Eagles lose 3-0 in first leg
Eintracht Frankfurt were undone by a clinical performance from FC Basel as they were beaten 3-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.
Eintracht were punished for not making their dominance count as goals from Samuele Campo, Kevin Bua and Fabian Frei gave the visitors a commanding lead in the tie.
Personnel: Two changes from the weekend
Adi Hütter made two alterations to his starting XI following Saturday’s defeat at Bayer Leverkusen. Captain David Abraham returned in the centre of defence in place of Stefan Ilsanker, while Djibril Sow replaced Dominik Kohr in midfield.
First half: Basel strike first
In front of an empty Commerzbank-Arena, the match got off to a slow start, with Eintracht having the lion’s share of the possession but restricted to long-range efforts. Basel, who had barely threatened up to this point, then took the lead when Campo curled a fine free-kick into the top corner and out of Kevin Trapp’s reach.
The Eagles pushed for an equaliser but continued to be frustrated by the visitors, who went in at half-time with a one-goal lead.
Second half: Eagles punished
Basel started the second period brightly and had a good chance to double their lead when the ball bounced through to Fabian Frei in the penalty area, but he couldn’t direct his volley on target. However, Eintracht soon started to exert pressure and had their first real opportunity in the 52nd minute, when Filip Kostic teed up Andre Silva, who curled the ball over the bar. Shortly after, half-time substitute Goncalo Paciencia headed just over from Kostic’s free-kick.
There was more urgency in Eintracht’s play now, with the chances becoming more frequent. Almamy Toure twice went close within the space of a few minutes, first striking the bar with a mishit cross and then having a half-volley tipped around the post by Basel goalkeeper Jonas Omlin. The Eagles were made to pay for not converting those chances in the 73rd minute when they failed to deal with a long ball from Omlin, and substitute Bua lifted the ball over Trapp. Things got worse for Hütter’s men in the 85th minute, when Frei finished off a swift counter-attack to make it three.
Summary: Not clinical enough
After a flat first half, Eintracht improved after the break and looked close to scoring an equaliser, only to be hit by two sucker punches from an efficient Basel side. The Eagles now have a mountain to climb in the second leg, which will also take place in Frankfurt in a week’s time.
Trapp – Toure, Abraham, Hinteregger, Ndicka – Sow (Paciencia 46’), Hasebe (Ilsanker 73’), Rode – Kamada (Gacinovic 78), Silva, Kostic
0-1 Campo (27‘)
0-2 Bua (73‘)
0-3 Frei (85‘)
11'BaselYellow cardSamuele Campo
23'Eintracht FrankfurtYellow cardDjibril Sow
45'Eintracht FrankfurtSubstitutionGoncalo Paciencia for Djibril Sow
53'BaselYellow cardEray Coemert
68'BaselSubstitutionKevin Bua for Raoul Petretta
74'Eintracht FrankfurtSubstitutionStefan Ilsanker for Makoto Hasebe
75'BaselYellow cardOmar Alderete
78'Eintracht FrankfurtSubstitutionMijat Gacinovic for Daichi KamadaBaselSubstitutionJasper van der Werff for Samuele Campo
92'BaselSubstitutionEdon Zhegrova for Valentin Stocker