High-flying duo share the points
Eintracht Frankfurt produced a battling, tactically disciplined performance to claim a point after a 0-0 draw at Leipzig on Bundesliga Matchday 21.
The hosts were probably closer to victory in the second half, but all things considered, a draw is a fair result for the Eagles.
Personnel: Hütter names unchanged side
Eintracht head coach Adi Hütter made no changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund last time out, January arrival Martin Hinteregger retaining his place in defence and Luka Jovic, Sébastien Haller and Ante Rebic once again combining up front.
First half: A hard-fought encounter
With the sides separated by only one place in the standings, the opening stages were as hard-fought as they were intense. Rebic raced in behind in the tenth minute, but his cross was cleared, before Hinteregger – whose long ball had released the Croatian – had to be at his best to deny Yussuf Poulsen nine minutes later. If the hosts enjoyed the better of the opening 20 minutes, then the Eagles responded strongly in the next 20, taking control in midfield as Filip Kostic's free-kick drew a good save from Peter Gulacsi and Danny Da Costa headed over from a corner. At the other end, Marcel Sabitzer sent a speculative effort wide and Hinteregger twice had to stop Poulsen going clear, but neither side was able to fashion a gilt-edged chance prior to the interval.
Second half: Hosts take charge
That changed soon after the break, Ralf Rangnick's side bursting out of the second-half blocks. Marcel Halstenberg headed over from Lukas Klostermann's cross in the 51st minute, Gelson Fernandes then twice had to clear from close range, before Timo Werner and Orban nodded wide in quick succession, the latter's header coming within inches of giving the hosts the lead. Hütter introduced Mijat Gacinovic in midfield on the hour, and although the Serbian gave the Eagles more control, Sabitzer's low shot bounced back off the post soon after, with Werner heading wide from the rebound. As the final stages approached, the Eagles dropped deeper, in large part preventing Leipzig crafting any openings, although Poulsen twice went close. At the other end, Gacinovic could have stolen all three points in the final stages, but ultimately it was just one point, courtesy of a resolute defensive display in the second half.
Summary: A welcome point
While the first half was keenly contested, with both sides enjoying good spells, the home side were on top in the second period. The Eagles defended stoutly throughout, however, and as a result deservedly travel home with a point.
Trapp – Hinteregger, Hasebe, Ndicka – Da Costa, Fernandes, Rode (Gacinovic 59'), Kostic – Rebic (Willems 77'), Haller, Jovic