No winner in the duel between the European Cup starters: In an intense battle of attrition, Eintracht Frankfurt and SC Freiburg finished goalless at the end of the fifth matchday in the Bundesliga.

After the fourth draw in a row in front of 55,800 spectators, the Hessians remain unbeaten this season and are in eighth place in the table with seven points. Directly behind them are the Breisgauers with the same points.

“It wasn’t a treat for the neutral viewer,” said Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter on the streaming service DAZN. You can be happy with the draw. “We didn’t have that many chances today,” analyzed captain Vincenzo Grifo, “so the point is fair.”

Eintracht captain Kevin Trapp saw his team at an advantage, but criticized the weakness in front of the opponent’s goal since the departure of striker Randal Kolo Muani. “I think we played a good game, we had Freiburg under control and were the better team. We just have to continue to work on the problem we have up front, that we’re not too efficient and that the passes don’t arrive ” said the goalkeeper.

Lots of duels, few chances

Under the eyes of new national coach Julian Nagelsmann, who was officially introduced as Hansi Flick’s successor on Friday, Mario Götze initially only sat on the bench at Eintracht. “Mario has played for a very long time. So I wouldn’t make it too big of a deal that he’s out now,” said Eintracht coach Dino Toppmöller before kick-off about the former world champion’s unusual substitute role.

National goalkeeper Trapp was able to distinguish himself right from the start with a header from Ritsu Doan. However, it remained Freiburg’s only dangerous action for a long time, with defender Manuel Gulde having to pass shortly before the start due to circulatory problems and being replaced by Kiliann Sildillia.

Frankfurt was the more active team, but was hardly able to create any compelling chances. The best opportunity came from Fares Chaibi, whose shot was deflected by SC goalkeeper Noah Atubolu for a corner. Shortly before, the home team had vehemently called for a penalty after Lukas Kübler hit Aurelio Buta in the penalty area, but referee Felix Zwayer’s whistle remained silent. “You can give that,” said Eintracht sports director Markus Krösche about the situation.

Freiburg Lucky Punch whistled back

Shortly before the break things got tricky again when Zwayer tried to get video evidence of a possible red card after a foul by Junior Dinah Ebimbe on Sildillia. According to the TV images, the experienced FIFA referee left the Frankfurter with the initial warning.

The Hessians started the second half with their greatest opportunity to date when Omar Marmoush’s low shot was denied by Atubolu, who reacted strongly. On the other side, Freiburg’s two half-chances also failed to lead to success.

By bringing in Götze, Eintracht increased the pressure on the offensive, but the visitors’ defense remained solid and hardly allowed anything to happen. Frankfurt’s attacking efforts usually ended just outside the opponent’s penalty area.

The only time things got heated in the final phase was a pack formation in which Trapp and Maximilian Eggestein clashed intensely and each received a yellow card. Robin Koch had previously hit Freiburg’s Junior Adamu in the head. The Frankfurt defense chief was also warned for this. A goal by Adamu in stoppage time was disallowed for offside.