Eagles down leaders Leipzig
Eintracht Frankfurt put in a particularly impressive second-half display to secure a memorable 2-0 victory over a formidable Leipzig side at the Commerzbank-Arena on Saturday.
A stunning goal by Almamy Toure and a late tap-in by Filip Kostic, coupled with some resolute defending, enabled the Eagles to see off the league leaders and get back to winning ways on home soil.
Personnel: No changes
For the first time since February 2019, head coach Adi Hütter kept faith with the same line-up for two consecutive matches, selecting the 11 players who defeated TSG 1899 Hoffenheim the previous weekend and maintaining a 4-4-1-1 formation that featured Mijat Gacinovic playing just off Bas Dost in attack. Daichi Kamada, who had recovered from the injury he picked up during the club’s US training camp, returned to the bench.
First half: Leipzig on top
The visitors attacked from the outset, and they created the first clear-cut chance of the match, Timo Werner testing Kevin Trapp from close range. Subsequently, with Leipzig dominating possession and Werner posing a constant threat, Trapp was called into action again, but he was equal to a shot from the edge of the box by Christopher Nkunku and a long-range effort from Patrik Schick. A David Abraham flick from a Kostic corner aside, chances for the home outfit were few and far between, and it was their table-topping opponents who came closest to going in ahead at the break, Amadou Haidara firing wide from a dangerous position.
Second half: Toure blasts home
The home side began the second period with more purpose, and they sensationally took the lead three minutes in. Martin Hinteregger, playing in his 50th competitive game for SGE, flicked on a throw-in from the left which eventually fell to Toure, who absolutely hammered the ball past a despairing Peter Gulacsi from the edge of the area. The remarkable effort was the eighth Bundesliga goal by an Eintracht defender this season – a league record.
Leipzig attempted to respond, but the home rearguard, with Hinteregger and Abraham in determined mood, stood firm. Eintracht almost doubled their advantage soon afterwards, but Gulacsi twice saved well from Kostic, who was putting in one of his best performances of the season. The visitors made several attacking changes and piled forward as the final whistle approached, but that would ultimately prove to be their undoing, as substitute Goncalo Paciencia broke clear in the fourth minute of injury time and squared the ball for Kostic, who slotted home to seal the win.
Summary: Tale of two halves
While their opponents certainly dominated the first half, the Eagles came to life after the interval. They defended proficiently following Toure’s crowd-pleasing opener, and scored a deserved second goal with practically the last kick of the ball. Hütter’s men do appear to be well and truly back on track now, and they will look to make further progress up the Bundesliga table in February.
Trapp – Toure, Abraham (c), Hinteregger, NDicka – Chandler (da Costa 89’), Sow, Rode, Kostic – Gacinovic (Kohr 90+2’) – Dost (Paciencia 77’)
1-0 Toure (48’), 2-0 Kostic (90+4’)