Azmoun scores equalizer as Freiburg and Leverkusen share spoils in sleety stalemate [VIDEO]
Bulinews.com – FREIBURG, After a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Monaco in the Europa League, Leverkusen traveled to Breisgau to face Freiburg.
Xabi Alonso opted to rest some weary legs in his ranks – Florian Wirtz the biggest name on the bench after playing 114 minutes last Thursday night. Meanwhile, Freiburg had to make do without the suspended Christian Gunter. As a result, the Freiburg skipper’s incredible record of playing 153 competitive matches in a row has come to an end.
Moussa Diaby, who bagged the decisive spot kick in Monaco, looked menacing inside the opening stages. At the other end, Freiburg’s Grifo combined well with Gregoritsch in the 17th minute to curl his shot narrowly wide. Streich was forced to make an early injury-related substitution in the 25th minute – Ritsu Doan limping off as Roland Sallai entered.
As the clock approached the half hour mark, Freiburg took the lead. A wonderous free-kick from Vincenzo Grifo sailed in with the aid of the post and a touch off a sprawling Lukas Hradecky. Leverkusen came close to forging an equaliser – Kuebler crucially denying Diaby, while Frimpong’s diving header spurned a brilliant cross from Bakker.
Xabi Alonso did see fit to introduce Wirtz after the interval. Chances were few and far between as Diaby and Sallai exchanged speculative efforts on either goal. However, an equalising goal did come through the boot of Serdar Azmoun. Wirtz created space for Bakker to cross, and the Iranian international made it 1-1 from six yards out.
Streich’s side almost restored their lead on 71 minutes. Another dead ball delivery from Grifo picked out Ginter. The initial headed effort was parried by Hradecky, but the rebound fell kindly for Lienhart who could only strike the upright. As the sleet continued to fall, ‘Die Werkself’ pushed for a winner. Substitute Patrik Schick almost snatched all three points in injury time as he diverted Demirbay’s cross onto the upright. The sides couldn’t be separated as it petered out for a 1-1 draw.