happy with the draw. That’s a good one point for us.”
Xabi Alonso (Bayer Leverkusen manager): “After conceding a goal, it wasn’t easy to come back. We had enough chances to win. But if you don’t win, at least you can’t lose. I’m not happy, but I’m satisfied with the performance. Basically, we want more .”