Dhe immediate reaction at the final whistle spoke volumes. When referee Gil Manzano put his whistle in his mouth just before 11 p.m. to end a game in which Eintracht had shown their best side to continue their dream, the Frankfurt players felt a great sense of relief: Nach After the 2-1 win against Olympique Marseille, a large part of the team on the pitch and along the substitutes’ bench as well as the supporters in the stands raised their arms in the air to cheer: Anything is possible!
A statement that many people involved in football like to use as an inflationary phrase sums up Eintracht’s starting position appropriately this time. The Frankfurters can reach the round of 16 of the Champions League on their own. With the victory on Tuesday, with which they overtook the French (6 points) in the classification, the Hessians improved their result in Group D to seven points.
Tottenham (8) held their ground at the top of the four-man table, drawing 1-1 against Sporting Lisbon (7) in the game played at the same time. Eintracht is now in third place – which offers the chance to advance. On Tuesday, the situation will finally clear up during the away appearance in the Portuguese capital.
“It definitely took a lot of effort. I think we played it well and calmly in the end,” said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp later. Mario Götze said: “Especially at the end it was very, very hard, Marseille put on a lot of pressure again. It was hard work today.” And goalscorer Kolo Muani summed it up: “Now the knot has burst, we have a final in Lisbon. If we all stand together like we are today, then there is definitely something in it.”
Isolated incidents with fans
In the afternoon, Eintracht’s juniors had given the pros a through ball: in the Youth League, the juniors beat Marseille 2-0. The previously unbeaten talents thus qualified early for the knockout duels after the winter break; no tickets were sold for the encounter in the Dreieich sports park in order to prevent the fan groups from meeting. A blue light atmosphere also prevailed around the stadium after dark.
After the ugly incidents in the first leg, the police were represented with an unusually high number of emergency services to work with the club’s security staff, which had been increased to 1,100 inspectors, to prevent riots on arrival and departure. In an interim report in the evening, isolated incidents were mentioned, such as firecrackers and bottles being thrown around the Olympique fan march in the station district.
In order to make life difficult for Marseille in terms of sport, Glasner had to come up with solutions to many a defensive problem, which became even more urgent as the events progressed. Hrvoje Smolcic replaced the suspended central defender Tuta. However, the Croatian took over the middle position of the back three as a left foot. Instead, right-footer Kristijan Jakic moved out, which Glaser hoped would increase ball control. Centrally, he relied on the wealth of ideas of the creative minds Götze, Jesper Lindström, Djibril Sow and Daichi Kamada – but initially Sebastian Rode, who belongs more to the fighting and opportunity-hindering faction, stayed on the bench.