Iis this the breakthrough? After the last two weak competitive games, Eintracht showed a strong fighting spirit in the highest European competition and their well-known successful international away face.
On Tuesday evening, coach Oliver Glasner’s Frankfurt team managed a perhaps groundbreaking 1-0 win in Marseille. For the Hessians it was the first victory in the Champions League campaign and after the 0:3 in the opening game against Sporting Lisbon, which also won the second group game against Tottenham Hotspur 2:0, the right signal at the right time. The only goal was scored by Jesper Lindström, who made Eintracht feel happy in the 43rd minute.
Next up for Eintracht in the Champions League is the home game on October 4 (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on Dazn) against Tottenham. Possibly without a spectator.
Serious riots broke out around the game in Marseille. Two hours before kick-off there was plenty of lighting. Cannon bangs caused loud bangs around the arena and later also in the stadium. Bengalos also burned again and again; fireworks also flew into the sky. It was a very heated atmosphere overall, and it was no wonder that the police had increased their forces to a good 1,000 officers in the French Mediterranean metropolis. 3300 fans of Eintracht had received a ticket for the second premier class game of Frankfurt.
Because last season in the second leg of the semifinals against West Ham United, Frankfurt supporters stormed onto the field after the end of the game to celebrate with the players who had made it to the final, the European Football Union (UEFA) imposed a fine in Amount of 80,000 euros and a ghost game on probation for two years.
There is much to suggest that Eintracht, which is playing on probation, will be drastically held responsible for the derailments of their so-called fans and that a ghost game is imminent. Around half an hour before the scheduled kick-off, there had been other serious riots that should result in punishment for both clubs. Bengalos and rockets kept flying from both fan blocks into the other spectator area. A life-threatening situation for those directly affected.
It was played anyway. The UEFA protocol was observed, the Spanish referee José Maria Sánchez kicked off the game at 9 p.m. sharp. The AFP news agency reported, citing the prefecture, that some German supporters in the stands are said to have shown the Hitler salute. As early as Monday evening, eight people were arrested after a fight in the city center, including a German, according to the local police. Six more arrests were made on Tuesday. The Frankfurt annex had to adapt to strict restrictions, and the authorities had issued bans on staying in some areas within Marseille.
When the football game really got going, it came as no surprise that Makoto Hasebe was in charge of the back three. The 38-year-old Japanese was immediately the prudent strategist in the French cauldron that Eintracht needed on this hot-blooded football night. The Frankfurters showed early on that they particularly like away games under European auspices. In the fifth minute, Randal Kolo Muani had a first chance with his head. Eintracht, which had Kristijan Jakic and Ansgar Knauff on the right and left flanks, while Kolo Muani and Lindström, Mario Götze and Daichi Kamada played on the offensive, had to be on their guard for the first time in the tenth minute when Alexis Sanchez took measurements. A short time later he was unlucky with another action – he hit the side netting.
Eintracht tried again and again to put the French under pressure with quick counterattacks. After one of these good attacks, Kamada’s cross was not precise enough (20′). Kolo Muani had the next opportunity. Instead of shooting, it would have been wiser to serve Lindström (25′). Eintracht’s effort was rewarded two minutes before the end of the first half. A bit of luck was also involved, of course, as Kolo Muani’s pass was deflected by Valentin Rongier in such a way that the ball bounced at Lindström’s feet. The Dane took advantage of the unexpected chance and scored to make it 1-0 in Frankfurt.
It was also the nimble Lindström who had the next big opportunity after the break. His shot from a low half-right position landed on the crossbar (54′). Three minutes later it was Knauff who should have made more of his solo. Olympique, spurred on by their own crowd, increased their attacking efforts from then on. In the 66th minute, Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp reacted brilliantly when he stopped Rongier’s shot from taking effect. Gerson didn’t hit the ball properly in the next dangerous scene (71′).
From the 72nd minute onwards, Sebastian Rode was back on the ball for Eintracht after an injury break. Götze was out of the game for the captain. Kolo Muani could have made it 2-0 in the further open exchange of blows – but he was denied by goalkeeper Pau Lopez (75′). When Kamada scored the supposed 2-0 (79th), the prompt correction came. There was an offside position. More rockets and cannon blasts were fired from the fan blocks. Ugly scenes of a game that Eintracht couldn’t get out of hand.