Alexander Meier set a personal best with his eleventh Bundesliga goal of the season against Wolfsburg
Alexander Meier set a personal best with his eleventh Bundesliga goal of the season against Wolfsburg

Eagles, Mainz and Fortuna soar, but no change at the bottom

Munich - There were wins for Eintracht Frankfurt, 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Fortuna Düsseldorf, but bottom two Greuther Fürth and FC Augsburg had to settle for a point in the battle of the Bavarian cellar dwellars on Saturday.

VfL Wolfsburg 0-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht rounded off a marvellous first half of the campaign with a ninth win to ensure they will hibernate in a qualifying spot for the UEFA Champions League at the very least over the winter break.

Hosts Wolfsburg had the game's first real opportunity squandered by Bas Dost, but Frankfurt striker Alexander Meier faired much better three minutes later, nodding in Pirmin Schwegler's cross to mark his eleventh goal this season. The Wolves were reduced to ten men shortly after following Josue's red card, and things turned from bad to worse when Takashi Inui doubled Eintracht's lead, finishing from a fine cushioned pass from Stefan Aigner.

Wolves lack bite

The home side emerged for the second period reinvigorated, throwing bodies forward in search of a goal but lacking creativity in the final third against their now deep-lying guests. Jan Polak twice tried his luck from distance, before Dost directed a powerful header off target.

Playmaker Diego went close with a free kick as the game petered out towards the end, while Meier had one of Frankfurt's rare second-half attempts blocked as the visitors coasted to victory.

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Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-1 Hannover 96

Fortuna's direct approach paid off on home turf as goals from Dani Schahin and Ken Ilsö earned the promoted side a handy three points against Hannover 96.

Ilsö warmed the palms of Ron-Robert Zieler just five minutes in, but a pair of uncharacteristically errant back passes almost gifted Hannover's Mame Diouf the opener. However, it was Schahin's towering header that broke the deadlock, the striker's first Bundesliga goal since Matchday 6 and his fifth of the season.

Emphatic finishes

Hannover have conceded more goals (eleven) from balls into the box than any other side in the Bundesliga, but it was a tactic that almost got them back on level terms, with Giefer only just beating Ya Konan to Konstantin Rausch's looping cross.

The Reds had offered little of note as an attacking unit, but when it came, Diouf took his chance with aplomb, killing Manuel Schmiedebach's pass on the chest and rifling home his second goal in as many games. A similarly emphatic strike saw Fortuna restore their lead, though, as Ilsö smashed home a stunning free-kick to secure a welcome victory.

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1. FSV Mainz 05 3-1 VfB Stuttgart

Mainz 05 leapfrogged Stuttgart to move into the European places with an ultimately comprehensive home victory against a tired-looking Stuttgart.

The visitors could have gone into the winter break in third with a win, but Mainz had designs of their own on a place in the top seven and duly carved out several early opportunities. Their dominance almost paid dividends after eleven minutes, but Sven Ulreich brilliantly palmed away Nicolai Müller's attempt from an acute angle. Stuttgart might have taken the lead themselves when Martin Harnik's pass released Vedad Ibisevic moving past the half-hour mark, only for Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Müller to make the save.

Müller brace

Shortly after the restart the Swabians caught Mainz cold when Müller turned Harnik's back post header into his own net, but parity was restored in the 55th minute when his namesake Nicolai was on target from close range.

As the second period matured the home team upped the ante, with Adam Szalai missing several good opportunities before Müller struck another, finishing a neat move for his fourth goal of campaign. In injury time, Colombian Elkin Soto sealed a deserved victory by coolly slotting in from the edge of the six-yard box.

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Greuther Fürth 1-1 FC Augsburg

Relegation candidates Fürth and Augsburg each ended the game a man light but will be far more concerned by a point apiece which barely helps either at the foot of the table.

Marooned in the relegation zone with just a single win to their name all season, Augsburg made the first move at the Trolli Arena as Sascha Mölders headed in Tobias Werner's free-kick for his fourth Bundesliga goal of the campaign. Fürth's Edgar Prib tried his luck from range moments later, but it wasn't until the 44th minute that the Clover Leaves really got home hearts beating when Lasse Sobiech's goalbound header was brilliantly clawed to safety by Augsburg stopper Mohamed Amsif.

Red mist

The hosts came out firing in the second half, eventually drawing level in the 69th minute. Zoltan Stieber's bullet header rattled the bar after Amsif flapped at a free kick and Sobiech did the rest, making his second chance of the afternoon count from close range.

A second yellow card for Fürth's Mergim Mavraj ensured a nail-biting finale, but a straight red to Augsburg's Giovanni Sio evened things up as both sides were forced to settle for a rather unsatisfactory draw.

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