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Sports

Freiburg batter Bremen, escape Bundesliga drop zone

Freiburg have beaten visitors Werder Bremen 3-1, moving up to the comparatively dizzy heights of 14th in the Bundesliga table. Christain Streich's side had long languished in the relegation zone.

Coach Christian Streich explicitly warned against "euphoria" going into Friday's home meeting with Werder Bremen, saying that in the past Freiburg had displayed a certain naivete in front of home fans when leading. It seemed a particularly shrewd warning when facing a Bremen team unbeaten in five league games and charging towards precisely the mid-table safety Freiburg still crave.

But by the middle of the second half, with the hosts three goals to the good, this euphoria was again evident in Freiburg's game. This time, it resulted in just the one soft goal for Bremen. Matthias Ginter lost possession cheaply to Aaron Hunt, who dribbled into the box and laid the ball square for a Nils Petersen tap-in.

The brief blackout might even have served as a useful warning for Freiburg, who recovered and were perhaps unlucky not to extend their lead by the final whistle.

Innocuous build-ups, inspired goals

Freiburg took the lead after quarter of an hour with a thunderbolt from Julian Schuster. Attacker Karim Guede was the provider, launching a dogged dribble down the left flank. Half the Bremen defense seemed to have a bash at tackling either Guede or Admir Mehmedi, before the ball eventually bobbled back out of the box towards Schuster. The captain's first-time shot with his outstep curled away from Raphael Wolf and into the top corner.

SC Freiburg v Werder Bremen - Bundesliga

Julian Schuster's opener left Wolf no chance

The score stayed 1-0 until the break, with Bremen never really threatening Oliver Baumann's goal until Franco di Santo hit the side-netting in first-half stoppage time.

Bremen started the second period brightly, as they did the first, pressing Freiburg deep into their own third of the pitch. Streich's technically gifted troupe have a penchant for playing their way out of trouble, a characteristic coach Robin Dutt clearly sought to exploit.

Freiburg's second goal hailed from just such a period of Bremen pressure on 53 minutes. After at least half a dozen passes uncomfortably close to their own goal, suddenly Vladimir Darida put his head up and picked out Mehmedi with a spectacular long ball. The Swiss forward advanced down the flank and delivered low to Felix Klaus, arriving late at the near post.

Mehmedi makes it three, and nearly four

Mehmedi added another of his own six minutes later, with Klaus the provider this time.

Ginter's 70th-minute blackout, not his only wayward pass of the night, helped Hunt and substitute Petersen salvage something of a lifeline - yet the goal never really energized the guests.

It was Mehmedi who came closest to scoring a fifth goal on the night. He deftly skinned Assani Lukimya and former Freiburger Cedric Makiadi in the Bremen box, only to blast well over the bar with his left seeking his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season.

Freiburg have sat somewhere in the bottom three of the Bundesliga ever since the third weekend of league games. At least provisionally, Streich's side has escaped the drop zone - warranting a touch of post-game euphoria. However, as Streich put it after the club's 100th home win in the Bundesliga, "the water is still deep, still up to our necks."

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