Mainz floored by Frankfurt again
A late penalty from Bundesliga top scorer Theofanis Gekas secured Eintracht Frankfurt the points in the Rhein-Main derby against FSV Mainz 05. Mainz have now been unable to beat their near-neighbours in seven attempts and although they reamain second in the table, the defeat means Borussia Dortmund are certain to go into the winter break as league leaders.
Early Frankfurt pressure
The match kicked off at a lively pace and Eintracht carved out their first chance in the second minute, Theofanis Gekas heading wide a cross from his Greek compatriot Ioannis Amanatidis. Frankfurt continued to press in the opening stages, but it was the visitors who were the next to go close after just over quarter of an hour, Andre Schürrle connecting on the full at the back post with a cross from the right but firing well over the bar.
The home side went back on the offensive after that and by the half-hour mark had Mainz clearly on the back foot. They got their due reward ten minutes before half time. The FSV defence were unable to clear a ball in from Patrick Ochs and Marco Russ made them pay for it, drilling an unstoppable shot into the corner past keeper Christian Wetklo.
Schürrle pulls Mainz level
With Eintracht seemingly in control, the visitors were then gifted the opportunity to equalise when Halil Altintop tackled Marcel Risse from behind inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Andre Schürrle stuck the penalty away and Mainz rather fortuitously went into the break all-square.
They came out after it looking more like their early-season selves, still sitting relatively deep in the early stages, but switching back onto the offensive with a lot more purpose. In the 55th minute, Marcel Risse broke free down the right and fired just wide while three minutes later Sami Allagui, fresh off the bench, announced his presence with a header that likewise sailed past the post.
Late penalty decides it
Half-chances at either end followed as both sides chased the breakthrough second goal, the ever-dangerous Gekas going very close with one of them in the 77th minute. The prolific Greek forward got the chance to add to his Bundesliga season tally of twelve not long after though, when it was Frankfurt's turn to win a penalty. Jan Kirchhof conceded it by handling the ball inside the area and Gekas stepped up to rattle it home into the top corner.
A shot well over from Allagui was as close as Mainz got to a reply in the closing minutes, and then Eintracht had three more points in the bag.
Frankfurt: Nikolov (Fährmann 46') - Jung, Vasoski, Russ, Tzavellas - Schwegler, Köhler - Ochs, Altintop (Meier 46'), Amanatidis (Caio 65') - Gekas.
Mainz: Wetklo – Zabavnik (Heller 37'), Bungert, Noveski, Fathi - Karhan, Kirchhoff – Risse (Holtby 79'), Fuchs - Schürrle, Szalai (Allagui 57')
Goals: 1-0 Russ (35'), 1-1 Schürrle (42', pen.), 2-1 Gekas (84`, pen.)
Attendance at the Commerzbank Arena: 51,500