German champions? Eintracht cautiously euphoric
Eintracht Frankfurt is the only team in the Bundesliga top quartet to win. In Freiburg and Munich, the Europa League winners can now show that they really are a top team.
Most of the Eintracht fans in the stadium weren’t even born yet, when the Frankfurters of Germany best soccer team. That was in 1959, for the only time by the way. After the 3-0 win against Schalke 04, the ranks echoed longingly: “German champions – only the SGE!”
The constellation seems as if painted: The Europa League winner and Champions League round of 16, who was always euphoric anyway, is suddenly second in the table behind FC Bayern Munich and challenges the industry leader at the summit next Saturday evening. Yes coach Oliver Glasner does not accept the role of Bayern hunter after a rather sluggish start to the year for his team.
toad: “We always want to achieve the maximum”
“I’ve never thought about table positions in January. What counts is what then happens at the end of May Bundesliga there it is. Now it’s completely irrelevant,” said the 48-year-old Austrian. “I don’t care what the others say. We’ll take care of ourselves.”
Of course, the ambitions on the Main have grown enormously. Sports director Markus Krösche put it this way during the week: “We always want to achieve the maximum and not limit ourselves to the top.” But title fight? After the flattering success at this level against the tail light from Gelsenkirchen, Glasner quickly recalled the 1:6 defeat at the season opener against the Bavaria. He also meant it “quite honestly” when he congratulated Schalke and his colleague Thomas Reis “on a very, very good performance”. And Glasner warned: “If we play as many games as we do today, then we will score relatively few points in the second half of the season.”
In front of 50,000 spectators, the Danish World Cup participant Jesper Lindström (22nd minute) and at the end the substitutes Rafael Borré and Aurélio Buta (84th/90th + 1) scored for the often unsorted but efficient Frankfurt team. To the great delight of Glasner and Krösche, because the Colombian Borré hadn’t played such a big role in the last six months as in the previous European Cup season, but really got involved in the preparation.
Eintracht only five points behind Bayern
And Buta – the Portuguese with Angolan roots came on a free transfer from Royal Antwerp last summer and has been injured repeatedly since then – made a successful debut. So it didn’t matter that French Vice World Champion Randal Kolo Muani “was a bit sick in the morning” (Glasner) and couldn’t shine too much.
In any case, Frankfurt reduced the gap to record champions Munich to five points and overtook SC Freiburg. Speaking of Freiburg: FC Bayern is not the next opponent of the Hessians in the English week, but Christian Streich’s team, who were badly beaten in Wolfsburg on Wednesday evening. One more reason for Eintracht to postpone the top game in Munich for the time being.
Especially since there is a lot to work on when second in the table. “I don’t think we played well. The way is not what we imagine. We weren’t there 100 percent,” criticized Krösche and of course emphasized: “We now have two really difficult games ahead of us. ” Glasner said smugly: “If you win, you can maybe be a bit more critical in the analysis.”