The Eagles were off to a flying start thanks to Kamada’s early opener. Former Arsenal man Matteo Guendouzi briefly restored parity for the visitors but Frankfurt soon moved back in front through Kolo Muani’s finish. Kevin Trapp ensured that remained the case with saves to deny Alexis Sanchez in each half, but ultimately Oliver Glasner’s men can reflect on a deserved, not to mention hugely important, three points.
Smolcic makes UCL debut
The Eagles were forced into one change to the side which beat Gladbach 3-1 on Saturday, with Hrvoje Smolcic getting his first Champions League start in place of the suspended Tuta at the heart of the back three.
Frankfurt set the tone
Knowing defeat would end their round of 16 hopes, Eintracht laid down an early marker with Kamada’s strike just three minutes in. A smart one-two down the left set N’Dicka hurtling forward, his low cross intelligently left by Lindström for Kamada to control and plant a fine finish into the bottom-right corner.
Marseille could have levelled things shortly afterwards had Jonathan Clauss not dragged his shot wide, but it was Frankfurt who continued to threaten most with Mario Götze and Christopher Lenz each going close before Guendouzi equalised with a thumping volley against the run of play.
Parity lasted barely five minutes, though, as Eintracht again went in front. Lindström was involved once more, cutting in from the right and finding Götze, who laid off deftly for Kolo Muani to roll in from seven metres out.
Trapp frustrates Sanchez
Oliver Glasner’s men didn’t have it all their own way. Trapp was alert to thwart Alexis Sanchez either side of the interval, first making a sensational low save to deny the Chilean’s volley and then stretching to palm away a free-kick that was destined for the top corner. Sanchez almost caught the big German out between times, but his clever chip sailed just past the post.
Trapp was unruffled when Nuno Tavares’ fizzing effort after a winding run found the side-netting and when the Frankfurt keeper finally seemed beaten, Smolcic came to the rescue with double block from Cengiz Under.
All to play for on Matchday 6
That was as nervy as it got for the hosts, though, and they might have put the game to bed entirely had substitute Rafael Borré found the net with a late header. As it turned out, though, the UEFA Europa League winners held on comfortably to the three points which now mean victory at Sporting on Matchday 6 will guarantee them a place in the knockout draw on 7 November.
Trapp – Jakic, Smolcic, N’Dicka – Dina Ebimbe (Alidou 79’), Kamada, Sow, Lenz (Pellegrini 45’) – Lindström (Rode 69’), Götze – Kolo Muani (Borré 79’)
1-0 Kamada (3’)
1-1 Guendouzi (22’)
2-1 Kolo Muani (27’)