In comparison with the 1-1 draw in the Bundesliga home game against Werder Bremen, head coach Peter Bosz made three changes to his starting eleven: Lars Bender made his first start since his muscle injury playing at right-back in place of Aleksandar Dragovic. Wendell replaced Daley Sinkgraven on the left side of the defence. Up front, Lucas Alario started with his Czech Republic teammate Patrik Schick dropping down to the bench. Good news: Werkself captain Charles Aránguiz returned to the squad for the first time since the middle of October.
The visitors from Frankfurt, with four changes to the side that played in the 2-1 league win against Bayer 04 two weeks ago, put the Bosz team under pressure from the start. And the team under head coach Adi Hütter were rewarded early for their bright start: After six minutes, Daichi Kamada put the ball through to Amin Younes and he turned it straight into the net from a central position to make it 1-0.
The goal served as a wake-up call for the Black and Reds with the result that they were able to create a number of goalscoring opportunities. First of all, Alario missed the chance to level with a header (10') and then Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp denied Nadiem Amiri (12’). The game developed into a lively affair at the BayArena with both teams taking every opportunity to press forward.
The committed approach from the hosts finally paid off in the middle of the first half: Leon Bailey wanted to play the ball into the penalty area from the left but it struck the elbow of Erik Durm. As the Frankfurt player was in the box when he handled it, referee Christian Dingert justifiably awarded the penalty. Alario kept his cool as he slotted the ball past Trapp for the equaliser (27'). Shortly after it was 1-1, the Eintracht goalscorer Younes went off injured and he was replaced by Steven Zuber (29'). The best chance before half-time came from Wendell with a long-range effort from 20 yards out but he was unable to beat Trapp (41'). Then came the break with the scores deservedly level after 45 minutes.
The visitors almost took the lead again immediately after the restart – but Lukas Hradecky was able to hold on to a deflected effort from Aymen Barkok (46’). Three minutes later, the ball was in the back of the net at the other end: Kerem Demirbay hit a free kick with his strong left foot that found the head of the incoming Edmond Tapsoba and the unmarked defender was able to turn the cross into the net to make it 2-1 – the match turned round.
And the Werkself kept up the pressure. Moussa Diaby tried his luck from 20 yards out forcing keeper Trapp to turn the shot round the post (55'). 15 minutes later, Amiri again broke through from midfield with great desire and outstanding ball control – and then he went on to pick out Diaby. The Frenchman controlled the ball and tucked it into the far corner to make it 3-1 (67). Game over? As if!
A fast counter-attack by Frankfurt ended with Jonathan Tah bringing down the Eintracht striker André Silva just outside the box. Referee Dingert decided it was a professional foul and he sent the Leverkusen player off (73'). Head coach Bosz brought on Dragovic in place of the goalscorer Alario (75'). Then the skipper Aránguiz joined in with the action (81'). In the closing stages, Diaby struck again with his inimitable pace. The young Frenchman picked up the ball in his own half, sprinted through to the opposition goal and converted to make it 4-1 (87').
The Werkself are in action again again on Friday 15 January with an away match at Union Berlin. The kick-off in Köpenick is at 20.30 CET. The next opponents in the DFB Cup are fourth division Rot-Weiss Essen at the start of February.
Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender (Jedvaj 89’), Tah, Tapsoba, Wendell – Demirbay, Baumgartlinger, Amiri (Aránguiz 81’) – Bailey, Alario (Dragovic 75’), Diaby
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp – Tuta (Chandler 79’), Hinteregger, Ndicka – Durm (Hrustic 70’), Ilsanker, Rode, Barkok (Kohr 70’) – Younes (Zuber 29’), Kamada (Touré 70’) – Silva
Goals: 0-1 Younes (6’), 1-1 Alario (27’), 2-1 Tapsoba (49’), 3-1 Diaby (66’), 4-1 Diaby (87’)
Booked: Tapsoba, L. Bender – Hinteregger
Sent off: Tah (73’)
Referee: Christian Dingert (Gries)
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