Frankfurt/Main – Eintracht Frankfurt earned three big points towards another season in the Bundesliga, beating UEFA Europa League aspirants Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 at home on Matchday 27.
Joselu on a roll
Joselu's 16th-minute goal was all that separated the sides come the final whistle, with the win lifting Armin Veh's men to eleventh in the table on 32 points, eight clear of the relegation play-off place.
After a somewhat nervy opening by both sides, Tranquillo Barnetta drilled a first warning shot over the Gladbach bar on 13 minutes and not long after that, the hosts' aggressive early pressing paid dividends. Martin Lanig headed a throw-in on to Stefan Aigner and his angled through-ball freed up Joselu, who left Martin Stranzl floundering in his wake before coolly clipping his finish over Marc-Andre ter Stegen to break the deadlock with his fourth goal in three games.
Gladbach's first chance of note was carved out by Patrick Herrmann, who set up Max Kruse for a shot on the turn which home keeper Kevin Trapp managed to push over the bar. That opportunity apart though, it was Eintracht looking the snappier for the most part and they almost went two up on 37 minutes, Barnetta and Aigner playing a one-two down the right before the latter teed up Joselu for a close-range finish that slipped inches wide of the post.
Chances at either end
A somewhat scrappy start to the second half was interrupted when a swift Gladbach counter-attack involving some fine interplay between Raffael and Max Kruse ended with the latter zipping a shot from the left past home keeper Kevin Trapp but, luckily for Eintracht, just past the far post as well. Otherwise, it was Armin Veh's side who continued to look the more threatening and ter Stegen kept Gladbach in the contest with a fine relfex save from Lanig's effort with 18 minutes to go.
Favre's Foals geared themselves up for a late assault, throwing caution increasingly to the wind as the clock ticked down, but on the night the necessary finesse was simply not there as Eintracht maintained their aggressive pressing game through to the finish to claim three very valuable points.
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