Grifo shows his guile
It took four points for Freiburg to take the lead and it was a superb opening goal at that. After Maximilian Philipp was fouled in the build-up, Onur Bulut used the advantage to bring the ball inside and thread a superb ball into Grifo's feet. The Frankfurt defence got much too square and the Italian attacker curled home inside the far left post.
Philipp was hacked down against by Jesus Vallejo moments later and was perhaps fortunate not to go off injured, although that feisty nature helped the Eagles get back into things. Marco Fabian was their catalyst, much like Grifo for Freiburg, but he was denied a clear shot on goal by a timely block from Mike Frantz.
As the half drew on, Philipp a constant threat the fouls from Vallejo seemed never ending but the second yellow card never appeared. Florian Niederlechner almost doubled the lead but just couldn't quite get the contact needed on a low cross. Lukas Hradecky then was forced into a fine save from a Grifo curler that was just creeping in.
The rest of the half was eventful with Frankfurt being the slightly more adventurous side but nothing came of it and Freiburg went in ahead.
Scrappy second half sees Freiburg hold on
The second period was a non event in truth but it started with a bang - which is no exaggeration - as Frantz picked up a lose ball on the edge of the penalty area and cannoned an incredible shot off the crossbar with Hradecky nowhere near it. Frankfurt, on the other hand, were totally out of ideas in terms of breaking down the Freiburg defence.
Fabian was lucky not to be sent off for foul on Caglar Söyüncü after the midfielder had backed under Söyüncü and tipped him as he went for a header. Emotions boiled over the aftermath as a series of handbags and pointless pushing saw Omar Mascarell and Amir Abrashi cautioned for their part in the scuffle.
That seemed to kill the visitors' over the top approach but Alexander Meier's fine turn and shot that went past the top corner was a reminder of what they can do in an instant. However the end of the game was marred by a nasty injury to Bulut who was in a bad way after taking a thud to the ribs. Freiburg did hold on for the win, though.