Kamada double seals stunning comeback win
Daichi Kamada scored two second half goals as Eintracht came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 in UEFA Europa League Group F to take a huge step towards reaching the knockout rounds.
The Eagles were out of sorts for the majority of the first half in London and had Frederik Ronnow to thank that they went into half-time just one goal down, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having broken the deadlock shortly before the interval. Eintracht were resurgent in the second period, however, and Arsenal had no answer to their purposeful attacks, with Kamada’s efforts ultimately securing a deserved victory.
Personnel: Six changes
Adi Hütter was forced to make two alterations to the side that slipped to defeat against Wolfsburg at the weekend, as both Bas Dost and Sebastian Rode stayed in Frankfurt nursing injuries. Andre Silva and Gelson Fernandes came into the starting line-up to replace them, while goalkeeper Rönnow returned following illness, captain David Abraham came into the back three for Evan Ndicka, and Danny da Costa and Kamada began in midfield.
First half: Hosts on top
After an initial period of sparring, Arsenal settled quickest and had the first clear opening of the game when former Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang was given a free header on the edge of the six-yard box, but his effort bounced wide of the target. While Ronnow was not called into action on that particular occasion, he went on to make a number of decisive saves from Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock as the hosts looked to press their advantage.
With Eintracht struggling to click, chances were at a premium at the other end of the pitch, although they did manage to get behind the home team once as Da Costa darted dangerously down the right, only to see his cross cut out. Just as it seemed the teams would go in level at the break, Aubameyang fired Arsenal ahead, drilling in at the back post from 12 yards out to make Eintracht’s task that bit trickier.
Second half: Eintracht much improved
The match appeared to be continuing in the same vein early in the second period when Ronnow was forced to make another brilliant save to deny Willock one-on-one, but instead it served to kick-start the Eagles into action. From then on, Hütter’s men were far more aggressive, determined and energetic than they had been in the first 45 minutes and it was no surprise when Kamada curled in a left-footed equaliser from the edge of the penalty area.
Buoyed by that strike, Eintracht began to show their true colours and Filip Kostic in particular proved a handful down the left, twice causing Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to break a sweat with fierce drives from distance. Their pressure soon took its toll as Kamada grabbed his second of the night with another effort from outside the box, this time a low strike on his right foot. The Gunners poured forward in search of an equaliser late on, but Eintracht held firm to register a vital – and deserved – victory.
Summary: A game of two halves
A cliché it may be, but there is simply no avoiding it here. Where the Eagles were off the pace in the first half, they swarmed over their hosts in the second and got their goals to turn the match on its head and edge ever closer to the knockout rounds.
Rönnow – Abraham (c), Hasebe, Hinteregger – Da Costa, Kamada, Fernandes (Kohr 46’), Sow, Kostic – Paciencia, Silva (Gacinovic 46’)
1-0 Aubameyang (45+1’), 1-1 Kamada (55’), 1-2 Kamada (64’)