A comfortable win for Frankfurt
Three second-half goals, three points for Adi Hütter's men. They move to sixth in the table, for the time being, but Hannover remain deep in trouble in second-bottom, four points adrift of Augsburg in 15th.
90' + 2'
Kostic seals it
There is the third goal and it's Kostic that has it! He's run the home defence ragged all day and now has a goal to cap his performance, springing onto a long ball and lashing the ball past Esser into the back of the net.
90' + 1'
ゴール！0 : 3
Waiting for the whistle
The teams are going through the motions here. Hannover look spent in their efforts to pull one back and Frankfurt don't appear overly concerned with scoring a third goal.
Thomas Doll's side continue to toil without much reward. Matthias Ostrzolek cracks a low drive at goal but it's off target and the left-back punches the turf in frustration.
Esser to the rescue
Hannover are sinking here thanks to some more non-existent marking. Jovic simply waltzes all the way through and has a lot of goal to aim at, but Esser denies him with a strong hand.
Top of the pile
That goal takes Jovic two clear of Robert Lewandowski at the top of the scoring charts.
There is the second goal!
Goal number 15 of the season for Jovic! He's missed some good chances today but he buries this one, heading in Kostic's cross from ten yards. He was completely unmarked there and Frankfurt are looking good for three points.
ゴール！0 : 2
Close to a second!
And from that free-kick Frankfurt should double their lead! Rode swings in a free-kick and it's flicked on to the back post where Haller should score. Instead the Frenchman gets poor contact on it and nods wide. I think it may have also come off his shoulder.
Felipe in hard
He made one brilliant challenge in the first half but Felipe's card is marked now. He scythes down Kostic and that's a clear booking.
We said they had the quality at the top end of the pitch and Frankfurt have the lead. Jovic finds Rebic and the Croatian measures a neat finish into the far corner. The Eagles will be going fifth as things stand.
Danny da Costa
ゴール！0 : 1
Haraguchi with a free-kick....
....but it's a tame effort from the Japan international.
Weydandt with a snap shot
Hendrik Weydandt scored 15 league goals in Germany's fourth tier last season and he gets in behind here, forcing a decent stop from Trapp from a tight angle.
Round two, fight!
Defences on top
There goes the half-time whistle and we're goalless in Lower Saxony. It's been a little lacking in inspiration so far. Here's to hoping the intensity is taken up a notch in the second half. Back shortly!
Jovic keeps Esser busy
Shot comes in from the edge of the box from Jovic. It's not a great hit and Esser is untroubled. Minutes later the Serbian is played in again and gets a better shot away this time, but again the goalkeeper saves. Will we see the breakthrough before the interval?
Müller shoots wide
This is great work from the home side and they should test Trapp here! Pirmin Schwegler wins a challenge and Genki Haraguchi seizes the ball, delivering a great cross into the box. Waiting on the penalty spot is Müller, but he screws a volley wide against his parent club.
Both sides are indeed looking a little fatigued here. Hannover are finding some promising position but can't find the final ball, while Haller gets free at the other end but is thwarted by an excellent challenge from Felipe.
Bakalorz off target
The hosts are having difficulty testing Kevin Trapp in the Frankfurt goal. Marvin Bakalorz tries his luck from distance but miscues badly. Takuma Asano then runs at the defence but he's stopped by Martin Hinteregger. Nothing much happening for either side at present.
Frankfurt looking leggy?
The pace of the game has slowed somewhat in the last few minutes. Frankfurt put a lot into their 4-1 win against Shakhtar on Thursday - are they looking a little tired today? The playing surface is also somewhat cut up, which isn't helping.
Da Costa goes close
That being said, Frankfurt look the more likely to score here. Danny Da Costa climbs highest to meet Filip Kostic's corner and glances a header just wide.
Hannover competing well
They may be lacking in confidence after last week's poor showing against Hoffenheim, but this has been a decent start from the hosts, that chance for Jovic notwithstanding. Nicolai Müller makes a useful run down the right and crosses in, but it's cleared.
The away side are beginning to exert some control here. Sebastian Rode goes on a darting run through the middle and almost gets Sebastien Haller free. Then moments later, Haller chases a long ball and beats Esser to it, but his cross his headed behind for a corner with the home 'keeper in no-man's-land.
What a miss!
Barely minutes into the game and Frankfurt blow a huge chance to take the lead! Luka Jovic finds himself clean through and could pass to Ante Rebic, but opts to shoot himself. He tries the chip...but it's a tame effort and Michael Esser catches with ease.
Away we go!
And we're underway at the HDI Arena for the first of Matchday 23's Sunday games!
Eintracht have the fifth-best attack in this season's Bundesliga; Hannover have the second-worst defence (47 goals conceded).
Home comforts scarce
Hannover have the joint-worst home record in this season's Bundesliga, along with Augsburg (10 points from 11 matches).
Hütter taking nothing for granted
His counterpart Hütter insists that, while Frankfurt may be favourites on paper, they can’t make the mistake of thinking the game is already won. “There’s no team in the Bundesliga that you can just turn up and beat. But we have a good opportunity to gain some ground, with a lot of our rivals playing each other this weekend. I want us to take the good feeling from Thursday with us into this game.”
Doll wants defensive improvement
Hannover were beaten 3-0 at Hoffenheim last time out, and Doll is looking for improvement at the back. “We want to show a different side of ourselves in defence, and that’s been the focus of our week.”
Esser – Felipe, Anton (c), Wimmer, Ostrzolek - Müller, Bakalorz, Schwegler, Haraguchi - Asano, Weydandt
Trapp – Hinteregger, Toure, N'Dicka – da Costa, Hasebe (c), Rode, Kostic – Rebic – Haller, Jovic
Reds on the precipice
As for Hannover, they would probably take a draw against this free-scoring Frankfurt side. The hosts recorded a first win under new coach Thomas Doll on Matchday 21 against Nuremberg, but that remains their only victory in 11 matches. The rewards for three points today are obvious – they can go above Stuttgart into 16 th – but that’s easier said than done.
Wins instead of draws
Sebastien Haller and Co will be relishing that Inter tie no doubt, but first things first. The Bundesliga is back on the agenda and if Frankfurt are to be back in Europe next term, they need wins in the league, where four stalemates on the spin have somewhat checked their domestic momentum and left them in seventh before this game.
Europa League heroics
Speaking of Europe, what a week it’s been for Adi Hütter’s Frankfurt. Thrashing Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League, they were drawn against Inter in the last 16. It sure must be fun following Frankfurt this season.
From one extreme to another
Let’s start with a look at the Bundesliga table, shall we? The hosts are second-bottom with just 14 points and 20 goals scored all season, while Frankfurt have 34 points, have scored over twice as many goals as Hannover and are chasing a European finish. The Eagles are surely big favourites today.
Hello and welcome to bundesliga.com’s live text coverage of the first of Sunday’s Matchday 23 encounters: struggling Hannover against high-flying Frankfurt!
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Hannover vs. Frankfurt from matchday 23 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season at the HDI Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.