Ten-man RB Leipzig won the DFB-Pokal for the first time in their history after a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over Freiburg at the end of a 1-1 draw in Berlin on Saturday.

Freiburg, who were competing in their first-ever major final, went ahead in the 19th minute thanks to Maximilian Eggestein's fine strike, despite a clear handball from Roland Sallai in the build-up.

Leipzig were reduced to 10 men shortly before the hour mark when Marcel Halstenberg received a straight red card for pulling down a clean-through Lucas Holer, yet they levelled in the 76th minute through Christopher Nkunku.

Domenico Tedesco's men had lost two finals in the last three years, but they finally got their hands on the trophy at the Olympiastadion as Freiburg's Christian Gunter and Ermedin Demirovic missed their spot-kicks in the shoot-out.

Borussia Dortmund bade farewell to several players on an emotional day at Signal Iduna Park, with Erling Haaland signing off in style.

Haaland is moving to Manchester City ahead of the 2022-23 season, with that move confirmed this week.

The 21-year-old – who joined Dortmund from Salzburg in 2019-20 – was presented with a wreath prior to kick-off on Saturday, as Dortmund faced Hertha Berlin in their final Bundesliga game of the season.

He was not the only player given an ovation before the match, with Axel Witsel and Dan-Axel Zagadou, who are leaving the club following the expiration of their contracts, and departing loanees Marin Pongracic and Reinier Jesus also paraded on the pitch, along with Marcel Schmelzer, who has retired.

Long-time sporting director Michael Zorc is also retiring, and was given a huge send-off by the Dortmund crowd.

The enthusiasm in the stands was not initially matched on the pitch, as relegation-threatened Hertha took an 18th-minute lead through Ishak Belfodil's penalty.

However, Haaland got his farewell goal with 22 minutes of normal time remaining, coolly slamming in an 86th Dortmund strike from the spot, in what was his 89th appearance for the club.

Zagadou and Witsel were both subbed off with the game winding down and, fittingly, it was the latter's replacement who netted Dortmund's winner.

Marco Rose insisted Dortmund would "not stop playing football" in the wake of Haaland's departure and 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko showed the future is bright as he converted from Jude Bellingham's sublime pass.

Haaland was able to enjoy a standing ovation as he made way, with Dortmund's 2-1 victory also ensuring Hertha will be in the relegation play-off.

Dortmund's place in second was already sealed, but below them, Freiburg's attempt to get into the Champions League fell just short as they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen, who took third, while RB Leipzig finished fourth.

Freiburg still have the DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to but ultimately slipped down to sixth, with Taiwo Awoniyi's late penalty sending Union Berlin into fifth with a 3-2 win over VfL Bochum.

Freiburg have confirmed the signing of Germany defender Matthias Ginter, who will join from Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the season.

Ginter came through the Freiburg academy and made his Bundesliga bow for the club at the age of 18 in January 2012, scoring the winner against Augsburg.

He went on to make 81 appearances for Freiburg before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2014 and played 102 times across three seasons, helping them to a DFB-Pokal triumph in 2017.

Ginter switched to Gladbach ahead of the 2017-18 season and established himself as a key player in defence, and has made 46 appearances for Germany.

However, it was confirmed earlier in the season that the 28-year-old would not be signing a new deal with Gladbach, and Freiburg announced on Wednesday that he will be making a return to his first club.

 

"I wanted to do something special in my career, and there's nothing more meaningful to me than a return to my home," Ginter said.

"The development the club has undergone, as well as the potential in the team and the discussions with the club over the last weeks have been great. To find something like that in my hometown, especially nowadays, is extremely rare. It was just a perfect fit all round."

Ginter could well be playing in the Champions League next season, with Freiburg sitting in fourth place after a superb season.

They have won three of their last four Bundesliga games – drawing the other one against Gladbach – and hold a one-point advantage over RB Leipzig and a three-point lead over sixth-placed Cologne, while they are three behind Bayer Leverkusen, who they face in a potentially huge clash in the final game of the league season after a contest with seventh-placed Union Berlin on Saturday.

That will not be the last match of Freiburg's campaign, however, as they also have a DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to on May 21. It will be their first appearance in the final of the competition.

Borussia Dortmund have confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign Germany international centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck from fellow Bundesliga side Freiburg.

The 22-year-old has featured 53 times for Freiburg in all competitions, including 35 outings this campaign, and will remain with the club until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Schlotterbeck, who had a spell on loan with Union Berlin last season, has signed a long-term deal with Dortmund that runs through until July 2027.

He is the second new defensive addition for BVB ahead of the transfer window officially opening, with Niklas Sule also set to join from rivals Bayern Munich.

Dortmund confirmed the imminent arrival of Schlotterbeck, who has featured twice for Germany at senior level, on their official website on Monday.

"After consultation with all parties involved, I have today decided to announce my move to Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022," Schlotterbeck said. 

"In doing so, I want to provide clarity for SC Freiburg, Borussia Dortmund and myself personally.

"It is important for me to be able to fully concentrate on the remaining three games in the season run-in with SC Freiburg, which we hope will be successful. 

"After that, I'm looking forward to the new responsibilities with Borussia Dortmund."

Freiburg occupy the final Champions League qualification spot in the Bundesliga with two games to go and also face RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal final on May 21.

Freiburg reached the DFB-Pokal final for the first time in their history with a 3-1 semi-final win at second-tier Hamburg.

Goals from Nils Petersen, Nicolas Hofler, and Vincenzo Grifo fired Freiburg into a commanding half-time lead as the visitors produced a scintillating counter-attacking display.

The Bundesliga's third-best defensive outfit then held on comfortably after the break, despite Robert Glatzel providing a late consolation for the hosts, and Freiburg will meet either RB Leipzig or Union Berlin in next month's final.

11 years after first joining the visitors, head coach Christian Streich continues to make history, with Freiburg's dreams of cup glory and a top-four Bundesliga finish remaining in their sights.  

Hamburg fell behind after just 11 minutes when Petersen headed home after a goalmouth scramble, with a quick VAR check ascertaining Roland Sallai was not interfering with play.

That goal gave Freiburg a huge boost, and they doubled their lead within five minutes when Hofler's long-range strike cannoned off Sebastien Schonlau and into the roof of the net.

Hamburg almost responded when Anssi Suhonen forced a save from Mark Flekken, but were out of the contest after 35 minutes when the VAR awarded Freiburg a bizarre penalty, with Vincenzo Grifo smashing home from the spot after Moritz Heyer clumsily kicked Nico Schlotterbeck in the neck.

Suhonen had a cool finish ruled out in a marginal offside call as Hamburg's nightmare half drew to a close, before Sallai rippled the side netting with a fierce strike shortly after the break.

The 2.Bundesliga team took the game to Freiburg in the second half, with Sonny Kittel's deflected volley drawing a decent save from Flekken after 67 minutes.

Hamburg were finally rewarded for their improvement when Glatzel nodded a consolation goal after 87 minutes, and Freiburg's Ermedin Demirovic struck a post from range as the visitors claimed a historic win.

What does it mean? Fantastic Freiburg reach new heights

Freiburg had never previously reached the German domestic cup final, losing to Stuttgart on their only previous semi-final appearance in 2013. 

Streich's men, however, will compete for their first major trophy in May's final, and could beat their highest-ever Bundesliga finish of fifth (in 2012-13) as they continue to chase a top-four spot.

Cup hero Petersen sets the tone

With a packed Volksparkstadion producing a boisterous atmosphere, Freiburg needed an early goal to quell any nerves, and got one through Petersen's header. The 33-year-old has now scored 12 in the competition, with no other player scoring more (Alexander Iashvilli also has 12).

Visitors make fast start count

After putting their hosts to the sword before the break, Freiburg have now scored six first-half goals in their four DFB-Pokal games this season, with only RB Leipzig scoring as many in the competition.

Streich's team also became just the second to hit three first-half goals in an away DFB-Pokal semi-final. Bayern Munich are the other team to do so at Schalke in 1984.

What's next?

Hamburg will look to revive their slim hopes of promotion from the 2.Bundesliga at Jahn Regensburg on Saturday, while Freiburg host Borussia Monchengladbach on the same day.

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann says he is "happy" the Bundesliga leaders will not be stripped of their victory over Freiburg following their 12-man mix-up.

The German top-flight champions fielded an additional player briefly during Saturday's 4-1 league win, with Kingsley Coman staying on despite Nagelsmann making a double substitution.

Freiburg reluctantly lodged an appeal to the German Football Association (DFB) for their opponent to forfeit the result, though Nagelsmann may have been more preoccupied with a surprise midweek defeat.

Bayern were off the pace at Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final as they fell to a 1-0 loss, but a positive decision for the Bavarian giants on the DFB's ruling was confirmed on Friday.

The league has decided to uphold the original result against Freiburg and the former RB Leizpig coach expressed his satisfaction after seeing the points preserved ahead of Saturday's game with Augsburg.

"I'm happy we keep the points," he told reporters at a pre-match news conference. "I think that's quite normal.

"What's important to me [is that] I'm in no way disappointed with Freiburg. The contest against the result has not changed that."

Bayern take a nine-point lead into their clash at Allianz Arena, but could well be more focused upon their return leg against Unai Emery's Villarreal in Europe.

Nagelsmann, however, says that both games are vital for him, laying out that he intends to rotate his side in order to help his squad find rhythm across two crucial games.

"We have a very important game on Tuesday, probably the most important game of the season," he stated. "But [in] the Bundesliga, we also have to give players some rhythm.

"We will certainly rotate on a few positions. We will let Niklas Sule play from start, we will let [Leon Goretzka] play from the start.

"Alphonso Davies will have a break and [we'll] give a couple [of other] players a little more rhythm for Tuesday.

"It's a very important game for us tomorrow that we are taking very seriously, and are determined and desperate to win."

One man expected to figure will be evergreen playmaker Thomas Muller, with the World Cup winner in line to feature against Augsburg.

If he does so, and if Bayern are victorious, the 32-year-old will become the first outfield player to amass 300 wins in the Bundesliga.

Julian Nagelsmann launched a withering attack on Freiburg as Bayern Munich's substitution blunder risks costing them points.

A nine-point lead over Borussia Dortmund could be trimmed to six if Bayern's 4-1 win at Freiburg on Saturday is overturned.

That is a live possibility after Freiburg went to the German football association (DFB) with their concerns about the episode, late in the game, that saw Bayern have 12 players on the field for a matter of seconds.

Nagelsmann questioned how Freiburg could justify their complaint, given they were soundly beaten, and said the Champions League hopefuls would have to look at themselves if they get into Europe's top club competition thanks to being handed three points from such a game.

Bayern were 3-1 up when Nagelsmann removed Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman and sent on Marcel Sabitzer and Niklas Sule.

However, Coman did not realise he was being replaced after his number was not raised, and he did not leave the pitch immediately, with referee Christian Dingert resuming the game before the error was noticed.

The DFB will consider the case, and its rules appear to indicate Freiburg may be awarded a 2-0 win.

"In the end I'm not surprised, to be honest," Nagelsmann said. "It is a procedure that lies with the DFB sports court. It has to make a judgement. In my opinion it can only go one way.

"From a personal point of view I don't understand it. Freiburg would not have scored two goals in those 18 seconds.

"I personally wouldn't have done it. I find that you are exploiting the mistakes of a third party to maybe score points yourself.

"I don't know if you can pat yourself on the back with the sponsors at the AGM in November if you play internationally because of the three points you won, which you actually didn't win in sporting terms.

"I wouldn't be so happy if that were the case. I would have clearly communicated to the club that we would not appeal. In the end everyone has to decide for themselves."

Nagelsmann was speaking in Bayern's pre-match news conference for their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Villarreal.

The topic of the Freiburg game is one that Nagelsmann would love to brush aside, given how unwelcome it is as a distraction when there is so much on the line.

Freiburg indicated they had reluctantly pursued an appeal, detailing an "intensive and extremely differentiated process of deliberation" before going ahead.

Freiburg have reluctantly decided to appeal to the German Football Association (DFB) following "intensive" discussions within the club after Bayern Munich inadvertently briefly fielded 12 players on Saturday.

The Bundesliga leaders were 3-1 up and on the way to winning 4-1 when Julian Nagelsmann removed Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman and sent on Marcel Sabitzer and Niklas Sule.

However, Coman did not realise he was being replaced after his number was not raised, and he did not leave the pitch immediately, with referee Christian Dingert resuming the game before the error was noticed.

The game continued for several seconds before being halted as all concerned attempted to make sense of the situation, and the incident may see Freiburg declared 2-0 winners, as per the DFB rules.

According to paragraph 17, article 4 of the rulebook: "If a player was not eligible to play or be fielded in a game, the team that culpably fielded this player lost the game 2-0 and the opponent won 2-0."

This rule is only to be utilised if the match is allowed to proceed by the referee, as it was at the Europa-Park Stadion – an additional 12th player on the field would be considered ineligible to take part.

Referee Dingert acknowledged that an incorrect number for Coman was initially displayed and that it did not change the outcome of the game, but added "everything else will be decided by the DFB" to TZ.

Freiburg undertook an "intensive and extremely differentiated process of deliberation" to discuss the "mistake" by Bayern and concluded that they must appeal even if against their will in an "uncomfortable" scenario.

A club statement on Monday read: "First of all: We are in a dilemma through no fault of our own. SC Freiburg had no part or influence on the events surrounding the change process. 

"Nevertheless, the legal and procedural rules of the DFB formally force us to play an active role in order to have the processes legally checked. In principle, we have no interest whatsoever in this active role, which has been given to us against our will in terms of procedural technology, and we feel extremely uncomfortable in it.  

"We therefore consider this procedural regulation in its overall construction to be inappropriate. Ultimately, it burdens the completely uninvolved club - in this case us - with the responsibility for processing an obvious violation of the rules.

"Nevertheless, after intensive discussions at different levels and a legal examination, the board of the Sport-Club Freiburg eV decided to appeal against the rating of the game."

Freiburg cited the opportunity for the sports court to evaluate Bayern's error and the creation of future "legal certainty in comparable cases" for other clubs as decisive in the decision-making process.

Bayern Munich could pay a high price for their substitution blunder at Freiburg after briefly playing with 12 men in Saturday's Bundesliga game.

The leaders were 3-1 ahead and on the way to a 4-1 away victory when head coach Julian Nagelsmann elected to make a late double change, removing Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman and sending on Marcel Sabitzer and Niklas Sule.

However, Coman did not realise he was being replaced after his number was not raised, and he did not leave the field immediately, with referee Christian Dingert resuming the game before this was noticed.

The game continued for several seconds before being halted as all concerned attempted to make sense of the situation, and the incident may even see Bayern forfeit the win.

German football association (DFB) rules appear to suggest Freiburg could be declared 2-0 winners.

According to paragraph 17, article 4 of the rulebook: "If a player was not eligible to play or be fielded in a game, the team that culpably fielded this player lost the game 2-0 and the opponent won 2-0."

This rule is only to be deployed if the match is allowed to proceed by the referee, as it was on this occasion. A 12th player on the field would be considered ineligible to take part.

Nagelsmann said of the bizarre incident: "The wrong number was on the board, not Kingsley's 11. Mistakes happen. From the point of view of both teams, from the point of view of a fair sport, there was nothing that speaks against it being fair. You play a good game here and then everyone stands there and asks about the rules."

Freiburg coach Christian Streich, appearing alongside Nagelsmann at a post-match news conference, said rules should not be ignored.

Streich said: "I'm sure there won't be an objection, an appeal, from us, but there are rules to be followed.

"There is a rule and there's plenty of speculation, but we have a rulebook and that's what we have to abide by. Everything else, I'm not going to say anything about it, because there's nothing for me to say."

Referee Dingert, quoted by TZ, said: "It was a totally confused situation: It was a double change from Bayern Munich. An incorrect number was initially displayed, which is why the player Coman did not feel addressed with the number 11.

"That's why a 12th player was on the field for a short time, which shouldn't be. We noticed and then stopped the game.

"It's annoying for us because of course that scene is the focus now. We will note this in the game report. The game had 12 [Bayern] players for 15, 16 seconds. No goal happened. We will note that, everything else will be decided by the DFB."

Leon Goretzka, on his return from injury, scored Bayern's opening goal, with Serge Gnabry, Coman and Sabitzer also on target. Nils Petersen's reply was his 100th goal for Freiburg in all competitions.

Victory kept Bayern sitting pretty at the top of the Bundesliga, taking them nine points ahead of Borussia Dortmund who were not in action until later on Saturday against RB Leipzig.

Leon Goretzka returned from his long lay-off with a goal as Bayern Munich won 4-1 at Freiburg in the Bundesliga – where the leaders briefly had 12 players on the pitch.

Freiburg are in the hunt for a Champions League place and were far from pushovers, despite having won just one of 37 previous Bundesliga clashes between the teams.

Their resistance was broken when Goretzka, back from a hip injury that had kept him sidelined since December, headed a 58th-minute opener.

Freiburg's Nils Petersen scored within moments of coming off the bench to bring Freiburg level, only for Serge Gnabry to do just the same for Bayern in the 73rd minute, and Kingsley Coman drilled in the third before Marcel Sabitzer hit a fourth in stoppage time.

Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane and Goretzka threatened early on from Bayern half-chances, before Manuel Neuer comfortably saved a daisy-cutter from Roland Sallai at the other end.

It was just the sixth time this season that Bayern had failed to score in the first half of a Bundesliga game, but they had not drawn a blank over 90 minutes.

Therefore, it was hardly a surprise when Goretzka made a 58th-minute breakthrough, heading in Kimmich's free-kick after Mark Flekken made a misjudged charge off his line and failed to claim the ball.

Goretzka came off after 62 minutes, receiving a hug from Julian Nagelsmann, who also removed Robert Lewandowski. But within seconds it was a Freiburg substitute, fresh from replacing Sallai, who stunned Bayern with a fine equaliser.

Petersen made a bright run between Bayern defenders to meet Christian Gunter's clever pass and drill a left-footed strike across Neuer, finding the bottom-left corner.

Gnabry pulled off the same trick of scoring within seconds of entering the action when he restored Bayern's lead, taking advantage of charitable defending from Nico Schlotterbeck to fire left-footed into the bottom-right corner after Lucas Hernandez's cross. Coman struck when Flekken could only push his skidding 20-yard strike into the net.

Play was held up for several minutes when Bayern briefly had 12 players on the field, after an apparent substitution bungle, but the game continued when that was resolved and Sabitzer struck late on to add gloss.

Julian Nagelsmann said Bayern Munich "won't take any chances" with Robert Lewandowski's fitness when they face Freiburg on Saturday, with the striker nursing a rib injury.

The Bayern boss offered a promising update on Leon Goretzka's fitness, saying he would "love" to let the midfielder play, but could be left without Joshua Kimmich due to the imminent birth of his child.

Lewandowski netted a second-half penalty to set Poland on their way to World Cup qualification on Tuesday, opening the scoring in a 2-0 play-off win over Sweden.

The 33-year-old's last club outing saw him net twice against Union Berlin to reach 30 Bundesliga goals for a fifth time, a feat only previously achieved by the legendary Gerd Muller.

Ahead of the trip to fifth-placed Freiburg, Nagelsmann said that while Lewandowski is in the squad and in contention to feature, the club would act with caution after he picked up a rib injury. 

"We'll have to see how his rib reacts," Nagelsmann said.

"I assume he's in the squad and playing, but we won't take any chances."

If Lewandowski is deemed fit enough to feature, he could set an outright record for the most away goals scored in a single Bundesliga campaign. 

His current tally of 17 is a joint single-season record, shared with Jupp Heynckes (set in 1973-74 as a Borussia Monchengladbach player), and Timo Werner (2019-20 with RB Leipzig).

Meanwhile, Nagelsmann offered updates on the availability of two key midfielders, indicating that Goretzka is in line for his first appearance since December's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund.

He also revealed he has set a deadline for Kimmich to join up with the team as he awaits his child's birth.

"Goretzka reacted a bit on the hip, [but] otherwise he trained exceptionally well, and I would love to let him play," Nagelsmann added.

"I discussed with him [Kimmich] that if everything stays calm, he can travel later. We have set a deadline. The most important thing is that everyone stays fit. 

"We have a good squad and we have to control the players' workloads. At the same time, we need to keep our foot on the gas."

Bayern's tally of 81 goals from their 27 Bundesliga games is the best return at this stage of a season in the competition's history. Meanwhile, the perennial champions have scored in 74 consecutive Bundesliga matches, also a German top-flight record.

Mikel Arteta may be confident that his side can still recruit any player in the world, but Arsenal may have to wait if they are to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina.

The in-demand Serbia international is the joint-fourth highest scorer in Europe's top five leagues this term and is wanted by an array of clubs across the continent.

While a January move has been touted, however, Fiorentina appear to be playing hardball when it comes to the future of the 21-year-old striker.


TOP STORY – FIORENTINA DEMANDS PREVENTING ARSENAL'S VLAHOVIC PURSUIT

Arsenal are reportedly willing to match Fiorentina's €75million (£62.62m) asking price for Vlahovic, which would make him the second-most expensive player in their history.

However, The Independent reports that the Serie A side want the majority of that money paid upfront, whereas Arsenal intend to spread the cost over the next four years.

The Gunners may therefore have to wait until the end of the campaign, at which point Vlahovic will have a year to run on his contract, before renegotiating with Fiorentina.

 


ROUND-UP

– It is shaping up to be a busy conclusion to the January window for Arsenal as Goal reports that the Premier League side have made contact with Juventus over a loan move for midfielder Arthur Melo, while Leicester City's Youri Tielemans is another potential target.

– L'Equipe claims that Paul Pogba remains a target for Paris Saint-Germain as he nears the end of his Manchester United contract. The midfielder has not featured since November due to injury and is not expected to return until next month.

– According to The Mail, Man Utd are eyeing a move for Brighton and Hove Albion's Tariq Lamptey as an upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick is said to be a big fan of the right-sided player's versatility.

– Sticking with Rangnick and United, the German coach has put Ajax boss Erik ten Hag's name forward as the best option to replace him when his interim spell at Old Trafford ends in June. That is according to Le Parisien, with the French outlet also suggesting PSG's Mauricio Pochettino still remains in the frame.

– Ambitious Newcastle United have already brought in Kieran Trippier this month and more players look set to follow. Tuttomercato suggests that Roma's Chris Smalling could be lured to St James' Park as the Magpies desperately attempt to strengthen at centre-back.

Freiburg's Nico Schlotterbeck is attracting plenty of interest this month, with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid among those being linked. Bayern appear to be leading that particular race if reports from Spain are anything to go by, with the defender supposedly keen to stay in the Bundesliga.

Adi Hutter apologised to supporters after his Borussia Monchengladbach team were trounced 6-0 at home by Freiburg, with all six goals coming in a remarkable first half.

High-flying Freiburg became the first team ever in the Bundesliga to score five goals away from home inside the opening 25 minutes of a match, and Gladbach midfielder Patrick Herrmann bemoaned "a catastrophic performance".

Maximilian Eggestein and Kevin Schade put the visitors two up with only five minutes gone, before Philipp Lienhart, Nicolas Hofler, Lucas Holer and Nico Schlotterbeck got in on the act to shock those in attendance at Borussia-Park on Sunday.

Gladbach had previously been the only side to score five goals in the opening 25 minutes of a match, that coming at home to Braunschweig in October 1984.

The loss leaves Gladbach in 13th place in the Bundesliga, with just 18 points from 14 games, and head coach Hutter made clear after the game that it was an unacceptable performance and result.

"I am incredibly disappointed," Hutter told the official club website. "I'm also very sorry for the spectators who made their way to the stadium. We win together and we lose together.

"A few weeks ago, we beat Bayern 5-0 here and we were all over the moon. Today, we saw a match that should never have played out the way it did. Of course, we knew that Freiburg are strong from set-pieces and we prepared for that in training, but I had the feeling that we were paralysed from them.

"I don't have an explanation for that right now. First and foremost, we have to apologise for the way we played today. That is unacceptable. If you saw the level in training, you would never imagine that a performance like that could happen. But then when you're 5-0 down after 25 minutes, it's obviously very disconcerting."

Sporting directer Max Eberl also spoke to the club website, making mention of the Foals' "lethargy", saying: "We conceded two early goals, and you could see how nervy it made everyone. No one wanted the ball, although, to be honest, we didn't have much of the ball in the opening period anyway.

"We just had this inexplicable lethargy and didn't carry a threat at all. I'm a bit bewildered right now. Tomorrow is about picking ourselves back up and digesting the defeat. We conceded four goals in Cologne, and now six today, but we also didn't do enough going forward with enough incisiveness either."

Gladbach's Herrmann simply added: "It's hard to put the game into words. We had already thrown it away after a matter of minutes. We just weren't at the races at all in the first half – it was a catastrophic performance. If you're 4-0 down after 20 minutes and then concede the fifth goal, everyone knows that the game is over."

Freiburg made Bundesliga history as they put sorry hosts Borussia Monchengladbach to the sword with a ruthless first-half display, moving 6-0 ahead at the break on Sunday.

Struggling Gladbach were humiliated by high-flying Freiburg, who became the first team in the German top flight to score five goals away from home inside 25 minutes of a match.

Freiburg had lost their previous two games, but Maximilian Eggestein and Kevin Schade put them two goals up with only five minutes gone.

Philipp Lienhart, Nicolas Hofler and Lucas Holer got in on the act before Nico Schlotterbeck put rampant Freiburg 6-0 up at half-time.

Stefan Lainer and Alassane Plea were substituted in the first half of a horror for the Foals, with boss Adi Hutter's job surely hanging by a thread.

Gladbach had previously been the only side to score five goals in the opening 25 minutes of a match, that coming at home to Braunschweig in October 1984.

Leon Goretzka was delighted to send Bayern Munich into the international break on a high as his goal helped them to a 2-1 win over Freiburg.

The Bundesliga leaders ended Freiburg's unbeaten start to the season at the Allianz Arena, Goretzka's opener and a second-half strike from Robert Lewandowski proving enough for maximum points.

Julian Nagelsmann's team lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt prior to the last international break.

But they were dominant this time around against Freiburg, Bayern's 29 shots their most of the season so far.

Goretzka, who also hit the post in the second half, underlined the importance of approaching the break with a positive result.

"We shouldn't forget that we played against a good team today," Goretzka said to Sky. "The most important thing was to win the game, which we did.

"It was incredibly important to score the second goal, because you can always concede at any time. Our goal was to win today as it's the last game before the international break.

"It wasn't a good feeling when we lost just before the last international break. Therefore we are very happy today."

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