Eintracht Frankfurt looked compact and purposeful as they deservedly defeated TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 in Sinsheim on the first Bundesliga matchday of 2020.

Captain David Abraham, now back from suspension, congratulates Timothy Chandler on scoring the winning goal. Previous

The Eagles had won their last three matches against Hoffenheim, and that run never really looked like ending on Saturday, when a lively performance and goals from Bas Dost and Timmy Chandler secured the club’s first league victory since the start of November.

Personnel: Two notable returns

Head coach Adi Hütter brought two long-time absentees back into his 4-2-3-1 formation: Kevin Trapp, who had recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained back in September, and David Abraham, whose suspension had finally run its course. Gelson Fernandes and Daichi Kamada, who both picked up injuries during the recent US training camp, were missing from the squad. Frederik Rönnow, also making his comeback from injury, took a place on the bench, where a significant amount of firepower – in the shape of Andre Silva and Goncalo Paciencia – could also be found.

First half: Dost breaks deadlock

The opening quarter of an hour was fairly uneventful, as both teams probed to no real effect. Hoffenheim were dominating possession, but Eintracht were pressing quickly and smartly, and that tactic produced the opening goal in the 18th minute: after stealing the ball in midfield, Mijat Gacinovic burst down the right, looked up and sent in a pinpoint cross for Dost, who poked the ball home from point-blank range, much to the delight of the clamorous away support. That strike sparked an impressive period of pressure for SGE, during which Gacinovic’s attempted shot was deflected just wide, and Filip Kostic’s raking drive slammed back off the bar. In the 36th minute, however, Hoffenheim showed that they were not out of contention just yet, as Benjamin Hübner brought the best out of the returning Trapp from a corner. 

Second half: Points secured

The home side came out of the dressing room in determined mood, and they conjured up an equaliser after just three minutes, Konstantinos Stafylidis firing past Trapp with a long-range blast. Despite that setback, Eintracht gradually regained a foothold in the encounter, and they went ahead again in the 62nd minute when Chandler met Kostic’s cross with a powerful header that nestled in the far-right corner of Philipp Pentke’s net. Hoffenheim switched formations and pushed men forward, but the SGE rearguard dealt competently with what was thrown at them, as demonstrated by Djibril Sow’s goal-line clearance from Sargis Adamyan’s net-bound shot. In the end, it was the visitors who could and probably should have increased their lead, with Almamy Toure, Dost, Gacinovic, the excellent Kostic and substitute Danny da Costa all squandering viable half-chances.

Summary: Merited triumph

This was a deserved and much-needed victory for the Eagles, who played some excellent, energetic football throughout, and who can now look forward to next week’s home clash with Bundesliga leaders Leipzig with confidence.

SGE line-up

Trapp – Toure, Abraham (c), Hinteregger, Ndicka - Sow, Rode - Chandler (da Costa 82’), Gacinovic (Kohr 85’), Kostic –– Dost

Goals

1-0 Dost (18’)
1-1 Stafylidis (48‘)
1-2 Chandler (62’)

  • 0'
    Kickoff Icon
    Kickoff
  • 18'
    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Goal
    Bas Dost
  • Halftime Icon
    Halftime
  • 45'
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Substitution
    Munas Dabbur for Ihlas Bebou
  • 48'
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Goal
    Konstantinos Stafylidis
  • 62'
    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Goal
    Timothy Chandler
  • 65'
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Yellow card
    Stefan Posch
  • 69'
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Substitution
    Sargis Adamyan for Dennis Geiger
  • 76'
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Yellow card
    Benjamin Huebner
  • 82'
    TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Substitution
    Juergen Locadia for Stefan Posch
    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Substitution
    Danny Da Costa for Timothy Chandler
  • 85'
    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Substitution
    Dominik Kohr for Mijat Gacinovic
  • 89'
    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Yellow card
    Bas Dost
  • 91'
    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Yellow card
    Dominik Kohr
  • 94'
    End Icon
    End
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