SC Freiburg was defeated late and narrowly on the last day of the Bundesliga match in Leverkusen. Shortly before the end, the Champions League was within reach – before Freiburg’s hosts and RB Leipzig met.
The dream of participating in the Champions League for the first time is finally shattered for SC Freiburg. One week before the first cup final in the club’s history against RB Leipzig, Breisgauers lost the long-distance duel with the Saxons for the last place in the royal class at the end of the league. After 1: 2 (0: 0) in Bayer Leverkusen, SC even dropped to sixth place after Union Berlin. In the end, it was still dramatic, meanwhile SC lacked a goal. Nevertheless, Freiburg will play in Europe for the first time in five years and for the fifth time in the club’s history. Sixth place on the final table means qualification for the Europa League.
“It hurts a little now that you end up losing the last two games.” Christian Gnter
“If anyone had told us before the season that we played in the Europa League, hardly anyone would have believed it. Nevertheless, it hurts a little now that you end up there and lose the last two games,” said captain Christian Gnter : “Now. Let’s concentrate on the cup final. We really want that thing.”
Leverkusen is already in third place
Bayer had already qualified for the Champions League again after two years and finally got the hoped-for victory to say goodbye to Rudi Vller. The 1990 world champion retires after more than 23 years at the club – two as a player, 21 in leadership positions – but remains as a club ambassador and member of the partner committee.
Torjger Patrick Schick, meanwhile, missed setting the Leverkusen season record for Stefan Kieling (25 goals) – also through team spirit. At the opening goal, the check ran and Lucas Alario alone towards the goal, Schick put it down (54 ‘). Freiburg managed to equalize through Jannik Haberer (88th), who switched to Union Berlin. When goalkeeper Mark Flekken crashed in, Exequiel Palacios shot into the empty net in the seventh minute of overtime and Bayer to victory.
Farewell to Rudi Vller
Vller was honored with a giant choreography of proverbs before kick-off. Famous quotes from Vller were spread out on eight banners. As always at the end of the season, the game day was held under the motto “Finally Red” for Bayer fans. The red jerseys that the supporters wore uniformly this time bore the inscription “Thank you Rudi” and “There is only one” Rudi Vller. At the official farewell, the stadium microphones also played “Ein Rudi Vller” – the song that, according to his own statement, the person being sung for can no longer hear it.
The visitors from Freiburg, who were initially cautious after conceding ten goals in the last three games, had the first chance. After a free kick from Vincenzo Grifo, national player Nico Schlotterbeck headed in from four meters in his last match before switching to Borussia Dortmund, but did not get any pressure behind him (15 ‘). The visitors got the better of it, but Lucas Hler hit the outside of the post with a header (20 ‘), Nicolas Hfler missed narrowly (44’).
Freiburg risks everything, but in the end it is not enough
Shortly after the break, Freiburg came back. And five minutes later, Flekken made a strong save against Paulinho, and Schick hit the crossbar on the ensuing shot. Freiburg tried hard again. The replacement of record joker Nils Petersen and the news that Leipzig were behind in Bielefeld was encouraging – and shortly before the end after Haberer’s scoring, the chance was within reach. But then Leipzig equalized, and Freiburg lost after taking full risk.
“We played jump or top and lost.” Christian Streich
Coach Christian Streich seemed quite disappointed, his voice was audibly disturbed. “The message from Bielefeld gave me more energy: One more goal and you are suddenly in the Champions League,” he said, pondering: “In a hurry I did not realize that Leipzig had equalized. Then we played jump or top and lost. But I have no worries that the team can do it all again next week. “
Bayer Leverkusen: Lunew – Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba, Zinkgraven (67 Bakker) – Baumgartlinger (60 Aranguiz), Palacios – Paulinho (84 Hincapi), Diaby – Alario (60 Andrich), Schick (83 Azmoun)
Sc Freiburg: Flekken – Kbler (60. Sildillia), Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Gnter – M. Eggestein (69. Haberer), Hfler – Sallai (79. J. Schmid), Grifo – Jeong (69. Petersen), Hler (79. Demirovic)
Judging: Sven Jablonski (Bremen) – Viewers: 30210 (sold out). Porte: 1-0 Alario (54 ‘), 1-1 Haberer (88’), 2-1 Palacios (90 ‘+ 7’). Yellow card: Diaby (8), Baumgartlinger (1) / M. Eggestein (2), N. Schlotterbeck (5), Sildillia (1)