Frankfurt - Eintracht Frankfurt prevailed 3-2 over 1. FC Köln in a thrilling Saturday evening encounter at the Commerzbank Arena.
Marcel Risse rewarded Köln’s early pressure with the opening goal, only for Alex Meier’s first-ever headed double either side of half-time to put the visitors on the back foot. Jonas Hector then crowned a superb individual performance with Köln’s equaliser, before Kevin Wimmer’s own goal with ten minutes remaining handed the points to Frankfurt.
In an effort to rectify the fact that his side had only hit the net twice away from home all season, Köln coach Peter Stöger paired Simon Zoller and Yuya Osako together up front. The duo were busy in the opening exchanges, linking up tidily with Risse and working hard to get in behind Frankfurt’s high defensive line.
Indeed, just ten minutes in, Zoller spurned a one-on-one with Frankfurt reserve keeper Felix Wiedwald while four minutes later, Osako broke through and had the ball in the net, only to see the linesman’s flag up for offside. After 16 minutes, however, the visitors’ pressure told as Risse provided a cool finish to a sweeping counter attack to score Köln’s first goal on the road for 431 minutes.
Having got their goal, the Billy Goats were content to invite their hosts onto them, which proved a dangerous ploy despite Hector’s excellence on the left of the back four. He cleared a Takashi Inui strike off the line as Thomas Schaaf’s men racked up 12 unanswered shots before the break. Eintracht's pressure finally paid dividends when Haris Seferovic found space on the right and crossed brilliantly with the outside of his foot for Alex Meier, who made no mistake with a close-range header for his third goal of the season.
The home side remained in the driving seat in the opening stages of the second half, with the aforementioned pair ensuring the turnaround was complete in the 54th minute. Seferovic was again left in acres of space and sent an angled ball towards the penalty spot. Meier stole a march on Dominic Maroh and stooped low to head past a helpless Timo Horn in the visitors' goal.
A tragic end
Never before under Stöger had Köln conceded twice in consecutive games, but their reaction was first-class. After soaking up some pressure caused by Seferovic, in the 65th minute they again exposed Frankfurt's dangerously high defensive line. Hector broke through easily and found himself one-on-one with Wiedwald, coolly dinking the equaliser over the goalkeeper.
Their joy was short-lived, however. The guests’ heroic defensive rearguard in the second-half came under increasing pressure as the game wore on, with Meier, Seferovic and Inui all denied by Horn, before Wimmer’s attempted clearing header squirmed past the 21-year-old at his near post. Substitute Anthony Ujah then spurned a late chance to level things for Köln, but Eintracht held on to make it two wins from two.
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