Frankfurt - The Eagles were back in full flight on Saturday night as Eintracht Frankfurt returned to winning ways courtesy of a 4-1 victory against SV Werder Bremen, which sent them back into the UEFA Champions League qualification spots.
After an even first half ended unspectacularly, Alexander Meier opened the scoring, taking his tally for the season into double digits, only for Nils Petersen to level the scores shortly afterwards. However, two goals within less than a minute of one another, from Pirmin Schwegler and Stefan Aigner, and a late Takashi Inui finish were enough for Frankfurt to put an end to a run of three games without a win and move into fourth place.
It came as no surprise that two teams, who prefer to adopt a similarly forward-thinking, fast-paced approach to their style of football, cancelled each other out for the most part during the opening exchanges. Petersen drew a routine save out of Kevin Trapp, but while Frankfurt were still the more direct of the sides as they looked to break the deadlock early, they couldn't make the most of a few nervy moments in Bremen's backline.
Top-scorer Meier fizzed an effort over the upright, but Werder soon began playing themselves into proceedings and, having absorbed the early pressure, looked to hit Eintracht on the counter. Zlatko Junuzovic, back in the side after a one-game ban, broke quickly in a three-on-two situation, but reminiscent of the match itself, couldn't find the final ball to play in Petersen and Marko Arnautovic, both of whom were unmarked in the area.
Frankfurt continued to be the more active in carving out their chances, of which there was a flurry leading up to half-time. Inui and Olivier Occean both had efforts blocked by last-ditch challenges, before the Japanese international flashed a threatening effort across goal, but Bremen weren't without their opportunities. Petersen had an effort ruled out for a foul on Trapp, while Kevin de Bruyne left Heiko Butscher for dead only to drag his effort wide of the target, maintaining parity at the break.
A trip to the changing rooms seemed to do Eintracht the world of good as they picked up where they left off. Inui stung the palms of Sebastian Mielitz within minutes of the restart, but Meier went one better moments later as he climbed highest to head home Bastian Okzipka's cross, the left-back's seventh assist of the season, handing the hosts a deserved lead.
The opening goal forced Bremen to come out of their shell and take more risks and, though Trapp's shoulder denied Sebastian Prödl scoring his second goal in as many games, the young keeper could do nothing to prevent Petersen's header from Arnautovic's cross finding the back of the net. His counterpart Mielitz was caught in a similar situation shortly after the hour mark, as he found himself picking the ball out of the net when Schwegler's thunderbolt effort nestled in the bottom corner.
Frankfurt then proceeded to give themselves some breathing space when Lukas Schmitz's slip up allowed Aigner to put the finishing touches on Occean's low cross, leaving Bremen shell-shocked. The final 20 minutes were played at a frantic pace as the game ebbed and flowed, while the hosts exercised control over their opponents for the most part. Arnautovic drew a sprawling save out of Trapp, but in the end Frankfurt comfortably saw out the win as Inui rolled the ball into the net having rounded Mielitz with virtually the last kick of the game.
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