Bundesliga round-up: Grifo hat-trick moves Freiburg to second before World Cup break

Bundesliga round-up: Grifo hat-trick moves Freiburg to second before World Cup break

FREIBURG, Germany – The final Bundesliga game before the long World Cup break brought plenty of drama as Vincenzo Grifo scored a hat-trick in the opening 20 minutes to lead Freiburg to a 4-1 win over Union Berlin on Sunday. Reach the second place.

Bayern Munich head into the two-month break – the longest in the main European leagues – with a four-point advantage over Freiburg. The Union are fifth and winless in three games after leading the league in recent weeks.

Video replays have played a key role in the battle between two teams that have emerged as surprise challengers at the top of the table this season, but have recently lost momentum amid busy Europa League schedules. There were two penalties for each team and a red card for the Union which ended any hope of a comeback.

Grifo needed just four minutes to put Freiburg ahead from the penalty spot after a handball by Union’s Christopher Tremmel. Three minutes later it was 2-0 as Grifo played a one-on-one with Michael Gregoritsch on the counter-attack before scoring.

Union had a penalty but Robin Knoch hit his shot against the post. Freiburg’s third goal ended the game as Union defender Diogo Leite was red-carded and given another penalty for holding down Ritsu Doan as the last defender, allowing Garifo to complete his hat-trick. Grigoritch added a fourth for Freiburg just before half-time and Sven Michel scored a late spot-kick for the Union.

Going into the break as Bayern’s closest rivals and a strong contender for Champions League qualification is the latest step in years of steady and sometimes spectacular growth for Freiburg, a team from south-west Germany who have been in the penalty shootout. He missed out on winning the German Cup. last season

In several other German stadiums this weekend, Freiburg fans displayed banners calling for a boycott of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The slogans around the stadium that were displayed before kick-off decried Qatar’s record on human rights.

Eintracht Frankfurt started the day with a shot at second place if it wins and draws Freiburg and Union, but instead dropped the points in a hard-fought 1-1 draw in Mainz.

Mainz took the lead when Jonathan Burkardt fired in a corner after a fine double save from Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Tripp. Returning to Germany’s World Cup squad for the first time since 2017, Mario Gotze made a fine pass to set up Randall Mewani to equalize for Frankfurt.

Frankfurt go into a fourth break after missing out on Leipzig. Mainz are 10th in four games after a 5-0 thrashing of Cologne on October 21 and are without a once-promising push for European qualification.

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