Timothy Chandler’s first goal of the season gave Eintracht Frankfurt a winning start to 2020 at Hoffenheim, ending their seven-match winless run in the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 0-1 Dost (18’), 1-1 Stafylidis (48’), 1-2 Chandler (62’)
After half chances for both sides in the opening minutes, the visitors made the breakthrough with a clinical counter-attack. Chandler dispossessed Hoffenheim skipper Benjamin Hübner in midfield before sending Mijat Gacinovic away down the right, who picked out Bas Dost’s run at the near post to turn home his fifth goal of the season. Having had a direct hand in a goal for the first time this Bundesliga season, Gacinovic was again involved in a golden chance for Frankfurt as he ran onto goalkeeper Kevin Trapp’s long ball, but when in behind the defence he opted to try and pass to Dost instead of shooting. The ball was wayward but still a threat as Hübner’s sliding clearance almost found the back of his own net. Eintracht’s other Serbia international, Filip Kostic, then rattled the Hoffenheim crossbar with a curling effort after a quickly worked short corner before Trapp’s leap at full stretch denied a Hübner header from a corner at the other end and then Kostas Stafylidis’ driven effort from range.
Hoffenheim boss Alfred Schreuder reacted at the break by sending on new striker Munas Dabbur following his arrival from Sevilla, and the hosts were level inside three minutes when Stafylidis latched onto a cleared corner and curled it into the far top corner from left of centre. It was Frankfurt who struck next, though, somewhat against the run of play when Chandler rose like an American bald eagle at the far post to power a header home after Kostic’s deep cross. Hoffenheim came close to a second equaliser when substitute Sargis Adamyan was picked out by Sebastian Rudy from a corner, but Djibril Sow cleared off the line to earn his side a first three points since beating Bayern Munich 5-1 at the start of November before Kostic struck the woodwork for a second time with a long-range hit in the closing seconds.
- Frankfurt are now unbeaten in six Bundesliga games against Hoffenheim, winning the last four. That is currently TSG’s longest winning run against a top-flight team.
- Both Eintracht goals were from crosses, taking their total for the season up to a league-best 10.
- Chandler’s goal was his first in the Bundesliga since February 2018.
- Stafylidis has now scored five of his six Bundesliga goals from outside the box. This was his first since March 2017 for Augsburg.
- Hoffenheim have scored in their last 12 Bundesliga matches, which is the league’s longest run after Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig, who both scored in every match before the winter break.
- The Sinsheim club haven’t won their first Bundesliga game of a new year since their maiden season in 2008/09, drawing four and losing seven since.
Watch: Chandler: "That was an important goal for me"
Hoffenheim: Pentke – Posch (Locadia 82’), Nordtveit, Hübner (c), Stafylidis – Rudy, Grillitsch, Geiger (Adamyan 69’) – Bebou (Dabbur 46’), Kramaric, Baumgartner
Unused subs: Esser, Kaderabek, Bicakcic, Zuber, Samassekou, Akpoguma
Out: Baumann (knee), Belfodil (knee), Skov (muscular)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
Frankfurt: Trapp – Toure, Abraham (c), Hinteregger, Ndicka – Chandler (Da Costa 82’), Sow, Rode, Kostic – Gacinovic (Kohr 85') – Dost
Unused subs: Rönnow, de Guzman, Joveljic, Durm, Silva, Paciencia
Out: Fernandes (hip), Kamada (knee ligament), Russ (Achilles tendon), Torro (thigh)
Coach: Adi Hütter