Eintracht Frankfurt enjoyed a dream return to the European stage on Thursday, earning a 2-1 win away to last season's UEFA Europa League runners-up Olympique Marseille in Group H.
Olympique Marseille 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 0-1 Ocampos (3'), 1-1 Torro (52'), 1-2 Jovic (89')
Such an outcome appeared unlikely early on as the Eagles got off to the worst possible start at an empty Stade Velodrome – the match being played behind closed doors as a punishment for the hosts following fan trouble last season - and conceded in the third minute when Lucas Ocampos beat Danny da Costa to a cross from the right to flick past Kevin Trapp. Adi Hütter's troops struggled to find their rhythm before the break and were fortunate to return to the changing room only a goal down.
Nicolai Müller's introduction at interval brought some much-needed drive to the visitors' attacks and his energy rubbed off on his team-mates, with summer signing Lucas Torro getting ahead of his marker to head in the equaliser from a corner in the 52nd minute. Matters took a turn for the worse moments later for Frankfurt when Jetro Willems was sent off for a second bookable offence, but the visitors still managed to pull off what could prove to be a vital victory when substitute Luka Jovic rifled in from close range in the last minute to hand them all three points.
They might have to pay for extra luggage... 🛄— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) 20 September 2018
Frankfurt are bringing 3️⃣ points back from Marseille 👊 pic.twitter.com/9x3eIQ6eGN
- Trapp is on loan at Eintracht from Paris Saint-Germain. He's now won all five of his appearances against Marseille.
- The Eagles' last European jaunt was in the 2013/14 Europa League, when they were knocked out by Porto in the last 32.
- Eintracht won three of their five away games in 2013/14 and have now lost just one of their last nine away matches in Europe.
- Frankfurt won their opening game of the 2013/14 campaign 1-0 away at another French side, Bordeaux, thanks to a Martin Lanig goal.
- Eintracht reached the final of the 1960 European Cup before winning their only major continental honour with the 1980 UEFA Cup - the year all four semi-finalists were Bundesliga clubs.
- Marseille lost last season's Europa League final 3-0 to Atletico Madrid.
Marseille: Pele – Sarr, Rami (Gustavo 7'), Caleta-Car, Kamara - Lopez, Strootman – Thauvin (Mitroglou,84'), Payet (c), Ocampos (Radonjic 72') – Germain
Unused substitutes: Amavi, Escales, Radonjic, Sakai, Sanson
Absentees: Mandanda (muscle), Rolando (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Rudi Garcia
Frankfurt: Trapp - da Costa, Abraham (c), N'Dicka, Willems – Torro, de Guzman (Falette 62'), Hasebe – Gacinovic (Müller 46'), Kostic – Haller (Jovic 75')
Unused substitutes: Zimmermann, Fernandes, Russ, Beyreuther
Absentees: Chandler (knee), Salcedo (ankle), Rönnow (knee), Tawatha, Geraldes (both back), Paciencia (meniscus tear), Fabian (not in squad)
Coach: Adi Hütter