Summary

  • Meier with only goal of game.
  • Schalke remain in bottom half of table.
  • Frankfurt maintain European hopes in third place.

Alexander Meier scored the only goal of the game as Eintracht Frankfurt secured a first win at FC Schalke 04 since 1999 to move into third place at the start of Matchday 18.

FC Schalke 04 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Goals: 0-1 Meier (33')

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Schalke started out the stronger as they pegged their visitors back in the opening minutes, including having a goal by new signing Guido Burgstaller disallowed for offside, but Eintracht slowly found their feet. The game struggled to find a good flow with a string of tackles and fouls in the centre of the park, but the Royal Blues were able to hold the ball a bit better with 57 per cent of the possession. The first big chance fell to the hosts after 24 minutes but Burgstaller couldn’t keep his header down, although it needed a hand from keeper Heinz Lindner to help it over the bar. However, the deadlock was broken just after half an hour thanks to a Frankfurt set piece straight off the training ground. Makoto Hasebe’s free-kick was cut back behind the attacking line for captain Meier to slot home for his fifth goal of the campaign.

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Schalke began the second 45 much as they had done the first. Chasing the game, they came out with much greater attacking intent in search of an equaliser and came close after just ten minutes through Burgstaller’s close-range flick. Substitute Haris Seferovic had a chance to put the Eagles 2-0 ahead just moments after coming on, but he failed to control Bastian Oczipka’s ball into the box after stealing possession just outside the Schalke area. Try as they might, even with the youthful energy of Donis Avdijaj and fresh impetus of new signing Daniel Caliguiri, Die Knappen simply couldn’t find a way past the second-best defence in the league. On another day, Burgstaller could have had a few goals up front, but the Eintracht defence held firm. The result sees Frankfurt move up into third for the time being, whilst Schalke remain in the bottom half of the table.

Makoto Hasebe was a calming influence for Frankfurt throughout the game as well as providing the assist for Meier's goal.

Man of the match

Meier will claim the plaudits for his goal, but Hasebe provided the inch-perfect ball for the assist. The Japan international was not only involved with set pieces, he also had more touches of the ball than anyone other Frankfurt player (69) as he looked to dictate his side’s play and protect their lead from the heart of a back three.

Talking point

In a game with few real chances, it came down to one opportunity at a set piece as Eintracht scored their first goal from a deal-ball since Matchday 5. And with the second-best defence in the league behind them, one goal always looked like being enough for Frankfurt to secure their ninth win of the season – the same as they managed in the whole of last term.

Match stats

  • Frankfurt have not conceded a single goal in their last seven Bundesliga matches on a Friday.
  • Burgstaller had the most shots on goal (four) as he made his first top-flight start in Germany.
  • Schalke are yet to beat a side in the top half of the table this season.

Line-ups

Schalke: Fährmann - Höwedes (c), Naldo, Nastasic - Schöpf (Caligiuri 66'), Geis (Avdijaj 53'), Goretzka, Bentaleb (Konoplyanka 79'), Kolasinac – Choupo-Moting, Burgstaller

Coach: Markus Weinzierl

Frankfurt: Lindner - Abraham, Hasebe, Vallejo - Chandler, Mascarell, Barkok (Hector 85'), Oczipka - Gacinovic (Tarashaj 90'), Hrgota (Seferovic 62') - Meier (c)

Coach: Niko Kovac

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Watch: Timothy Chandler discusses Frankfurt's victory post-match: