Europa League: Victory in Nantes: Freiburg enters the knockout phase

With a historic success in the Europa League, SC Freiburg boosted their self-confidence ahead of the top Bundesliga game at FC Bayern Munich.

Europa League: Victory in Nantes: Freiburg enters the knockout phase

With a historic success in the Europa League, SC Freiburg boosted their self-confidence ahead of the top Bundesliga game at FC Bayern Munich.

When coach Christian Streich, who was recently absent due to illness, returned, the sports club won 4-0 (1-0) at French cup winners FC Nantes and thus qualified early for the knockout phase. The goals were scored by Lukas Kübler (26'), Michael Gregoritsch (71'), Kevin Schade (82') and Woo-Yeong Jeong (87').

With the fourth win in the fourth preliminary round game, Freiburg can no longer be pushed out of the first two places in group G and are on course to win the group, which is rewarded with direct entry into the round of 16. As second, the SC would first have to go into the intermediate round. This is the first time in the club's history that Freiburg have made it through the group stage, in which they had failed when they made their debut on the European stage in the 2013/14 season. In the eleventh game without defeat, the second in the Bundesliga was lucky at first, Nantes failed twice at the goal posts.

Pyrotechnics from both blocks

Pyrotechnics were ignited in both fan blocks during the game. After the goal to make it 1-0, firecrackers could also be heard from the guest block, SC goalkeeper Mark Flekken tried to calm the spectators with gestures. Around 2000 Freiburg fans had traveled to western France, but a planned fan march did not take place because of the drizzle.

After six previous games with exactly the same line-up, Streich had changed his starting XI again for the first time - and in four positions at the same time. Among other things, top joker Nils Petersen replaced Gregoritsch in attack. Streich was allowed to let off steam again on the sidelines after missing two games due to corona. "I'm just happy that I was able to come along and be back on the pitch," the coach said before kick-off on RTL.

Streich saw a committed early phase from his team, which created two good opportunities early on through Philipp Lienhart (3rd) and Vicenzo Grifo (7th). Unlike in the first leg (2-0), which SC had dominated almost completely, Nantes played well at home and had a lot of bad luck with two aluminum goals by Moussa Sissoko (12th) and Sebastian Corchia (20th). Ironically, when the hosts were under pressure, Freiburg made it 1-0 thanks to a full-range shot from Kübler after Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont had unluckily let a cross from Christian Günter rebound forward.

After that, the SC tried to calm the game even more - and still had the great chance to make it 2-0. After a fine pass from Grifo, Ritsu Doan ran alone towards the opponent's goal. The Japanese opted for a quick shot that Lafont was able to parry (44').

After the change of sides, the home side increased the pressure significantly. In the meantime, Freiburg concentrated almost exclusively on securing the goal. Streich didn't like it at all, he loudly demanded: "Play! Play!" His team reacted and appeared braver again. Goals two, three and four were the reward.

Squad SC Freiburg Squad FC Nantes Overview of the groups in the Europa League

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