Goals from Merlin Rohl, Maximilian Eggestein, Noah Weisshaupt, Junior Adamu and Ritsu Doan helped Freiburg to thrash Serbia’s Backa Topola 5-0 in Group A of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. The hosts made a bright start on home soil and had the opportunity to open the scoring in the fourth minute, but Backa Topola goalkeeper Veljko Ilic denied Lucas Holer’s effort, reports Xinhua. Ilic was again on guard five minutes later, saving Matthias Ginter’s attempt from a tight angle. Freiburg eventually broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Rohl latched onto Eggestein’s pinpoint cross from inside the area.
Rohl remained in the thick of things as the midfielder hit the woodwork just before half-time. Backa Topola created their first chance four minutes into the second half, but Aleksandar Cirkovic couldn’t beat Freiburg keeper Noah Atubolu from inside the box. The hosts doubled their advantage after Eggestein exchanged passes with Vincenzo Grifo before slotting home from 12 meters in the 56th minute. The visitors were powerless to resist as Weisshaupt danced through Topola’s territory and made it 3-0 from a sharp angle after 69 minutes.
The Breisgauer showed no mercy and continued on the front foot as late goals from Adamu and Doan rounded off an emphatic win. “It was important to clinch a victory here. We played very well today. Our defence stood firm and we scored several goals,” said Merlin Rohl. “I am satisfied with our performance and delighted about the win. It was one of our top performances so far this season. Compliments to the boys on snatching a well-deserved win,” said captain Grifo. In the other Group A match, Lucas Paqueta scored the sole goal in the 73rd minute to give West Ham United a 1-0 win over Olympiakos. With their second straight victory in the group stage, Freiburg leveled with West Ham on nine points, followed by Olympiakos and Backa Topola.