After the latest VAR controversy in the Bundesliga, Daniel Ginczek and Benjamin Pavard scored to put their side firmly in command of the match.
Freiburg tried in vain to turn things around in the second half but if it was ever in any doubt, Simon Terodde made sure of the victory in the final ten minutes.
Early Söyüncü red card fatal for Freiburg
Stuttgart were unbeaten at home and had only dropped two points before this match, whilst Freiburg had only one point on the road, so the hosts would have been confident going into this game. Both were in DFB-Pokal action in midweek with the injured Holger Badstuber was replaced by Berkay Özcan in the only change for the hosts, whilst Janik Haberer came in for Nils Petersen, restored to his role as super-sub, and Alexander Schwolow returned in goal for Freiburg.
The big controversy of the game came early. Play was halted by Tobias Stieler as VAR took a look at a possible handball from Söyüncü. Replays show he had clearly pushed away the ball as Ginczek looked to break through on goal, but Stieler felt that he was denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity and showed a red card. Freiburg were furious and their coach Christian Streich was on the brink of self-combusting on the touchline.
Inevitably, Stuttgart with the extra man took control of proceedings. Ginczek had one effort saved by Schwolow, who then denied Chadrac Akolo twice. The first was spilled but only onto the woodwork, but the header from Andreas Beck’s cross was more securely held by the goalkeeper.
The chances kept coming for the Reds and the pressure eventually told. Özcan toyed with Christian Günter on the left of the box, and his cross then found Ginczek, who got his foot around it to score his second goal of the season, to go alongside his strike against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in midweek.
The lead was the least they deserved under the circumstances, with Freiburg failing to register a single shot in the first half. It got worse for them in the four minutes of added time. The free-kick from Özcan found Pavard in heaps of space in the box, with an elaborate header with his back to goal going in.
Terodde adds third after long wait for Stuttgart
Stuttgart didn’t pose too much of an attacking threat early in the second half, with Dzenis Burnic going wide with a rare shot. That gave confidence to Freiburg, who had introduced Florian Kath and Ryan Kent at the break, to go on the attack themselves. The former had a shot deflected, falling to Haberer, but he could then only fire wide.
Even the introduction of Terodde couldn’t help Stuttgart press home their advantage, and once more it was Freiburg who perversely were getting the better opportunities. Kent exchanged passes with Haberer before shooting wide – probably their best chance – before Petersen, off the bench, struck wide.
Terodde would get a goal eventually though. Good play from Özcan and Ailton found Burnic, but his shot was deflected out to Santiago Ascacíbar. He found Terodde, who got away from Julian Schuster and slotted in with his left foot. Stuttgart finally had their third goal.
That was that for Freiburg, who barely stood a chance once they were reduced to ten men. They remain just above the Bundesliga bottom three, whilst Stuttgart pick up another three points at home and move into twelfth.