Munich - After suffering defeats to last season’s top two on Matchday 13 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Hannover 96 returned to winnings ways with comfortable two-goal victories. Eintracht Frankfurt and Greuther Fürth played the role of victims in the respective matches as their opponents climbed the rankings to stay within touching distance of the European qualification places.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 1. FSV Mainz 05
Chances were few and far between during the opening exchanges of the Rhine-Main Derby in Frankfurt, with both sides guilty of a lack of ideas in the final third. It was Mainz who grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck, though, as first Andreas Ivanschitz and then Shawn Parker went close to breaking the deadlock before the two combined to put the visitors in front. Parker beat his man for pace to pull the ball back into the danger area, where Austrian international Ivanschitz was on hand to sweep home past a stranded Kevin Trapp.
Eintracht sought a response, but with their final ball lacking in precision and Mainz holding a disciplined line at the back, the high-fliers' attacking movements were continually rebuffed. Thomas Tuchel's side made no mistake in capitalising on the opportunity as they doubled their lead when Parker, making his debut in the starting XI, tucked home Eugen Polanski's through-ball to land a sucker punch just before half-time.
Mainz show mettle
Mainz were having their way with Frankfurt and there was little change after the break as the visitors attempted to kill off the game. Trapp got just enough on Parker's early effort to tip it onto the bar, but the Eagles' second-half resistance didn't last long as Nikolce Noveski rose highest from a corner to power a header past the bodies on the line.
The host were, however, handed a lifeline soon after when Mainz's top goalscorer Adam Szalai got his clearance all wrong and put through his own net, yet they struggled to make the most of a potential shift in momentum. Christian Wetklo was on hand to prevent both Stefan Aigner and Sebastian Rode pulling Frankfurt within a goal of levelling the scores and from there, Mainz began to close up shop. Julian Baumgartlinger's second bookable offence saw the visitors reduced to ten-men late on, but it didn't change the result as Frankfurt suffered their first home defeat of the campaign.
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Hannover 96 2-0 Greuther Fürth
Both sides got out of the blocks quickly, but after Edgar Prib had forced Ron-Robert Zieler into the first save of the match it was the home side that got the ball rolling by opening the scoring. Max Grün failed to hold onto Didier Ya Konan's stinging drive, spilling the ball into the path of the grateful Mame Biram Diouf, who poked home his fourth goal of the season at the back post. The early opener helped Hannover settle into their stride as they held Fürth at arm's length, carving out chances of their own at the other end.
Sergio Pinto fizzed an effort across goal after Diouf had held-up the ball admirably, but with the play often getting caught in the midfield battle, the pace of the game slowed to suit Hannover's situation. Gerald Asamoah should have levelled the scores after Mario Eggimann's slip presented him with a clear run at goal, yet the former Germany international couldn't guide the ball beyond the onrushing Zieler.
Reds rarely troubled
Diouf should have added a second within minutes of the restart, but after Grün saved his initial effort, the Senegalese striker hit the bar with a follow-up header before failing to make contact with an improvised acrobatic effort at the third attempt. Chances remained at a premium, but Greuther hadn't given up hope of pulling themselves level as Zieler was forced to produce a top save to deny Zoltan Stieber.
The Reds continued to look the more likely to score, with Eggimann heading just wide before Diouf had an effort correctly ruled out for offside. A second goal was forthcoming with just over 20 minutes remaining, however. Schlaudraff was again the provider as his corner found Eggimann at the back post, who made up for his earlier miss by heading past Grün to ease the pressure on the hosts. The two-goal lead allowed Hannover to take the sting out of the game, denying Fürth the space to threaten and ensuring a return to winning ways for Mirko Slomka's side.
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