Eintracht Frankfurt dominated the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie at Shakhtar Donetsk and take two away goals into next week’s return fixture at the Commerzbank Arena.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 0-1 Hinteregger (7’), 1-1 Marlos (pen, 10’), 1-2 Kostic (50’), 2-2 Taison (67’)
Red cards: Stepanenko (11‘)
The temperature in Kharkiv may have been well below freezing but Frankfurt were on fire from the first whistle as they took the lead inside just seven minutes through Martin Hinteregger’s first goal for the club. The centre-back, on loan from Augsburg, headed home a free-kick at the far post, which was spilled over the line by goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov. Moment later, however, Evan N’Dicka was penalised for a foul on Junior Moraes inside the box, with Marlos converting the penalty despite Kevin Trapp getting a hand to the ball. Just a minute later, Shakhtar’s Taras Stepanenko, who’d picked up a yellow for the foul leading to the Frankfurt goal, was shown his second of the game and dismissed after just 11 minutes. Eintracht dominated the remainder of the half, Luka Jovic coming closest to restoring the lead with a curling effort, but the home side held out.
The second 45 minutes began much as the first had ended with Frankfurt in the ascendancy. Filip Kostic came close to restoring the lead as he met a cross from the right by Jovic, but the Serbia international made no mistake minutes later as he tapped home his compatriot’s ball into the box and put Eintracht deservedly ahead again. However, the home side struck back once more as captain Taison clinically curled past Trapp after a Junior Moraes through-ball. Eintracht, though, will feel they are in the box seat ahead of next week’s second leg in Frankfurt.
- The Eagles have now scored two or more goals in all but one of their last 18 European fixtures.
- UEFA Cup winners in 1980, Eintracht have lost just one of their last 12 European games on the road (W6 D5).
- Hinteregger scored his first goal for Frankfurt. He’d previously scored two for parent club Augsburg earlier this season.
- These two teams faced each other in the first round of the 1980/81 UEFA Cup. Eintracht lost the first leg 1-0 in Donetsk but won 3-0 on home soil to reach the next stage.
- Frankfurt boss Adi Hütter was in charge of the Young Boys side that beat Shakhtar on penalties in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
- The Ukranian club's only home win over German opposition game against Berliner Dynamo in 1976. Since then they've lost to Borussia Dortmund and drawn the last seven, including against Hoffenheim earlier this season.
Shakhtar: Pyatov – Butko, Kryvtsov, Khocholava, Ismaily - Patrick, Stepanenko - Marlos (Solomon 69'), Kovalenko (Malyshev 81'), Taison (c) - Junior Moraes (Bolbat 90')
Unused subs: Trubin, Kayode, Matviyenko, Maycon
Coach: Paulo Fonseca
Frankfurt: Trapp – Da Costa, Hinteregger, Hasebe, N’Dicka - Gacinovic, Rode (Willems 46'), Fernandes (c) (De Guzman 82'), Kostic - Rebic, Jovic
Unused subs: Rönnow, Falette, Haller, Russ, Paciencia
Absentees: Abraham (calf), Chandler (knee), Stendera (illness), Torro (pelvis), Traore (ineligible)
Coach: Adi Hütter
As it happened!
Eintracht have a late onslaught but it ends all-square in Kharkiv!
90' DA COSTA!
The Frankfurt's full-back almost wins it for the visitors as he comes around the back to get into a cross, but he somehow puts it wide of the far post as we enter four minutes of added time.
85' YELLOW FOR GACINOVIC
The midfielder is booked for a challenge on Taison.
82' DE GUZMAN ON
Frankfurt captain Gelson Fernandes is replaced by Jonathan de Guzman.
Almost a second goal of the night for Martin Hinteregger at that corner, but he gets too little on his header and glances it wide.
77' DEFLECTED WIDE
Rebic rolls the ball behind him from the free-kick to the left foot of Jetro Willems, whose effort is deflected behind for a corner.
76' KRYVSTOV BOOKED
The Shakhtar defender comes in very late on Gacinovic and is rightly shown a yellow card. Frankfurt with a free-kick around 25 yards out...
75' FRANKFURT COUNTER!
Just second after Shakhtar had threatened to go ahead for the first time tonight, Eintracht are racing up the other end through Rebic. The World Cup runner-up picks out teammate Jovic to his right, but the Serbian blazes over.
69' ATTACKING CHANGE
Paulo Fonseca decides to freshen things up in attack for his team, handing a debut to Israeli winger Manor Solomon in place of Marlos, who scored the hosts' first goal.
67' TAISON EQUALISES
Well this is a bit of a shock for Frankfurt. A pass from Junior Moraes splits open the Eagles' defence and captain Taison curls the ball beyond Trapp into the far corner and the hosts are level.
62' SAVE TRAPP!
A gentle reminder from the home side that they are in fact still in this game. Left-back Ismaily leaves a couple of Frankfurt defenders standing as he slaloms through before getting off a shot from close range, but Kevin Trapp makes himself big and gets a strong left hand to the effort to deny the Brazilian.
This time it's Luka Jovic's turn to try and extend the Frankfurt lead. The striker is completely unmarked inside the box as a cross comes in from deep on the left. He gets plenty of power behind the header but puts it wide.
Sergii Kryvtsov is penalised for a foul on Rebic around 20 yards from goal. The Croatia international picks himself up to take the free-kick himself and forces a reaction save out of Pyatov high to his left.
53' KOSTIC AGAIN!
Shakhtar defenders will be seeing Filip Kostic in their nightmares tonight. He comes inches away from getting his second of the evening as Willems plays a clever corner low to the edge of the box and the Serbia international lets fly. The shot takes a slight deflection and trickles inches wide of Pyatov's right-hand post.
50' GOAL! KOSTIC!
Almost a carbon copy of that previous attack, this time Kostic makes no mistake to tap home Jovic's cross from the right and restore Frankfurt's lead with his third Europa League goal of the campaign. An Eintracht goal very much made in Serbia.
Eintracht were quick out the blocks in the first half and are even quicker after the break. Jovic races past his man on the right and stands a ball up to the far post, where Filip Kostic comes in to meet the volley but doesn't quite get it right and rather drags the ball across goal to be cleared.
Despite Shakhtar being the side down to 10 men, it's Adi Hütter who opts for a change at the break with Jetro Willems replacing Sebastian Rode for Frankfurt as we get the second 45 minutes going in Kharkiv. It looks like being a straight swap in the centre of midfield.
An excellent first half from Eintracht, spoiled only by the early penalty to cancel out Martin Hinteregger's earlier opener. They've been playing with an extra man since the 11th minute and it's shown by the Bundesliga side's dominance.
Alan Patrick is dispossessed in midfield and Mijat Gacinovic has the chance to let fly from 20 yards, but Pyatov gets a hand to the ball to parry over the bar. Adi Hütter looks pleased with what he's seen so far from his charges.
33' ALL FRANKFURT
You can't really say the game has settled down because tempers are still high out in the freezing temperatures, but it's the Bundesliga side who are looking the most likely so far with six efforts on goal and just over half the possession. Shout out to the travelling Frankfurt fans as well, they're making most of the noise inside the Metalist Stadium.
You'd almost put your house on Luka Jovic scoring here! Frankfurt break and Gacinovic slips the ball through to his compatriot, who cuts inside onto his left but curls the ball over the bar from 15 yards!
19' FERNANDES INTO THE BOOK
The Eintracht captain has his name taken after a mistimed tackle on Junior Moraes.
11' STEPANENKO SENT OFF!
It's all happening in Kharkiv! Two goals and now a red card for Shakhtar's Taras Stepanenko. Just minutes after taking down Rebic, the midfielder slides in late on Rode and is shown his second yellow of the game.
10' GOAL! MARLOS (PEN)
Well that didn't last long for Eintracht as Evan N'Dicka concedes a penalty for a foul on Junior Moraes after Kevin Trapp parried an effort and referee Taylor points to the spot. Trapp gets a hand to the penalty down to his left but the ball just sneaks in from Marlos.
7' GOAL! HINTEREGGER
Perfect start for Eintracht as Rode hangs the ball up to the far post and Martin Hinteregger heads the ball down into the ground. Goalkeeper Pyatov basically has the ball in his hands and somehow manages to spill it over the line. Hinteregger's first goal for the club since joining on loan from Augsburg on deadline day.
6' YELLOW FOR STEPANENKO
The Shakhtar is way too slow to catch Ante Rebic so hacks him down and is booked.
5' FRANKFURT PUSHING FORWARD
It's the Bundesliga club who've started this game on the front foot, this time with right-back Danny da Costa bombing forward and looking for a teammate in the centre, but his dangerous ball is cut out.
After a minute's applause to remember former Nantes forward Emiliano Sala, referee Anthony Taylor gets the game underway in Ukraine.
The teams are enjoying their final moments in the warmth of the changing rooms at the Metalist Stadium. They're about to head out onto the pitch...
A BIT NIPPY
Some interesting scheduling from UEFA to put this match so late in the evening. It's approaching 10pm in Kharkiv, where Shakhtar Donetsk currently play their home games, and it’s a chilly -4 degrees. For Frankfurt’s Sebastian Rode, though, that’s nothing. He faced the Ukrainian club with Bayern in the 2015 Champions League and according to him: “It was even colder then.” We’re expecting short sleeves from the Eintracht midfielder today, then.
It’s just the single change by Adi Hütter to the team that drew 0-0 at Leipzig on Saturday. Perhaps surprisingly Sebastien Haller is the man to drop to the bench – the first time the Frenchman hasn’t started a Frankfurt game since 28 October at Frankfurt. He did though come off the bench that day to score the equaliser in Nuremberg. He’s replace in the team today by midfielder Mijat Gacinovic, leaving Ante Rebic and Luka Jovic as the two forwards.
FRANKFURT'S ROAD TO THE LAST 32
Eintracht bestrode the Europa League group stage like a Colossus, winning all six of their games to finish comfortably top of Group H, nine points clear of Lazio. The Eagles scored 17 goals and conceded just five as they swept into the knockout stage, with Luka Jovic their top scorer (5) ahead of Sebastien Haller (3). Shakhtar dropped in from the UEFA Champions League after finishing third behind Manchester City and Lyon in Group F.
MD1: Marseille 1-2 Frankfurt
MD2: Frankfurt 4-1 Lazio
MD3: Frankfurt 2-0 Apollon
MD4: Apollon 2-3 Frankfurt
MD5: Frankfurt 4-0 Marseille
MD6: Lazio 1-2 Frankfurt
HÜTTER: 'SHAKHTAR A BIT LIKE DORTMUND AND BAYERN'
Eagles coach Adi Hütter had warm words for tonight's opponents Shakhtar Donetsk in his pre-game press conference, declaring that the Ukrainian league leaders were "better than Lazio and Marseille", Frankfurt's group-stage opponents.
"They're a top team," the Austrian said. "We'll need to be disciplined and well-prepared tactically - when we lose possession we need to make sure we get back behind the ball quickly. They're a bit like Borussia Dortmund and a bit like Bayern Munich. They'd be up near the top if they played in the Bundesliga."
Welcome along to our live blog for this evening's Europa League clash between Shakhtar and Frankfurt. After a run of three consecutive draws in the Bundesliga, the Eagles are determined to soar again as they visit the Ukrainian champions. Kick-off is scheduled for 9pm CET, but if you can't wait that long for your Valentine's Day football fix, head over to our Krasnodar-Leverkusen blog - that one starts at 6.55pm.