Women’s Bundesliga: Frankfurt Klatsche in Wolfsburg

IHer encouraging songs were well-intentioned. In the freezing cold, a few die-hard fans persevered and waited around an hour and a half for the team bus to leave. They went to great lengths to somehow comfort a humiliated crew. “That’s a slap,” admitted Sjoeke Nuesken. “VfL Wolfsburg was superior in every respect,” added Laura Feiersinger.

With the footballers of Eintracht Frankfurt after the 0:5 defeat in the top game, the realization matured that they were still missing a lot on the way to the top. Eintracht coach Niko Arnautis looked back on a bitter day “when we got homework”. The women from Wolfsburg showed their team without any mercy what can be achieved with consistency, power and effectiveness.

Which images of this unequal duel will remain? The supporters who traveled from Frankfurt could at least enjoy the fact that Laura Freigang took an amazing amount of time for selfies and autograph requests after the final whistle. The national player ran to the Wolfsburg goal all by herself in the 61st minute, but was unable to take advantage of Frankfurt’s only chance. All other efforts were lost in a game that was poison for any team morale, no matter how intact. The early deficit through a goal by the outstanding Jill Roord (three goals) was followed by individual errors by goalkeeper Stina Johannes and Verena Hanshaw, who favored the 0:2 and 0:3 before the half-time break. Shortly before the second advent, presents were distributed to a favorite who icily accepted the invitation. In front of 14,027 spectators in the stadium VfL Wolfsburg the Frankfurt team seemed very small in the end.

Eintracht’s plan for the eagerly awaited ninth match day of the women’s Bundesliga failed. To rush forward again and again from a well-organized defense and to find playful solutions – that was almost impossible. And it looked really odd when former Frankfurt goalkeeper Merle Frohms started using small tempo runs across the pitch to keep warm during the one-sided game. “It was fun to watch from behind,” said the keeper of a league leader whose throne could not be shaken.

And as if the afternoon in Lower Saxony hadn’t already failed badly enough, Sara Doorsoun’s own goal to 0:5 against her former club rounded off a debacle that clearly showed the limits of Frankfurt’s ambitions. How did Laura Feiersinger sum it up so Solomonically? “It’s good to see,” said the midfielder, “where we want to go.”

In the duel between the leader and the pursuer, there were no subtle, but rather large differences. Physical presence like that of the Wolfsburg woman Lena Oberdorf, who likes to slow down their opponents by resolute intervention, was as good as non-existent on the Frankfurt side. And the fact that VfL had a weak phase in the meantime didn’t matter given its dominance. Goals two and three, scored by Jill Roord and Ewa Pajor, were unnecessary according to Eintracht player Sjoeke Nüsken. They had the effect of slaps in the face.

“Didn’t feel like a 0:5”

A rearing up after this deficit was hardly an option. Only substitute Carlotta Wamser showed with a high level of commitment and an enormous amount of running that more resistance against the impending adversity would have been possible. Even the most loyal Eintracht fans had meanwhile stopped cheering. The huge flag in the stands, which had been waved back and forth at the beginning of the game, was hardly used in the final phase.

After the sovereign victory, the Wolfsburg coach Tommy Stroot was asked whether the preliminary decision on the way to the next championship title had already been made. He politely said no and tried very hard not to humiliate his rivals from Frankfurt too much with his joy at the one-sided top game. At the obligatory press conference, pleasantries were mainly exchanged without clearly emphasizing Eintracht Frankfurt’s lack of a chance on this pre-Christmas Saturday.

Before the home game on Friday (7.15 p.m.) against Turbine Potsdam, there is little time for a critical review of the first defeat for the Frankfurt team in the 2022/23 Bundesliga season. After the end of the game, Eintracht coach Arnautis refrained from becoming clear. Talking about a debacle or a humiliation of his team remained alien to him. “It sounds stupid. But it didn’t feel like 0-5,” said Arnautis.

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