Sebastien Haller underlined his already fearsome reputation with two late goals for Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday to seal a hard-fought 3-0 win away to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the final Matchday 25 fixture.
Goals: 0-1 Paciencia (48'), 0-2 Haller (90+1'), 0-3 Haller (90+3')
Fortuna were on the wrong side of a 7-1 hammering when the sides met earlier this season and began here as if determined to make amends right away. David Kownacki had the ball in the net for the hosts inside the first two minutes, only to see it ruled out for offside, but it was an early indication of the intent and aggression of Friedhelm Funkel's side, who competed well with their high-flying visitors throughout the first 45 minutes. Jean Zimmermann later hit the outside of the post, while the closest Frankfurt came in a goalless first half was a Filip Kostic shot that flashed across the face of goal.
Düsseldorf's resistance was broken early in the second period, however, when Goncalo Paciencia met Jonathan de Guzman's looping cross at the back post to open the scoring. Undeterred, the home team continued plugging away but aside from a penalty shout for handball that was overruled after a VAR consultation, they never seriously threatened Kevin Trapp's goal. Haller, who had been rested with one eye on Frankfurt's UEFA Europa League last-16 second leg tie on Thursday, came off the bench late on and scored twice in stoppage time to add gloss to the scoreline and seal what was ultimately a deserved win for the visitors.
- Frankfurt's 7-1 win in the reverse fixture in the first half of the season was — along with Bayer Leverkusen's 6-2 win over Werder Bremen — the game with the most goals in 2018/19.
- Paciencia scored his second goal in as many games after made his first Bundesliga start, fresh from scoring his first league goal in the 3-2 win over Hoffenheim last week.
- Haller was on the bench for the first time in over four months for Frankfurt (since 28 October 2018 against Nuremberg).
- The French forward's brace was his second against Düsseldorf; he also hit two against them earlier this season.
- Paciencia's goal was his second in as many games, both back-post headers.
- In Düsseldorf's 12 home games so far, the hosts have yet to record a draw, winning six times and losing seven.
Fortuna: Rensing - Zimmermann, Ayhan, Kaminski, Gießelmann - Lukebakio, Barkok (Karaman 73'), Sobottka (Morales 77'), Fink (c), Raman - Kownacki (Hennings 19')
Unused subs: Theißen, Hoffmann, Bodzek, Suttner
Out: Drobny (hand), Ducksch (ankle), Zimmer (ankle), Contento (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Frankfurt: Trapp - Toure, Hasebe, Hinteregger - Da Costa, Rode, Fernandes, De Guzman (Gacinovic 80'), Kostic - Paciencia (Willems 90+5'), Jovic (Haller 72')
Unused subs: Rönnow, Ndicka, Falette, Russ
Out: Rebic (knee), Chandler (knee)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Watch: Paciencia "happy" after helping Frankfurt win