44,800 at the AWD Arena saw a goalless draw between Hannover 96 and Eintracht in wintery conditions on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles took away a deserved point after a pretty even match.
Armin Veh made two changes to Eintracht’s starting line-up: Celozzi replaced Rode who was out with a match ban (five yellow cards) and Matmour played up-front instead of Lakic.
Despite Eintracht being seemingly in control of the match the first chances fell to the hosts: Abdellaoue headed over the bar (10’) and Pander curled in a questioning free-kick but both Ya Konan and Djourou failed to get to it (15’). Both teams struggled to get their passing going, the pitch was difficult to play on and the Eagles defended well but again were not able to put on the attacking game they had shown so often in the first half of the season.
Matmour set up Inui with a flick-on but the Japanese’s chip was taken care of by Hannover (20’), moments later Jung had a go but his attempt was deflected and picked up by 96 keeper Zieler (22’). The best scoring opportunity fell to Jung again after a neat build-up via Meier and Inui but Jung’s mix of a shot and a cross from a good position was blocked (39’). The match was even with a slight advantage of Eintracht when the teams went into the half time break.
Right from the restart the hosts came forward and Eintracht goalie Trapp did well to save a cracking Diouf shot only one minute into the second half (46’). Minutes later a Pander free-kick found Djourou who headed on to Ya Konan, his shot was cleared off the line by Schwegler (49’) – another tricky goal line decision as it was not quite clear whether the ball had crossed the line or not.
At the other end Inui passed the ball towards Meier who converted from close range but the goal was given offside by the officials - a highly debatable decision. The match had picked up some pace in the second half and at least offered some sort of entertainment compared to the less exciting first 45 minutes.
Hannover have a strong home record and had won their last five matches on home soil beforehand, hence Eintracht put the main focus on minimizing the host’s attacking momentum. Anderson and Zambrano in central defense allowed H96’s forwards little opportunities to get close to scoring.
At the other end probably the best chance fell to Meier after a smooth build-up via Oczipka, Matmour and Aigner but Meier’s shot went past the top right corner of Zieler’s goal – just (60’). Hannover tried various crosses especially by right defender Chahed but the match was mainly tense as both teams were waiting to score on the break.
Armin Veh brought on Lanig (replacing Matmour, 76‘) and later on Kittel (Aigner, 86‘) and Lakic (Inui, 88’) during the last 15 minutes of the match but the score line stood – 0-0. It was a deserved draw and despite not scoring a decent result with another point to take away for Eintracht. Schwegler had a good match (100 ball touches, most in the match), also Jung showed a decent performance next to his fellow defenders Zambrano and Anderson.
The Eagles moved down one spot in the standings and are now ranked 5th on 39 points. Hopefully they take away some confidence from defending well against the third best attacking team of the league (H96 scored 47 goals already) and also from scoring a goal that was given offside but was regular after all. Coming up next weekend is the home match against VfB Stuttgart (Sunday at 15.30h CET).