Alexander Meier grabbed the headlines with a brace to take his goal tally for the season to ten and become the Bundesliga’s out-and-out leading scorer this season. Theodor Gebre Selassie briefly gave the visitors hope with an equaliser just before half time, but a second-half goal spree, with efforts from Haris Seferovic, Meier, Stefan Aigner and Marc Stendera put the result beyond all doubt, rendering Luca Caldirola’s effort nothing more than a consolation.
Much of the pre-match build up to this encounter centred on the master versus apprentice theme of veteran Frankfurt coach Thomas Schaaf facing his former pupil Viktor Skripnik, now in charge of Bremen. Indeed, it seemed the latter had been taught well as there were certain similarities evident early on, with both teams eager to get forward whenever they recovered possession, while throwing themselves whole-heartedly into the midfield battle.
Yet for all the energy and commitment on display there was little end product from either team. Takashi Inui threatened occasionally from the left, with his nimble-footedness causing the visitors some problems, but Meier’s tame free-kick from the edge of the area was the best of the chances in the opening period. Bremen were solid enough at the back and had a couple of promising moves on the counter-attack, but their efforts invariably broke down due to a poor final ball.
Meier on target
As half-time approached the hosts increased the pressure and a goal was on the cards after Inui headed Timothy Chandler’s superb right-wing cross against the post. Frankfurt struck the woodwork shortly afterwards when Stendera’s shot came back off the left-hand upright, but Meier was well-position to tuck in the rebound from close-range.
The hosts appeared to be on the way to a deserved half-time lead, only to squander their advantage with some sloppy defending just before the break. There appeared to be relatively little danger when Bremen were awarded a corner, but the Eagles left Gebre Selassie completely unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box and the defender headed in the equaliser.
Out of reach
Frankfurt re-emerged from the tunnel the stronger of the two sides and immediately set about the task of retaking the lead. The home fans did not have to wait long, as just seven minutes into the second period Seferovic had made it 2-1. The Swiss striker could not quite connect to Inui’s left-wing cross, but when Bremen custodian Raphael Wolf failed to collect it under his challenge, 22-year-old Seferovic bundled the ball over the line with his knee while on all fours.
Wolf subsequently had to be substituted off and sensing that such a double-blow had knocked Bremen off their stride, Frankfurt sought to press home their advantage. Meier tapped in to make it 3-1 after Aigner hit the post, before the latter then got his name on the scoresheet following an error in the Bremen defence, beginning a goal-filled four-minute spell. Caldirola’s well-taken finish gave Bremen another brief flicker of hope, but Stendera extinguished it once and for all with a superb strike from the edge of the area to leave Bremen, and Skripnik, with another lesson to learn.
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