Munich - Since being promoted back to the Bundesliga in 2012, Eintracht Frankfurt may have lost every game against FC Bayern München, but they had always put up a good fight.
Normal service in Munich
That was not the case for the Eagles on Matchday 19, however, as they left the Allianz Arena licking their wounds following 5-0 hiding from the rampant Reds. It was a far cry from the results and performances that Armin Veh’s men had delivered previously in this fixture.
In 2012/13, Frankfurt were on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat in Munich, while they have lost their last two league matches at home to the champions by a solitary goal. Fans will no doubt be disappointed with Frankfurt’s second-highest defeat of the season so far - they shipped six at Hertha Berlin in August - but defender Constant Djakpa was keen to keep matters in perspective when speaking exclusively to bundesliga.com after the final whistle. “We didn’t do much in the game, but it’s normal that Bayern beat teams convincingly here. It was a difficult day for us.”
After conceding the first goal to a sumptuous Mario Götze volley, Frankfurt were gradually pushed further and further back in the second half. They could easily have been picking themselves back up from an even heavier defeat had it not been for excellent displays from goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and his replacement Felix Wiedwald.
League takes precedence
Given their current league position, sitting just a point above the relegation zone, defeat was obviously a blow for the Eagles, but with the fixtures coming thick and fast in three competitions, there is no time to dwell on this result. In the coming weeks, Djakpa and Co. host Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Cup and face FC Porto away in the UEFA Europa League, while next on the calendar is a home clash against rock-bottom Eintracht Braunschweig.
Four DFB Cup triumphs and a legendary appearance against Real Madrid CF in the 1960 European Cup final vouch for Frankfurt's cup tradition, but Djakpa insists the league remains the priority. “We’re not thinking about the cups. We have Braunschweig next week. It will be a tough game and our position in the league isn't great. People assume Braunschweig will be easy, but it won’t.”
Feet on the ground
For now, the 27-year-old is content to be playing regularly following a 2012/13 campaign where he was only on the fringes of the first team. “I feel good at Frankfurt and I’m enjoying playing here. At the moment I’m first-choice left-back, but you never know what can happen. Tomorrow I could get injured and then it all changes.”
He certainly hasn’t looked out of his depth in the Eagles' starting XI, and if he can maintain his first-team berth, there remains an outside chance that the former Hannover 96 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen defender could receive a call-up to the Ivory Coast squad for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Not that the five-time international is entertaining such thoughts at present though: “Africa is going crazy about the World Cup, but that’s not something I’m thinking about. The only thing on my mind is playing for Frankfurt. I just need to concentrate on my job here."
Bernie Reeves reporting from the Allianz Arena