Bottom club Paderborn ensured their was plenty of festive cheer at the Benteler-Arena in the Bundesliga’s last game of the decade as they signed off for the winter break with a 2-1 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Paderborn 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 1-0 Sabiri (9'), 2-0 Schonlau (41'), 2-1 Dost (72')
The need for a victory following wins for fellow strugglers Cologne and Fortuna Düsseldorf earlier on Matchday 17 trained Paderborn’s focus against the Eagles and they immediately set out their stall from kick-off, winning more challenges and getting forward with purpose. That approach was rewarded as early as the ninth minute when Abdelhamid Sabiri’s dipping long-distance shot beat Felix Wiedwald for the opening goal. Frankfurt struggled to click in attack and their best efforts both came from Mijat Gacinovic, who shot narrowly wide following a good run before curling a free-kick just the wrong side of the post. The wind was knocked out of the visitors’ sails shortly before half-time though, when Sebastian Schonlau headed in at the back post from Kai Pröger’s menacing in-swinging free-kick.
The expected Frankfurt onslaught failed to materialise in the second half and it was instead Paderborn who surged forward looking to kill the game off. They very nearly did so when Streli Mamba was allowed a free shot about 12 yards out, but Felix Wiedwald produced a vital save to keep his side in the game. Sabiri had a free-kick that whistled just over the bar, before Ben Zolinski skewed a shot wide of the target as the home team refused to let up. Frankfurt tried to muster a response, but a tame Bas Dost header from Filip Kostic’s cross was the best they could do until the closing stages, when Dost give them a lifeline with a poacher’s finish from Evan N’Dicka’s ball in. It ultimately proved too little, too late for Frankfurt though, as Paderborn held on for a priceless win.
- This was Frankfurt's 31st competitive match of 2019/20 and the first that striker Goncalo Paciencia has not featured in.
- Simon Falette made his first appearance of the season for Frankfurt, and first since 12 May 2019.
- Sabiri netted his second Bundesliga goal here; his first also put Paderborn 1-0 up (against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Matchday 9).
- Paderborn scored in the opening 15 minutes for a seventh time here, a league high alongside RB Leipzig this season.
- Schonlau's goal was the first Paderborn have scored from a free-kick this season.
- Dost netted his sixth goal for Frankfurt, and fourth in the Bundesliga for the Eagles. It was incidentally the 1000th goal scored in Germany's top flight in 2019.
Watch: Sabiri: “I practice those shots every day!”
Paderborn: Zingerle - Jans, Kilian, Schonlau, Collins - Pröger (Hünemeier 86'), Gjasula (c), Sabiri, Antwi-Adjei - Zolinski (Cauly 79'), Mamba (Michel 66')
Unused subs: Huth, Strohdiek, Ritter, Kapic, Dräger, Holtmann
Out: Vasiliadis (suspended)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Frankfurt: Wiedwald - Falette, Hasebe (c), N'Dicka - da Costa, Chandler, Fernandes (Silva 46'), Kohr (Sow 65'), Kostic - Gacinovic (Kamada 76') - Dost
Unused subs: Zimmermann, Joveljic, Toure, Durm, Cetin
Out: Abraham (suspended), Hinteregger (suspended), Rönnow (thigh), Russ (Achilles tendon), Torro (thigh), Trapp (shoulder), de Guzman (match fitness), Pacienca (muscular), Rode (knock)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Watch: Dost: "We'll come back strong"