Eintracht Frankfurt gave another demonstration of their new-found resilience this season with a 1-0 victory at home to 1. FC Köln on Saturday evening.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 1. FC Köln
Goals: 1-0 Gacinovic (5')
Given that last season's meetings between these sides averaged six goals per game it was perhaps unsurprising that the deadlock was broken as early as the fifth minute here. USMNT international Timothy Chandler scampered down the right wing, and his deflected cross was met at the near post by Mijat Gacinovic, who scored his maiden Bundesliga goal. Frankfurt were largely untroubled as the rest of the half remained goalless, with Köln lacking their usual drive going forward.
The visitors emerged for the second period determined to change that, and almost equalised within minutes of the restart when Yuya Osako glanced a header narrowly wide from Marco Höger's cross. However, Frankfurt gradually reasserted themselves and kept their visitors at arm's length, even if they struggled to forge any clear chances of their own. Ultimately, Gacinovic's header proved enough for the hosts to stay unbeaten at home with their third victory of the season at the Commerzbank Arena.
Man of the Match
Marco Fabian excelled for Frankfurt yet again. The Mexican drifted across the frontline, causing havoc with his movement and agility and one moment of skill, a spinning back-heeled one-two on the edge of the box, epitomised the 27-year-old's current levels of confidence.
The Eagles are fast becoming one of the toughest sides in the Bundesliga. This was a fourth straight game unbeaten and a third consecutive clean sheet. Coach Niko Kovac has his troops extremely well drilled and they have now taken points off FC Bayern München, Hertha Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in recent weeks.
- Alexander Meier returned to the Frankfurt starting line-up for the first time since Matchday 7.Gacinovic's only previous goal for Frankfurt was in the relegation play-off first leg against 1. FC Nürnberg last season.Köln conceded just their seventh league goal of the campaign.
Frankfurt: Hradecky – Abraham, Hasebe, Vallejo – Chandler, Mascarell, Huszti (Blum 88'), Oczipka – Fabian, Meier (c) (Seferovic 73'), Gacinovic (Hector 83')
Coach: Niko Kovac
Köln: Horn – Sörensen, Mavraj, Heintz, Hector – Risse, Höger, Lehmann (c) (Guirassy 70'), Rausch (Zoller 46') – Osako, Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger