Goncalo Paciencia netted a first-half brace at the Commerzbank-Arena, with Bas Dost also on target, to help Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayer Leverkusen in the Matchday 8 opener and leapfrog their opponents in the table.
Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Paciencia (4'), 2-0 Paciencia (pen. 17'), 3-0 Dost (82')
As if to avenge last season’s 6-1 loss, in which Frankfurt conceded all six goals in the first 36 minutes, the Eagles dived straight into this encounter with Danny da Costa’s through ball scything open the Leverkusen defence to allow Paciencia a free run on goal, slotting the ball under Lukas Hradecky inside just four minutes. The Portuguese forward headed over unmarked from a corner a few moments later before Aleksandar Dragovic was penalised for handball and the Frankfurt man converted his first Bundesliga penalty with aplomb. Filip Kostic, a constant menace down the left, had a goal of his own disallowed for offside before Paciencia was denied a hat-trick by the head of goalkeeper Hradecky. Lucas Alario reminded Frankfurt ‘keeper Frederik Rönnow that Leverkusen still posed a threat with a sweetly struck shot on the turn, but that was about it from the visitors.
It appeared that Peter Bosz had given his side a stern talking to during the break, with Leverkusen showing much greater intent. Karim Bellarabi and Kai Havertz both threatened the Frankfurt goal, but failed to beat Rönnow. The Danish goalkeeper again came to the rescue to deny an Alario header from close range before Eintracht went up the other end, Kostic flicking the ball into the path of Dost to blast home, but again the linesman’s flag denied the hosts a third. Leverkusen thought they had a way back in with a penalty of their own, but the referee used VAR to correct and reverse his decision for an apparent handball against Djibril Sow. Another string of saves from the Eagles’ stopper ensured that Dost's late third, tapped through the legs of Hradecky, combined with Paciencia’s efforts from the first half, were enough to keep all three points in Frankfurt.
- Paciencia already has five goals this Bundesliga campaign, which is two more than the whole of 2018/19.
- This was Paciencia’s first brace in the German top flight.
- Dost has won all five Bundesliga matches against Leverkusen, recording seven goals and two assists, including a four-goal haul in Wolfsburg’s 5-4 win in February 2015.
- An Eintracht striker has scored on each of the last seven matchdays, and 11 of their 14 goals this season have come from either Paciencia, Andre Silva or Dost.
- Rönnow saved all 10 shots on his goal, equalling the record for this season set by Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Zack Steffen.
- This fixture has been played 69 times in the Bundesliga and never finished goalless. No fixture has been played more times without ever seeing a 0-0 draw.
Frankfurt: Rönnow – Toure (Abraham 30‘), Hasebe (c), Hinteregger – da Costa, Fernandes, Rode, Kostic – Sow (Kohr 84') – Paciencia, Dost (Gacinovic 85')
Unused subs: Wiedwald, Ndicka, Joveljic, Kamada, Chandler, Durm
Out: de Guzman (match fitness), Russ (Achilles tendon), Silva (foot), Torro (match fitness) Trapp (shoulder)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser (Bellarabi 30‘), Dragovic, S. Bender, Wendell (L. Bender 64‘) – Baumgartlinger, Demirbay – Havertz, Amiri, Volland (c) – Alario (Diaby 82')
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Tah, Paulinho, Pohjanpalo
Out: Aranguiz (metatarsal/thigh), Bailey (torn muscle), Sinkgraven (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz