Narrow defeat in Berlin
Eintracht Frankfurt failed to score for the first time this season in a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Hertha Berlin on Saturday evening.
Adi Hütter's team put in a typically committed display at the Olympiastadion - the venue for the side's DFB Cup triumph in May - but despite carving out a handful of promising chances were unable to find the net. Hertha's Marko Grujic scored the only goal of the game as the Eagles succumbed to a second successive loss, although they remain fifth in the standings.
Personnel: Salcedo returns
Hütter made just one change to the side that lost to VfL Wolfsburg last week, with Marco Russ dropping to the bench and Carlos Salcedo coming back into the starting line-up for the first time in three months after suffering an ankle injury against Werder Bremen on 1 September. Team captain David Abraham remained sidelined after sustaining an injury on Matchday 12.
First half: Hertha edge ahead
Eintracht began brightly as they looked to bounce back from last week's defeat, but came up against equally committed home team that packed the midfield and defence in an effort to stifle the Eagles' attacks. As such, it took a while for the first opportunity of the game to arrive, with Sébastien Haller hitting the post following a neat turn inside the box. There were further good chances for Filip Kostic and Ante Rebic in what was an evenly balanced game, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock when Grujic headed in from a corner shortly before half-time.
Second half: No way through for Eintracht
It was largely one-way traffic towards the Hertha penalty area after the interval as Hütter's troops pushed for an equaliser. The home team sat back and waited for their chance to counter, with one such break leading to Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp superbly denying Davie Selke in a one-on-one. The Eagles threw everything forward in the closing stages but were denied on several occasions by last-ditch tackles, while the best opening fell to Luka Jovic, whose his mis-hit volley from 12 yards was saved by Rune Jarstein.
Summary: Off day up front
As disappointing as it was to lose for a second week in succession, Eintracht can take heart from another solid showing. They were robust and organised at the back, quick in transitions in midfield and created a number of scoring chances. The difference to previous games this season was simply a lack of a cutting edge to finish them off.
SGE line-up: Trapp – Salcedo, Hasebe, Ndicka – Da Costa (Müller 81'), Fernandes (Willems 72'), de Guzman, Kostic – Jovic, Rebic (Gacinovic 72'), Haller
1-0 Grujic (40')
40'Hertha BSCGoalMarko Grujic
65'Hertha BSCSubstitutionMaximilian Mittelstaedt for Salomon Kalou
66'Hertha BSCYellow cardDavie Selke
72'Eintracht FrankfurtSubstitutionMijat Gacinovic for Ante RebicSubstitutionJetro Willems for Gelson Fernandes
81'Hertha BSCSubstitutionOndrej Duda for Vedad IbisevicEintracht FrankfurtSubstitutionNicolai Mueller for Danny Da Costa
90'Hertha BSCSubstitutionPer Skjelbred for Arne Maier