An enthralling encounter saw Frankfurt pick up their third win of the season and also saw Köln end their lengthy goal drought. An early goal from Marcel Risse was cancelled out by an Alex Meier header right on the stroke of halftime. Another goal from Meier and an own goal from Kevin Wimmer put an end to Köln’s bid for an away point despite getting a goal from Jonas Hector to level the match at two in the second half.
These two well-supported sides were coming into this game with different fortunes, Frankfurt sat seventh and won last weekend, whilst Köln, who have a brilliant defensive record but struggle to score, have won only once. Frankfurt won away at struggling Hamburg with Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon scoring a stunning goal late to win it. Köln have now lost three consecutive.
Both teams went at it from the get-go in this entertaining game and each had their chances in the opening minutes. Frankfurt legend Alex Meier had the fist chance of the game in the 4th minute when pulled off the back of Köln defender Jonas Hector after the German slipped. Meier controlled the ball and got his shot off, but Hector recovered well and was able to deflect it out for a corner which was dealt with easily by the Köln defence. Takashi Inui was a vital cog in most if not all of Frankfurt’s attacks this evening. From his position behind the two striker he drifted all across the width of the pitch to wherever the space was. He first threatened in the 7th minute when he made a very dangerous run down the right wing and looked as if he was going to provide an assist, something he hasn’t done in his last 27 games, but at the last minute he was blocked by Austrian Kevin Wimmer.
Then Köln started to threaten as well, in the 9th minute Simon Zoller was sent clean through and had Yuya Osako with him for support but he took one touch too many and young Felix Wiedwald, in for the injured Kevin Trapp, was able to collect the ball. Osako thought he had scored in the 14th minute when he picked up the ball inside the box and sent a very smart finish past the 24-year old keeper but he was correctly ruled offside. But it wasn’t too matter as less than a minute later Köln broke their 12-hour goal drought as the Frankfurt defence were punished for playing a high line. Frankfurt were dispossessed in midfield and Kevin Vogt drove down the middle of the pitch before sending a lovely through ball to Marcel Risse who calmly slotted home past Wiedwald.
After the goal the rest of the first half belonged to Frankfurt as they tried to find a way back into the game. Inui once again was involved as he made a run down the right hand side that was a carbon copy of his first yet this time he did manage to pull the ball back for Meier. Meier however, appeared to be caught off guard and as a result had to stretch for the ball and could only get a weak shot away that was easily smothered by Germany Under 21 international Timo Horn. Inui again provided the opportunity for Meier in the 32nd minute when he took a free-kick that was towards Meier but the 31-year old seemed to be caught in two minds about whether to
aim for goal or head it back across goal for someone else to try and get to and as a consequence it went out for a goal kick. The Japanese playmaker then had a brilliant chance of is own when Haris Seferović crossed in and Inui dummied twice before unleashing a shot that seemed destined for the top corner before Hector threw himself in front of it and headed it out for a corner. Frankfurt finally got the equaliser they were looking for in the 43rd minute when Seferović sent in a beautiful cross with the outside of his left foot straight onto the forehead of Meier who gave Horn no chance.
Köln started off the 2nd half as they had started the first, on the front foot. They won a free-kick in the 52nd minute in a dangerous position that was ultimately wasted by Risse as he fired low and straight into Wielwald’s welcoming arms rather than try and pick out any one of his teammates who were open due to Frankfurt’s high line. Their momentum was stopped in the 53rd minute when Frankfurt took the lead. Again it was from a Meier header and again the assist came from Seferović. This time he ran down the right before cutting back and crossed with the instep of his left foot and rather than it being a great header from Meier it was more a case of poor defending from the normally resolute Köln defence. Centre-back Dominik Maroh allowed to Meier to get away from him leaving the big striker with a free header just outside the 6-yard box.
The game once again fell into a back and forth routine as both sides had chances, Marco Russ had a header saved by Horn whilst Yuya Osako also had a header but it was less of a threat for Wiedwald. Then the fixture was blown wide open due to a Jonas Hector goal. A lovely long cross-field ball from Kevin Vogt landed at the feet of the advancing Hector and he controlled brilliantly before lifting the ball over the oncoming Wiedwald. The direction of the game changed once again in the 79th minute courtesy of an unfortunate Wimmer own goal. A corner came in from the near side of the pitch and it bounced of Wimmer’s thigh before squeezing underneath Timo Horn and just rolling in despite the keeper’s best efforts to scramble it out. Köln tried desperately to grab an equaliser late on but Anderson Bamba made two key interventions in the dying seconds of the game to ensure his side grabbed the 3 points.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s win over Köln continued Schaaf’s home domination of the Billy Goats. In his time at Werder Bremen, he collected 22 of 24 points when hosting the Billy Goats. Saturday ‘his Eintracht side led in shots taken 19-12, CKs 6-2 and held 52% of possession. The match was also the 100th Bundesliga appearance for U.S. international Timothy Chandler, who played in his fifth fixture for Die Adler after featuring in 95 BuLi matches for 1.FC Nürnberg.
SG Eintracht Frankfurt: Wiedwald – Ignjovski, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka – Hasebe, Russ – Medojevic (89′ Chandler) – A. Meier (90′ Madlung), Seferovic (86′ Aigner)
1. FC Cologne: Horn – Olkowski, Maroh, Wimmer, Hector – K. Vogt, M. Lehmann – Risse, Osako (72′ Ujah), D. Halfar (61′ Peszko) – Zoller (81′ Nagasawa)
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