The Eagles grabbed three points winning the away match against VfL Wolfsburg 2-0. Meier (12’) and Inui (18’) scored the two goals, Wolfsburg’s Josue was dismissed with a straight red card after a foul against Occéan. It was a great last match of a fantastic year 2012.
On fire: Alexander Meier
Eintracht manager Armin Veh made no changes to his starting line-up compared to matchday 16 (4-1 home win against Bremen). Butscher started in the central defense alongside Zambrano again.
The match started with a few half chances at either end before the hosts had a big scoring opportunity: Carlos Zambrano blocked a Vierinha attempt (9’). Three minutes later Eintracht took the lead, Schwegler skillfully crossed the ball in from a free-kick and Alex Meier headed it in for the 1-0 (12’)! It was his 11th goal of the season and Eintracht’s 10th headed goal – top in the league.
The action continued with a crashing foul of Josue against Occean who went down heavily but fortunately was able to continue playing. Josue was sent off with a straight red card (16’). And SGE made use of the initial confusion in Wolfsburg’s defense – Schwegler hit a long ball from the free-kick towards Aigner who volleyed it on to Inui – the Japanese midfielder hit the ball directly into the net – 2-0 (18’)! Within six minutes the match had taken a decisive development in Eintracht’s favour.
The Eagles then passed the ball around with skill and dominance and the hosts hardly had a chance to gain possession. It was Hasebe who had a go from close range after 30 minutes but his attempt went over the bar. At the other end SGE had various shots but lacked the finishing touch, in short succession Rode, Jung, Occéan and Inui had attempts but failed to add the third goal.
It was a very decent first half of Eintracht who were fully in control and made use of the advantage of VfL being a man down. Schwegler initiated both goals, Eintracht’s team captain had once again a great match. And Alex Meier is now on his personal goal scoring record (11) although only one half of the season has been played – only two Eintracht players have managed to score double figures in the first half of a Bundesliga season so far: Gekas 14 in 2010/11 and Hölzenbein 12 in 1976/77.
After the break SGE’s attacking play calmed down to some extent, they stayed in control without opening up their defensive third too much. Wolfsburg Polak had a volley after 50 minutes which went wide though.
Sebastian Rode’s shot also went wide (65‘) and at the other end Trapp controlled a couple of half chances of Wolfsburg. There was little action in front of the goals in the second half though, right at the end Meier and Celozzi had a double chance to score the third but did not succeed. Then the last match of the year 2012 was over.
The Eagles finished their year and the first season half with a decent and mature performance – it was the first away win against Wolfsburg ever and it’s the best first season half for SGE since 1993. The will stay ranked 4th in the standings over the winter break, on 30 points and 33 goals – only Bayern and Dortmund have scored more so far.
It is an extremely impressive performance, especially for a promoted side. The season will re-start on Saturday the 19th of January with the away match against Bayer Leverkusen.
TO ALL YOU EAGLES OUT THERE – WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
(HR - 17.12.2012)