Freiburg stay unbeaten at Stuttgart
Johannes Flum's first-half goal was enough for Freiburg to extend their undefeated streak to six games with an away victory against Stuttgart. Flum scored the game's only goal in the 24th minute as Stuttgart remain in serious danger of relegation.
Stuttgart had collected a win and then a draw at leaders Borussia Dortmund to start 2011 promisingly but remained on 16 points in 17th place - six points adrift of the safety line. Freiburg had played out three straight draws but the win moves Robin Dutt's team to 33 points and sixth place.
Freiburg tested Sven Ulreich straight away in the first minute but the Stuttgart keeper blocked away Papiss Demba Cisse's long-range blast. Stuttgart were close three minutes later with Christian Trasch shooting just wide right from long range.
The hosts twice had good chances against Freiburg keeper Oliver Baumann in the 22nd minute but he fended away Ciprian Marica's tough long ball and then got down quickly enough to keep out Daniel Didavi's follow-up.
Flum fires Freiburg forward
But it was Freiburg who took the lead after 24 minutes with a nice one-touch move, with Maximilian Nicu steering Jan Rosenthal's ball into the path of Flum, who slotted it under Ulreich. Freiburg nearly doubled the lead nine minutes later but Cedrick Makiadil's header sailed inches wide right.
Stuttgart were the much better side in the second half and complained - unsuccessfully - that Freiburg defender Mensur Mujdza handled the ball in the area 12 minutes after the break. Pavel Pogrebnyak headed wide from close range in the 63rd minute and Baumann made a superb stop from Sven Schipplock 12 minutes later as Stuttgart pushed forward looking for the equaliser.
The hosts again cried out for a penalty with eight minutes left as Freiburg defender Heiko Butscher played a ball in the area with his elbow - but again referee Jochen Drees refused to point to the spot. Stuttgart missed a golden chance with two minutes remaining as Baumann could not hold on to Christian Gentner's shot but Martin Harnik struck only the outside of the right post from two yards out.