RB Leipzig 1-1 SC Freiburg: Leipzig held in score draw
Photo by Jan Woitas/Pool via Getty Images

Story of the game

First half

As expected, RB Leipzig started the game on top with the home side having several chances in the first 20 minutes to open the scoring. Tyler Adams’ fierce strike from just outside the box, which forced a save from Alexander Schwolow, followed Konrad Laimer’s curler which he pulled just wide of the left post.

It was Timo Werner and Kevin Kampl who had the better chances, however, with the former again calling Schwolow into action straight from Peter Gulacsi’s throw and Kampl’s effort, that was destined for the back of the net, was blocked vitally by Robin Koch.

Despite all of this, it was the visitors that took an unexpected lead as Manuel Gulde got the slightest of touches on a Vincenzo Grifo corner kick to beat Gulacsi in the Leipzig net. SC Freiburg held the one-goal lead going into the break, with Leipzig in danger of losing just their fourth league game this season.

Second half

The start of the second half was much like the start of the first, with the hosts doing everything but putting the ball in the back of the net. Half time substitution Ademola Lookman had the pick of the chances as the ball fell at his feet from Kampl’s cross, but with all the goal to aim at he put it wide.

The equaliser finally came with just over ten minutes to play as Yussuf Poulsen rose highest to meet Kampl’s cross and power a header past the formidable Freiburg goalkeeper Schwolow.

With fellow title challengers Borussia Dortmund winning comfortably in the Revierderby, a Leipzig knew a draw was not enough to stay within touching distance of the top two as they pushed for a winner.

Late substitute Patrick Schick should have been the one to deliver that crucial goal as he failed to get anything on an inviting ball across the box from Angelino, which raced past his feet just yards out from the Freiburg goal.

Instead, just like they had back in October, Freiburg had thought they had won it in injury time through Koch, but VAR ruled it out for offside to deny the visitors. their first-ever league double against Leipzig.

What we learned

Leipzig lacking composure in front of goal

It might simply be because the players are out of finishing practice, but it could also be an underlying issue for Julian Nagelsmann's side. As mentioned in the preview, Leipzig scored at least one goal in their first 18 games, but have gone goalless in three of their last seven games before the break.

Leipzig did score on this occasion however they should've had more considering they mustered 17 shots on the Freiburg goal.

Freiburg unflattering but well organised 

Freiburg showed why they remain in the hunt for a place in Europe next season through their defensive organisation and prowess at set-pieces.

They spent the majority of the game on the back foot and had just 39% of the possession, chasing the ball with every player behind it at times while defending their slender lead. They could have however walked away with all three points if it weren't for VAR so a lot of praise has to be given to Christian Streich's side.

Standout performers

RB Leipzig - Timo Werner

The striker is usually lauded for his goalscoring ability, but against Freiburg he was the main creative spark, setting up five key chances for his teammates.

Despite not grabbing a goal, Werner once again showed why he is being hotly pursued by Europe's elite, with his frightening pace and composure on the ball.

SC Freiburg - Alexander Schwolow

The Freiburg stopper had a solid game in goal, conceding just one and saving six as Leipzig bombarded his goal with shots.

It took a well-placed header from Poulsen to beat the 'keeper who led his defence to a well-earned point against a team with hopes of winning it all.

RB Leipzig (3-4-2-1)

Gulacsi - Mukiele (Lookman 46'), Klostermann, Halstenberg - Adams (Sabitzer 69'), Kampl, Laimer, Angelino - Nkunku (Schick 81'), Werner - Poulsen (c)

Unused Subs: Mvogo, Orban, Konate, Haidara, Wolf, Olmo

SC Freiburg (3-4-3)

Schwolow - Gulde, Lienhart, Heintz - Schmid, Koch, Höfler, Günter (c) - Grifo (Waldschmidt 68'), Petersen (Haberer 68'), Sallai (Höler 61')

Unused Subs: Thiede, Schlotterbeck, Abrashi, Itter, Kwon, Tempelmann