BERLIN (AP) — After watching his team score six goals in a devastating first half at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Freiburg coach Christian Streich’s first reaction was to console an opposing player.
Streich’s team would go on to close out a 6-0 rout of Gladbach for its biggest-ever win in the Bundesliga on Sunday, but the Freiburg coach embraced Breel Embolo and spoke to the Switzerland striker as the home team’s desolate players trudged off the field at halftime.
“I was often left standing or disappointed on the other side after things didn’t go well, and it always stayed with me, because we’re sports people and only one (team) can win,” Streich said.
Streich, the longest serving coach in the league, called the game “bizarre.”
There were six different scorers as everything worked in the first 37 minutes for Freiburg, which ended a three-game losing run in style to move back up to fourth.
“Last week in Bochum (a 2-1 loss) ... and now every action from us leads to a goal in the first half,” Streich said. “That’s inexplicable, but what’s great is that the team played with a lot of courage. We had decided to play like that, a 4-3-2-1 (formation), and that was rewarded. The team produced a brilliant performance.”
Freiburg hadn’t beaten Gladbach away in the Bundesliga in 17 attempts since its solitary 2-1 win in 1995, and faced a tough prospect with Gladbach hoping to atone for its 4-1 loss at Cologne in the Rhine derby last weekend.
But Streich’s team paid no heed to the statistics as Maximilian Eggestein opened the scoring in the second minute, Kevin Schade added another goal two minutes later and Philipp Lienhart made it 3-0 in the 12th.
Nicolas Höfler got the fourth goal in the 19th, six minutes before setting up Lucas Höler for the fifth.
It was the first time since Gladbach trounced Eintracht Braunschweig 10-0 in 1984 that any team racked up five goals in the opening 25 minutes. No team had ever done it away from home before.
Gladbach coach Adi Hütter reacted with two substitutions around the half-hour mark, but it did little to change his team’s fortunes.
Freiburg goalkeeper Mark Flekken snuffed out any danger from Marcus Thuram and Dennis Zakaria before Vincenzo Grifo set up Nico Schlotterbeck for the sixth goal in the 37th.
Hütter looked stunned on the sideline, while Gladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl sat with his head bowed, staring at the ground.
“It was surreal at times, what happened today,” Eberl said. “The boys were totally unsettled ... nobody wanted the ball anymore. We didn’t even have the ball. And at set pieces, where you say, you should be able to defend that, we were extremely inattentive. And that’s what really annoys me.”
Hertha Berlin’s gamble on a new coach showed some promising signs earlier Sunday as the team fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at Stuttgart in the Bundesliga in Tayfun Korkut’s debut in charge.
Stevan Jovetic scored twice for the visitors to claim a point and stay just ahead of 15th-place Stuttgart in the table. Hertha also managed to withstand a late spell of pressure without conceding in contrast to previous games against Augsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg.
Korkut was back at his hometown club after his surprise appointment as Hertha coach on Monday following Pál Dárdai’s dismissal. Korkut hadn’t coached any team since a largely unsuccessful stint in charge of Stuttgart in 2018.
His new side got off to a bad start with Omar Marmoush scoring on a counterattack in the 15th minute and Philipp Förster grabbing another for Stuttgart four minutes later.
But Hertha persevered and Jovetic got his first in the 40th before equalizing in the 76th. This time Hertha managed to hold on.
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