Freiburg had a 93rd-minute winner ruled out by VAR for offside as they held RB Leipzig to a 1-1 draw as the Bundesliga returned after a 10-week absence.
In front of a fan-free stadium, Leipzig showed little signs of rustiness with their tempo and passing in the early stages with reported Liverpool target Timo Werner and Tyler Adams going close.
While their set-pieces were below-par, Julian Nagelsmann's men continued to dominate possession but found themselves behind at the break. The visitors had a corner from Vincenzo Grifo which was turned in by Manuel Gulde with a cheeky backheel who celebrated with an 'elbow bump'.
Leipzig brought on Ademola Lookman on for the second half and switched to a 4-4-2 in search of goals. And the former Everton man should have equalised soon after but failed to find the target from six yards out. The hosts seemed to have left their shooting boots at home with Werner, Yussuf Poulsen and Lookman again spurning a total of more than 20 chances.
Just as it seemed it was not going to be their day, Poulsen made up for his earlier miss by heading in the equaliser from Kevin Kampl's cross for his fourth goal of the season.
Despite bringing on goal threats Patrick Schick and Marcus Sabitzer, who netted a brace against Tottenham in their last game in March, Freiburg continued to defend brilliantly.
And there was late drama with the visitors celebrating in the 93rd minute when Robin Koch swept home from close range following a free-kick but it was disallowed for offside against Lucas Holer after a VAR review.
The result means Leipzig remain third but slip three points behind second-placed Borussia Dortmund while Freiburg climb to sixth.
Did the nine-week absence affect the quality of the game? Thankfully it did not for the most part. The hosts may have been wasteful in front of goal at times but their passing and intensity was impressive from the off. Freiburg looked organised and tactically sound defensively and did not look like it was their first game in two months. There were concerns about the stamina issue but both teams held up and the new rule of five substitutes allowed them some respite.
Ademola Lookman looks up in frustration
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MAN OF THE MATCH
Alexander Schwolow (Freiburg): He commanded his box well, negating any impact from Angelino's crosses. He also made some vital saves including from Werner via his foot and Sabitzer late on. The keeper was helped by the organised back three in front of him.
Leipzig: Gulacsi 6, Angelino 4, Poulsen 7, Adams 6, Klostermann 6, Nkunku 5, Mukiele 5, Halstenberg 7, Laimer 7, Kampl 7, Werner 6. Subs: Lookman 3, Sabitzer 6, Schick n/a.
Freiburg: Schwolow 8, Lienhart 6, Gulde 8, Heintz 7, Schmid 7, Höfler 5, Koch 7, Günter 7, Sallai 6, Grifo 7, Petersen 4. Subs: Holer 5, Harberer 5, Schlotterbeck n/a.
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7' - CHANCE! The hosts have a free-kick on the right flank. Angelino pings it into the box, its headed away to Adams whose half volley is well kept put by the keeper.
34' - GOAL! Leipzig 0-1 Freiburg. Sallai's cross is deflected behind for a corner on the left. The corner by Grifo has sneaked into the bottom corner off Gulde's heel!
56' - WHAT A MISS! Kampl's cross finds an unmarked Lookman eight yards out and his first-time effort goes wide. He doesn't know he he has scuffed that!
73' - WHAT A CHANCE! Poulsen has space, he is through on goal but he blazes it over the bar. That was wasteful. He is claiming he got fouled as he was pulling the trigger.
77' - GOAL FOR LEIPZIG! Leipzig 1-1 Freiburg. Poulsen rises well to head the ball into the bottom corner from Kampl's cross.
90'+3 - DISALLOWED GOAL FOR FREIBURG! The visitors have a free-kick. Gunter's delivery is flicked on by Gulde and Koch sweeps it home from close range. But VAR rules it out for off-side.
- The Bulls are without a win in their last three Bundesliga games.
- Manuel Gulde scored his first Bundesliga goal for 511 days, the last was in December 2018 against FC Nürnberg.