Wolfsburg beats Freiburg to go 5th in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Wolfsburg inflicted a 3-0 defeat on relegation-threatened Freiburg to go fifth in the Bundesliga on Sunday, while Hertha Berlin beat bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0 to consolidate seventh.
Maximilian Arnold put Wolfsburg ahead in the eighth minute, when the stationary Fallou Diagne allowed him to guide Patrick Ochs’ cross beyond the helpless Freiburg goalkeeper, and Ivica Olic doubled the lead three minutes later after Luiz Gustavo did well to set him up.
“When you start a game like that you have no chance against a team like Wolfsburg,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich said.
Olic should have scored again a minute later only to stumble with Freiburg’s defense absent and the goal at his mercy, and the Croatian pulled another great chance narrowly wide in the 23rd.
Gelson Fernandes had a goal ruled offside for Freiburg, but TV replays showed it was the wrong call. The ball came off a defender before Admir Mehmedi crossed for the Swiss midfielder.
Freiburg improved after the break, though suffered a blow in the 49th when Francis Coquelin went off in considerable pain with a left ankle injury.
Matthias Ginter came agonizingly close to pulling one back with over 20 minutes remaining when he could only deflect Sebastian Kerk’s cross over the unguarded net.
“It’s very annoying,” Ginter said. “We had one or two chances in the second half. If we had made it 2-1 it would have been close. But the lapses in concentration cost us dearly.”
Marcel Schaefer scored in injury time on a counterattack to ensure an afternoon to forget for the home supporters.
“The players were fully there from the first second. They saw the chance to climb to fifth place,” Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said.
Freiburg remains in the relegation playoff place after 15 games played, three points ahead of Braunschweig, which failed to really trouble Hertha despite a spirited performance in the late game.
“We don’t have that luck in games,” said Braunschweig coach Torsten Lieberknecht, whose side has the worst attack with just eight goals in 15 games. “Today the defeat is much more painful than the eight goals.”
Hertha striker Adrian Ramos scored with a diving header from Ronny’s corner to open the scoring in the 20th.
Braunschweig defender Deniz Dogan went close with a free kick in the 76th, before Sandro Wagner struck the crossbar with a header from another Ronny corner at the other end.
Ronny set up Tolga Cigerci to seal the result from a narrow angle with 10 minutes remaining, with Braunschweig defender Timo Perthel sent off for his second yellow card after attempting to stop the counterattack with a foul on Per Ciljan Skjelbred.
“Such players like Ronny and (Adrian) Ramos make the difference and you could see that today,” Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft said.
On Saturday, league leader Bayern Munich cruised past Werder Bremen 7-0, while second-place Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund.