Eintracht Frankfurt maintained their push for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga with a deserved 1-0 victory over Hannover at the Commerzbank-Arena.
Frankfurt 1-0 Hannover
Goals: 1-0 da Costa (39’)
Eager to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Stuttgart, the Eagles dominated the early stages and could have been 3-0 up inside the opening quarter of an hour. Ante Rebic fired straight at Philipp Tschauner from a central position, before Danny da Costa glanced a header just wide after getting on the end of Jonathan de Guzman’s inswinging corner. Rebic was denied again by a superb one-handed save by Tschauner moments later, but Frankfurt’s pressure finally told six minutes before the interval when da Costa headed home his first Bundesliga goal.
There was no change in the pattern of play after half-time, with de Guzman almost extending Eintracht’s lead within minutes of the restart following a neat one-two with Sebastien Haller. Hannover thought they had been given a lifeline when referee Marco Fritz awarded a penalty following da Costa’s challenge on Miiko Albornoz, only for Fritz to retract the spot-kick after consulting the VAR in Cologne. Rebic and Haller spurned golden opportunities to put the game out of the visitors’ reach but Eintracht held on comfortably, cementing their place in the UEFA Champions League places courtesy of a fourth consecutive home victory.
- Da Costa opened his Bundesliga account with his 12th attempt at goal.Frankfurt have yet to lose this season after taking the lead (12W, 4D).The Eagles have now won their last four top-flight games at the Commerzbank Arena - the first time they have done so in 18 years.Hannover’s Oliver Sorg won 82 per cent of his attempted challenges - more than any other player on the pitch.The Reds could have lost by an even greater margin had it not been for Tschauner, who made six saves over the course of the 90 minutes.
Frankfurt: Hradecky – Abraham (c), Hasebe, Falette (Russ 46’) – Da Costa, Fernandes, De Guzman, Chandler – Wolf – Haller (Boateng 83’), Rebic (Gacinovic 89’)
Unused subs: Zimmermann, Jovic, Fabian, Stendera
Absentees: Mandela (knee), Meier (ankle), Willems (personal leave), Mascarell (foot)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Hannover: Tschauner (c) – Anton, Felipe, Sorg (Jonathas 75’) – Korb, Schwegler, Fossum, Ostrzolek (Albornoz 46’) – Bakalorz (Bebou 67’), Füllkrug, Harnik
Unused subs: Sündermann, Elez, Schmiedebach, Hübner
Absentees: Prib (knee ligament), Sane (one-match ban), Klaus (groin)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter