Thanks for your company!
It's been quite a day so far but the entertainment is far from over. Head over to the bundesliga.com homepage to follow what is unmistakeably the match of the weekend, and probably the season: Bayern vs. Dortmund, 2nd vs. 1st - a possible Bundesliga title decider!
Meanwhile it's a crushing defeat for Schalke, who stay 14th, six points behind Freiburg following a ninth home defeat of the season.
My word that was a frantic finish! After a fairly uneventful second half, Frankfurt clinched all three points with a penalty eventually converted in the 10th minute of injury time. That win could be crucial for Champions League qualification, with the Eagles now five points clear of Gladbach, who host Bremen on Sunday.
90' + 10'
Jovic wins it!
It's Luka Jovic vs. Alexander Nübel from 12 yards... and the Serbian striker wins the battle! He hammers the ball into the net to give Eintracht Frankfurt the points! Amazing drama here! It's the final kick of the game and the Schalke players are still arguing with the referee, but VAR appears to have got that decision spot on.
90' + 10'
What drama we have here! The free-kick comes in and after it's cleared, Kostic shoots at goal, with his effort blocked by what looked like a defender's arm. The refereee consults his assistants and awards Frankfurt a spot-kick! VAR looks to have the decision right: Caligiuri blocked the shot with his hand! We're into the seventh minute of injury time!
90' + 9'
GOAL!1 : 2
90' + 8'
90' + 7'
90' + 4'
He's commited one too many fouls today and Serdar can't have any complaints after bringing down Kostic. He'll certainly be missed in the next game, but of more immediate concern is the free-kick for Frankfurt...
90' + 4'
Eagles lacking a spark
One of Frankfurt's plus points this season has been their skill on the break, but Schalke have taken so few risks going forward that Hütter's men simply haven't had the opportunity to play on the break. The home side have done a good joob at spoiling this game, in the sense of making it scrappy, competitive and restrictive to Frankfurt's key strengths.
Into the last ten...
...and Schalke are at least doing the minimum and making things tough for Frankfurt. The game has been peppered by fouls, small injuries and substitutions in the last ten minutes or so, which has disrupted Frankfurt's rhythm.
Serdar to the fore
As comfortable as Frankfurt have been in this half, Serdar gives them a warning with a speculative low shot that Trapp thwarts. The former Mainz midfielder then wins it back and sends the ball into the six-yard box, where Abraham clears for a corner that eventually comes to nothing.
Eagles turning the screw
Hütter's team are very much in control here and don't look anything like the away side. Paciencia flashes in a cross that is just too high for da Costa, before Rebic has a shot charged down. Paciencia then flashes a left-foot shot over the bar. He and his team are getting closer to a second goal.
Nübel keeps Schalke in it!
Frankfurt threaten a second goal from three set-pieces in quick succession! First Nübel denies Paciencia with a smart save down low to his right, before the youngster then pushes another corner clear from under his cross bar. The home fans wiill be encouraged by Nübel's peformance so far, but that change also looks to have energised Eintracht in attack.
Attacking change for Frankfurt
On comes the Portuguese Goncalo Paciencia, a striker, for Jonathan de Duzman. Hütter has reacted to that rather below-par second half of the first half by his side, with Frankfurt looking to play on the front foot again.
Jonathan de Guzman
45' + 4'
Honours even so far
Well that was entertaining! The game looked to be taking a familar path when Rebic put Frankfurt into a deserved lead, but Schalke's equaliser against the run of play has put the cat among the pigeons and they've competed extremely well since, with goalscorer Serdar particularly effective. Let's see what the second half brings!
Burgstaller tests Trapp
After a very nervy start, Schalke have grown into the game and suddenly Frankfurt look anxious. After a succession of corners, Guido Burgstaller glances a vey good header goalwards that Trapp does well to hold. The Eagles' rhythm has been disrupted by Serdar's goal as well as by Hinteregger's injury.
The Austrian has played very well today but his afternoon is cut short, as he walks gingerly off the pitch with what looks like a groin injury. He hasn't looked the same since being clattered by Serdar a few minutes ago, a foul for which the latter was booked.
There's a coming together between Jeffrey Bruma and Rebic in the box and the Croatian goes down chasing the defender's clearance. It looked a somewhat reckless action from Bruma and the referee is alerted to take a look at the replay on VAR. He looks and makes his decision: no penalty!
A month in the making
Serdar's strike is the first goal Eintracht have conceded in any competition for over a month, since a 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on 2 March. That run has included games home and away at Inter Milan in the UEFA Europa League, let's not forget.
Lifeline for the hosts
That goal has got the crowd going at the Veltins Arena, as well as the Schalke players. The hosts look to have a spring in their step now, with Serdar going into the book for a clumsy foul. He now has two goals in two games after netting at Hannover last week.
Jonathan de Guzman
Out of the blue
We didn't see that coming! Schalke win a free-kick close to the right-hand side of the penalty area. It's swung in by Daniel Caligiuri and met by the head of Breel Embolo, who's effort is parried by Kevin Trapp into the path of Suar Serdar, and the midfielder makes no mistake. We're on level terms with more or less the Royal Blues' first attack.
GOAL!1 : 1
The self-belief is oozing out of these Frankfurt players. Martin Hinteregger, a centre-back, has played a back-heel on halfway and also had two efforts at goal, the second from close to the halfway line that had Nübel scramblng!
Kostic on fire
Let's not forget that Serbian international Kostic was relegated with Stuttgart and Hamburg, but is a player reborn this season. He now has nine assists this season, and he's scored or made a goal in each of the last six matches.
Schalke have the blues
The home side have really not found any sort of stride in this game so far. They've been second best from minute one and have barely managed a pass in the opposition half. You can see how little confidence they are playing with as they look to avoid going a fifth home league game in a row without scoring.
Rebic keeps his cool
This is a brilliant goal. Kostic is the man that makes it with a superb pass into the path of Ante Rebic, who bursts into the box, drags the ball past Nübel with ease and passes into an empty net. They are full of confidence at the moment, and that's nine league goals for the season for the Croatian.
GOAL!0 : 1
Schalke survive again
Adi Hütter's Frankfurt look in the mood today. Filip Kostic has made two good runs down the left already, the latest ending with a flashed cross into the box that Jovic and da Costa can't reach. Schalke can't get to grips with Kostic's pace and strength on the left wing.
Jovic goes close!
Barely five minutes on the clock and already the visitors are threatening a goal. After some great work by Danny da Costa, Luka Jovic has a clear sight of goal but is denied by Schalke's Alexander Nübel with a superb point-blank save!
Away we go!
Schalke have won just once in 2019 but they do have a new man at the helm - or an old favourite in the form of Stevens. Will that be enough to inspire them to victory against a side on a five-game winning run? Let's find out.
Away we go!
Schalke have just won win since January and they're up against a side playing arguably the best football in the division. But they do have a new man in charge - an old favourite in Stevens. Will that be enough to inspire them today? Let's find out!
Trapp – Abraham, Hinteregger, Hasebe – Willems, Fernandes (c) – Da Costa, Kostic – , De Guzman – Rebic, Jovic
Nübel – Stambouli (c), Bruma, Nastasic – Mascarell – Oczipka, Caligiuri – Serdar, Boujellab, Burgstaller – Embolo
TEAMS ARE IN!
So here are the starting XIs for the respective sides today...
ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL
One of the secrets to Frankfurt's successful season so far, according to Hütter, is the strength in depth and the willingness of those who are not featuring regularly to ensure the first-choice players are always on their toes. "It spurs everybody on to be part of the starting XI," he said. "I'm delighted to see those who aren't always first choice putting so much pressure on in training, so that at any time we can fill gaps if anybody misses out. The atmosphere's really great."
The Frankfurt coach says that, for as long as the spirits are high and his orders are being followed, he sees no reason to "put the brakes on the euphoria" surrounding the club. "We've earned it," he continued. "My job is to ensure that we're playing to our strengths and convincing as a team. I'll only intervene if I see people getting too relaxed or not following tactical orders, otherwise I'm happy to let it run."
Schalke will be without forward Mark Uth after he picked up an adductor injury in the DFB Cup against Werder Bremen in midweek. His season "looks like it is over," according to Stevens, who therefore needs to find a replacement not just for today, but for the Royal Blues' final seven fixtures.
"I've always stressed that we are allowed to dream and if I didn't do that, I'd be in the wrong business," added Hütter. "But there are still seven very tough games before we've achieved this. The important thing is the chance is there."
Frankfurt are one of Europe's form teams, unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions. As a result, they have the chance to move up to third in the Bundesliga today, and to strengthen their claim for UEFA Champions League qualification. Coach Adi Hütter is not banning talk of that either. "I, like many others, enjoy reading about the chance we've got for achieving something historic with this club," he said.
STEVENS: PRESSURE STILL THERE
Last weekend's win over Hannover has put a bit of daylight between Schalke and the bottom two, but Huub Stevens is under no illusion that the Royal Blues are safe. "The pressure's still there," Stevens said. "But as long as you win your own games, it reduces. If you lose, however, then it only grows again."
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Schalke vs. Frankfurt from matchday 28 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season at the VELTINS-Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.