With Filip Kostic terrorising opposition defences once again, Oliver Glasner's Eintracht Frankfurt have soared to within a point of the top four halfway into 2021/22.
bundesliga.com reviews Glasner's first six months at the Frankfurt helm…
The story so far
Frankfurt were always going to need a period of transition following the departure of Adi Hütter to Borussia Mönchengladbach and the arrival of Glasner from Wolfsburg. A 2-1 win at Bayern Munich was a fine way to register the first three points of the season, although it wasn't until Matchday 11 that Eintracht picked up maximum points for only the second time. That 2-1 win at Greuther Fürth sparked a run of six wins in seven games as the Eagles took flight, climbing to sixth, heading into the winter break.
A look at the Attacking Zones Bundesliga Match Fact powered by AWS brings it home just how important Filip Kostic is to Frankfurt. In almost every single game, the majority of their attacks are fed down the left wing, where Kostic's wing wizardry is the weapon of choice to carve through opposition defences. The Serbian winger has three goals and six assists already this season, with Frankfurt's forwards feeding on his league-leading 105 crosses from open play.
Best game so far
Beating Bayern is so rare nowadays that it simply has to be the highlight of any team's season if they achieve the seemingly impossible. Frankfurt did just that on Matchday 7, registering their first win of the season in style after an opening-day defeat and five straight draws. After Leon Goretzka put the record champions in front, Martin Hinteregger and Kostic turned things around at the Allianz Arena.
Watch: Bayern 1-2 Frankfurt - highlights
One to watch
Jesper Lindstrom signed a five-year contract with the Eagles when he joined from Brondby in the summer, yet he needed a bit of time to settle into his new surroundings. After being tried out on either wing, Glasner perched the Dane just behind his attack in the 2-1 win at Greuther Fürth, and neither he nor Frankfurt have looked back since. With four goals and two assists, he has been on fire in Frankfurt's recent resurgence, and more of the same is expected to fuel their push for a top-four finish in 2022.
The view from inside the camp
"I know that a coach needs wins so that his players keep listening and believing in him. We've developed step by step and my players have been fantastic. You're nothing as a coach if you don't have your players on your side." – Glasner
The winter break arguably did not come at the best of times for Frankfurt, who had built up quite a head of steam through November and December. Whether the short hiatus will have upset their rhythm will be seen right at the restart, when they host second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Frankfurt then have the chance to complete a rare home-and-away double over Bayern when the Bavarians visit Deutsche Bank Park on Matchday 24, and a trip to local rivals Mainz on the final day of the season could be the perfect way to celebrate a return to the top table of European football.