Eintracht Frankfurt leapfrogged Borussia Mönchengladbach into second place in the Bundesliga thanks to a 2-0 win over their top-four rivals at the Commerzbank-Arena on Friday night.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Boateng (43'), 2-0 Jovic (90+2')
The hosts had the first opportunity of the game after just six minutes when Ante Rebic teed up Marius Wolf, but he screwed his shot just inches wide of the left-hand post. Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer was not called upon on that occasion, and his game ended shortly after with an injury forcing him to be replaced by Tobias Sippel. The new number one was not busied much, although he could thank the diligent work of Jannik Vestergaard and Christoph Kramer for thwarting several promising Frankfurt attacks. When Timothy Chandler did get in around the back of the Gladbach defence, however, his low cross was turned in from close range by Kevin-Prince Boateng, who broke the deadlock with his fourth goal of the season.
There was more of a spring in the Foals' step at the start of the second half with Mickael Cuisance causing a nuisance before shooting straight at Lukas Hradecky. Patrick Herrmann shaved an inch off the top of the crossbar with the guests' next chance before Lars Stindl saw an effort deflected behind. Gladbach were getting closer and they could have levelled when Stindl's foot was obstructed by Boateng as he prepared to shoot, but Thorgan Hazard – making his 100th Bundesliga appearance for the Foals – sent the resultant penalty onto the crossbar. It was a blow Gladbach did not recover from and Luka Jovic made sure of the points with a stoppage-time strike – his third in as many games - drilled low into the far corner of Sippel's goal.
- With this win, Frankfurt have made their best start to the second half of a season in 28 years; last season, the Eagles were the worst side in the Rückrunde.Thorgan Hazard made his 100th Bundesliga appearance for Gladbach, missing their first penalty of the season – after five converted – and his first miss from the spot after four successful strikes.Frankfurt conceded a penalty for the 250th time in their history, albeit the first against them this season – meaning all Bundesliga clubs have now given away at least one spot-kick this term.English defender Mandela Egbo was named in Gladbach's matchday squad for the first time; the 20-year-old has played 48 times for the club's reserves since joining from Crystal Palace in 2015.Raffael missed only his second game of the season; he was on the bench for the 3-1 win in Hoffenheim on Matchday 10.Frankfurt have only suffered five defeats this season, fewer than RB Leipzig (six) and Gladbach (six). All five of those defeats have come by a one-goal margin.Statistically, Kovac is the best Frankfurt coach in the last 15 years.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Hradecky – Falette, Hasebe (c), Salcedo – Wolf, Boateng, Mascarell, Chandler – Rebic (Barkok 61'), Gacinovic (Fernandes 85') – Haller (Jovic 82')
Unused Subs: Zimmermann, Willems, da Costa, Hrgota
Absentees: Abraham (calf), Russ (heel), Fabian (rehabilitation) Besuschkow (cold), de Guzman (shoulder), Meier (ankle), Mandela (knee ligaments)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Gladbach: Sommer (Sippel 17') - Elvedi, Ginter, Vestergaard, Wendt (Jantschke 46') - Herrmann, Kramer (Hofmann 74'), Zakaria, Cuisance, Hazard - Stindl (c)
Unused Subs: Egbo, Drmic, Grifo, Mayer
Absentees: Doucoure (thigh), Strobl (knee ligaments), Traore (thigh), Benes (broken foot), Johnson (back), Bobadilla (pelvis), Raffael (calf)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Watch: Kevin-Prince Boateng on Frankfurt's high-flying formula