In a rematch of the championship game from the previous year, which Leipzig won on penalties, Freiburg made a strong opening, but two goals in the space of 90 seconds put them on the back foot.After 13 minutes, Olmo directed Leipzig in front off a Dominik Szoboszlai cross and then helped out Benjamin Henrichs shortly after. The Spanish forward set up France’s Christopher Nkunku and Spain’s Szoboszlai to give the visitors a dominant 4-0 advantage at the break.
When last-man Josko Gvardiol took down Roland Sallai outside the box early in the second half, Leipzig was reduced to ten men but were unable to mount a comeback. Michael Gregoritsch scored a goal for Freiburg in injury time, but Szoboszlai scored again from the penalty spot to seal a commanding victory.
Richarlison and Tomiyasu fought in the North London Derby
Leipzig, who were first promoted to the top level in 2016, have now been in four of the previous five German Cup finals.Freiburg coach Christian Streich selected a defensive lineup in hopes of winning the German Cup for the first time, surprising many by leaving out top scorer Vincenzo Grifo in favor of France defender Kiliann Sildillia.
Freiburg started off well and came close to scoring with Japan winger Ritsu Doan, but Leipzig scored twice in a matter of minutes, forcing Streich to substitute Grifo for Sildillia. After 37 minutes, Leipzig made it three when Olmo set up Szoboszlai to score his team’s third goal. The substitution did not stop the rot.
Union Berlin held by Bayer Leverkusen
Freiburg kept moving ahead despite having only lost twice at home in the league this year, to Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Striker Gregoritsch was found in the area by Grifo, but the enormous Austrian pulled his effort just wide of the goal post. Nkunku, who has scored 13 goals this season for Leipzig in the league, added a fourth goal in first-half stoppage time when he received a pass from Olmo and blasted past Freiburg goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
Gvardiol fouled Sallai with the goal at his mercy with 13 minutes remaining in the second half as he attempted to halt a Freiburg opportunity. As a result, the Croatian was given a straight red and will now miss the final in early June. Olmo and Nkunku were removed from the game by Leipzig manager Marco Rose, who also introduced the defensive cavalry.
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Freiburg attempted an unexpected comeback with the help of a fervent home crowd and a numerical advantage, but they could only muster a Gregoritsch header with 15 minutes left. Late in the game, Leipzig was awarded a penalty, and Szoboszlai converted it to give the visitors a commanding victory.
The Red Bulls will be highly favored in Berlin in five weeks thanks to Leipzig’s pressure and vigor, which were reminiscent of the team’s 2-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. In the second semifinal matchup on Wednesday, five-time champion Eintracht Frankfurt will go up against three-time champion Stuttgart.
Union Berlin earn three points in crucial victory
With four league games remaining, Freiburg will visit Leipzig once more in a pivotal match in the two teams’ fight for Champions League football. Leipzig, who have a higher goal differential than Freiburg, are sixth, two points and one position below them. Union Berlin, who finished third, and Freiburg have never participated in the Champions League.