Eintracht beat Lazio on memorable European night
Eintracht Frankfurt moved clear at the top of UEFA Europa League Group H on Thursday evening with a superb display to beat S.S Lazio 4-1 at the Commerzbank-Arena.
The Eagles got off to a flying start in front of a raucous home crowd, who created a spine-tingling atmosphere for the team's first European home game since 2014. Danny da Costa broke the deadlock early on from Jonathan De Guzman's corner, only for Marco Parolo to level the score for the visitors midway through the first half. Eintracht regained the lead shortly afterwards through Filip Kostic and went into the break a goal and a man up following Dusan Basta's red card. Luka Jovic put the result beyond all doubt in the second half, while Lazio ended the game with nine men after Joaquin Correa's dismissal.
Personnel: Hütter rotates
Head coach Adi Hütter brought three new faces into the starting line-up following the team's thumping 4-1 victory over Hannover 96 at the weekend. Simon Falette came into defence in place of Evan Ndicka, while Jovic and Mijat Gacinovic replaced Allan Souza and Ante Rebic further forward.
First half: Impressive Eagles edge ahead
The Eagles immediately signalled their attacking intent and went on the front foot right from the off. The strategy soon paid dividends when da Costa evaded his marker to volley in a corner from close range. The visitors fought back, however, and after Lucas Leiva and Ciro Immobile both tested Kevin Trapp, Parolo slotted in Correa's cross from ten yards to equalise. Unfazed by the setback, the Eagles continued to get forward with purpose and took the lead once more when Kostic rifled in Gacinovic's clever cut-back at the far post. Matters went from bad to worse for the Italians on the stroke of half-time when Basta was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Second half: No let up from Eintracht
Eager to press home their numerical advantage, the hosts poured forward after the break and soon extended their lead. Sébastien Haller, who was excellent throughout, dribbled half the length of the pitch before finding Jovic, who put Eintracht 3-1 up with an exquisite dink over Lazio goalkeeper Silvio Proto. The visitors' frustration boiled over shortly afterwards and Correia was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on De Guzman. It was largely one-way traffic towards the Lazio box after that, with da Costa sealing an outstanding victory with his second of the evening in stoppage time.
Summary: Deserved win
Hütter's charges were rewarded for a bold performance full of energy and determination. The Eagles were clinical with their chances against an opponent of such distinction on the European stage and were the better side even when Lazio had all 11 players on the pitch. The well-deserved victory means Eintracht now sit three points clear at the top of the Group H standings.
Trapp – Da Costa, Russ, Hasebe, Falette – Gacinovic, De Guzman (Stendera 87'), Torró, Kostic (Tawatha 79') – Jovic (Rebic 67'), Haller
1-0 da Costa (4')
1-1 Parolo (23')
2-1 Kostic (28')
3-1 Jovic (52')
4-1 da Costa (90’+4)
Basta (45+3'), Correia (59')