Benedikt Höwedes' (3rd l.) 86th minute strike denied Frankfurt all three points in a 3-3 draw with Schalke
Benedikt Höwedes' (3rd l.) 86th minute strike denied Frankfurt all three points in a 3-3 draw with Schalke

Spoils shared in Frankfurt’s six-goal thriller

Frankfurt - Eintracht Frankfurt failed to collect their first win on home soil this season despite overturning a two-goal deficit, as they were forced to settle for point in a 3-3 draw against FC Schalke 04.

Efficiency tops energy

The hosts suffered an early set-back as Johannes Flum’s own goal was quickly followed by Joel Matip’s second goal of the current campaign, handing the Royal Blues a commanding lead at the break. However, the Eagles took flight in the second half when Flum reduced the arrears before Joselu bagged a brace, only for Benedikt Höwedes’ late equaliser to prevent Frankfurt from registering a first win in eight games.

The two-week hiatus looked to have done Frankfurt a world of good as they sought to take an early lead and, spurred on by the vocal home fans, were quickest out of the blocks. Joselu, making his first appearance in the Eagles’ starting XI since Matchday 1, was the first to go close to an opener, heading just over from a corner before Martin Lanig dragged an effort wide at the back post following an incisive passing move.

However, after failing to reap the rewards of their early exploits, Eintracht fell behind well and truly against the run of play. Despite Jefferson Farfan lying prone on the halfway line, Schalke threw bodies forward only to see Atsuto Uchida’s cross headed unwittingly off the underside of the bar and into his own net by Flum. With their hosts shell shocked, the Royal Blues pressed their advantage by clinching a quick fire double as Matip planted a header into the bottom corner from Dennis Aogo’s free-kick.

Frankfurt fightback

With proceedings being played at a frantic pace and emotions threatening to boil over, both sides were conceding possession with alarming regularity. Frankfurt continued to look the better of the two, but were pressing high up the pitch, leaving gaps in behind which Max Meyer, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler were keen to exploit with the latter firing straight at Kevin Trapp in a one-on-one situation.

The Eagles refused to let their heads drop though and, having come within a lick of paint to reducing the arrears shortly before the break when Flum’s effort from 20 yards came back off the far post, emerged from the changing rooms with renewed vigour. It took the hosts just over ten minutes to rekindle the hope of a comeback as Flum found the net at the right end, looping a close range header over Hildebrand, who was caught in no-man’s-land.

Comeback futile

The hosts began sitting deeper in an attempt to create chances on the counter and with momentum on their side Frankfurt thought they had leveled the scores when Flum tapped the ball into an empty net after Joselu’s initial effort had cannoned back off the woodwork. However, though the linesman’s flag denied them on that occasion, there was nothing wrong with their eventual equaliser as Joselu grabbed his first goal of the season, producing a sublime header from Sebastian Jung’s cross.

Seven minutes later and the Spanish striker struck once again, picking up the ball at the end of a fast-paced forward thrust before cutting inside his marker and beating Hildebrand all ends up with a left-footed effort that crept just inside the far post. Schalke were making hard work of breaking down Frankfurt’s disciplined backline, but found a way through late on as the ball squirmed into the path of Höwedes following Farfan’s mazy run allowing the defender to poke home, denying the Eagles their first home win of the season.

Line-ups and statistics

James Thorogood