Head coach Peter Bosz made one change to his starting line-up for the narrow 2-1 defeat against Bayern Munich just before Christmas: Daley Sinkgraven and Wendell were both sidelined due to positive coronavirus tests. Mitchell Weiser replaced the Dutchman at left-back.
The Werkself, starting the New Year in their silver kit, started with the usual formation with a back four and birthday boy Julian Baumgartlinger in the holding role in a three-man midfield. As usual, the team from Leverkusen took control of the ball. Eintracht Frankfurt closed down space in defence – but the lively visitors found a way through after nine minutes. Youngster Florian Wirtz lobbed the ball to the incoming Nadiem Amiri who skilfully controlled it and then back-heeled it through the legs of the Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp to open the scoring.
The first signs of danger at the other end came five minutes after the opening goal: A long ball put Eintracht striker André Silva through in a one-on-one with Lukas Hradecky but central defender Edmond Tapsoba was able to catch the Portuguese to make the clearance. After that, the Black and Reds regained control of proceedings but it was the team from Hessen who scored next: Younes received a pass from Djibril Sow and he maintained his composure in front of Hradecky to slot the ball into the bottom left corner to level at 1-1 (22').
The two teams then competed on equal terms. The best chance before the break fell to Eintracht goalscorer Younes. The 27-year-old was unmarked 13 yards out with only Hradecky to beat but he lost his balance and ended up putting the ball high over the bar (39'). The two sides went into half-time at the Deutsche Bank Park with the score reflecting the performance of the two teams.
As at the end of the first half, the opening minutes of the second 45 were also evenly balanced. But then the hosts found the back of the net for a second time to turn the game around: Daichi Kamada received a pass from the right, ran with the ball a few yards towards the byline and then hit a firm pass into the middle. Tapsoba tried to intervene to cut out the pass to Silva but only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net (54').
As the Werkself were then unable to create any clear-cut chances, Bosz decided to make a triple substitution: Kerem Demirbay, Karim Bellarabi and Lucas Alario came on. Full-back Weiser was one of the players subbed as Bosz sought to strengthen the attack. However, it was Eintracht who could, and perhaps should, have scored again: Kamada was through on Hradecky on 73 minutes but clearly missed the target; the Japanese failed to connect properly with the ball.
There was almost a second own goal ten minutes from the end: Substitute Bellarabi put in a cross from the right. The Eintracht defender Martin Hinteregger endeavoured to clear the ball but ended up hitting his own woodwork. There were no other chances so that the Black and Reds ended up losing a second game in succession after going undefeated in the twelve league fixtures before.
Bayer 04 are back in action in a week’s time: The first home match of 2021 is on Saturday 9 January. The Werkself entertain Werder Bremen at the BayArena with the kick-off at 15.30 CET.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp – Abraham, Ndicka, Hinteregger – Hasebe, Sow – Durm (Touré 86'), Kamada (Barkok 76'), Younes (Kohr 76'), Kostic – Silva
Bayer 04: Hradecky – Dragovic, Tah, Tapsoba, Weiser (Bellarabi 67') – Wirtz (Demirbay 67'), Baumgartlinger, Amiri – Bailey, Schick, Diaby (Alario 67')
Goals: 0-1 Amiri (9’), 1-1 Younes (22’), 2-1 Tapsoba (o.g. 54’)
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (Munich)
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