Red-hot Randal Kolo Muani keeps Eintracht Frankfurt in top-four contention


Eintracht Frankfurt strengthened their top-four challenge and tanked some confidence ahead of the visit of Napoli in the UEFA Champions League with a comfortable 2-0 win over Werder Bremen, Randal Kolo Muani continuing his sensational start to 2023 with their second at Deutsche Bank Park.

Frankfurt 2-0 Bremen
Goals: 1-0 Friedl (o.g. 8’), 2-0 Kolo Muani 52‘ (assist: Knauff)

With Freiburg and Leipzig both winning earlier on Saturday, it was almost last-chance saloon for Frankfurt’s hopes of hopping back on the top-four train, and they looked committed to taking it early on as Jesper Lindstrom got in around the back to carve out the first opportunity. The Deutsche Bank Park erupted soon after when Kristijan Jakic’s cross was turned into his own goal by Marco Friedl. Daichi Kamada could and perhaps should have made it two within 12 minutes, but he sent his shot over with only Jiri Pavlenka to beat. The hosts may have invested a little too much into the opening quarter of an hour as their next big chance did not arrive until first-half stoppage time, when Lindstrom fired over, but they nonetheless looked comfortable with their one-goal advantage at the break.

Frankfurt were quick out of the blocks again in the second half and, after Kolo Muani’s header was parried by Pavlenka, the French forward remained perfectly placed to poke in Ansgar Knauff’s cross from the rebound. Bremen’s first shot of the game eventually arrived midway through the second half, when Anthony Jung’s effort was blocked, but that in itself said plenty about how one-sided the game was, and how slim the northern Germany club’s hopes of a comeback were. Kolo Muani was given a standing ovation as he was withdrawn, coach Oliver Glasner’s attention already turning to a midweek clash with Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League, and the Eagles played down the clock confidently to claim three points and close back to within two points of the top four, with Niclas Füllkrug left frustrated as a late consolation was ruled out for offside.

Match stats

  • Kolo Muani now has five goals in 2023 - no Bundesliga has more so far this year.
  • The France international has 10 goals and 10 assists in this, his debut season in Germany’s top flight.
  • Frankfurt have not lost when they have taken the lead this season, winning 11 and drawing two.
  • Frankfurt have recorded more wins in meetings with Werder (38) than against any other Bundesliga team they have come up against.
  • Bremen have won only one of their last seven Bundesliga games against Frankfurt (D3, L3).

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Frankfurt: Trapp (c) - Tuta, Jakic, N'Dicka - Knauff, Kamada, Sow, Max (Lenz 73') - Lindstrom (Alidou 87'), Götze (Alario 87') - Kolo Muani (Borre 68')
Unused subs: Ramaj, Smolcic, Hasebe, Buta, Chandler
Out: Dina Ebimbe (ankle)
Coach: Oliver Glasner

Bremen: Pavlenka - Stark (Pieper 73'), Veljkovic, Friedl (c) - Schmidt, Schmid (Dinkci 85'), Gruev, Stage (Philipp 67'), Jung (Buchanan 68') – Füllkrug, Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Dietrich, Chiarodia, Salifou, Berger
Out: Agu (patella tendon), Bittencourt (suspended), Groß (ill), Mbom (calf), Weiser (ankle)
Coach: Ole Werner