Still struggling to find their best form after rather falling from grace the last few seasons, Frankfurt were immediately under the cosh in Munich, the Bavarians with a chance to take the lead inside of a minute.
Unable to play out and launch a meaningful attack, Frankfurt were forced into conceding sloppy and needless fouls, Melanie Behringer’s floated free kick another chance for the hosts to take the advantage less than ten minutes into the game. Lise Munk’s near-post flick sent the ball into the cluster of bodies right in front of Desirée Schumann, the keeper falling on the nodded ball before Nora Holstad could poke it beyond the line.
It was all rather easy for Munich, a red rash covering the visitors, advancing forward with every meaningful attack but quick to get back in numbers and swarm their own box. As the game wore through the next ten minutes the visitors saw far more of the ball but continued without purpose, sparse numbers forward unable to find a route through to Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s goal.
Having a muted season, Munich have been confined to [mostly] 1-0 wins and after taking the game by the scruff on the next in the opening exchanges they began to fade in attack, the goal to break the deadlock coming out of nothing. Kept relatively quiet, Vivianne Miedema sparked into life, working space in front of the box, cutting from side to side to find enough room to swoop an effort towards Schumann.
The 'keeper did well to read the shot going away from her, her parry enough to keep it out but with a defence too high in the box it was Nicole Rolser who reached the errant ball before a Frankfurter, lashing it beyond a scampering Schumann and into the roof of the net.
Frankfurt’s best chance came late in the half, Behringer’s attempted clearance at a corner could only fall into Saskia Bartusiak’s path, the captain unmarked in the box as she ripped her volley over the bar. The half waned to the break, Munich lacking sparkle in attack and Frankfurt just lacking.
Take a chance
The second-half echoed the first, neither side hitting top gear but Frankfurt with a run of chances, Yūki Ōgimi unlucky as she dashed beyond Stefanie van der Gragt, nipping onto a weak back pass, Korpela just bright enough to cover the danger. Ōgimi involved again a few minutes later, her cross-shot worked its’ way to Mandy Islacker but her back post acrobatic volley was never troubling the 'keeper.
Again Ōgimi offered the visitors their best chance, her neat header had Korpela as it floated across goal before slipping just wide, Laura Störzel’s low free kick carved a half-chance for Jackie Groenen but Korpela remained untroubled. A moment of profound sloppiness at the back saw Frankfurt fail to hit the target two times within five seconds, Störzel’s blocked shot fell nicely for Groenen but her slice drifted harmlessly wide. The visitors with yet another chance minutes later, Sophie Schmidt the next on the list to fail to hit the target, her header at a set piece failing to ignite the away team.
Time ticked away and Thomas Wörle made full use of his bench, far from straight swaps Behringer and Miedema were duly replaced by Carina Wenninger and Caroline Abbé respectively. The extra defensive presence on the pitch a necessary measure as Munich struggled to find possession or at least alleviate pressure in their own half, Frankfurt with all the chances, finishing not their strong point on this particular day.
Lisa Evans was left red-faced and out of puff as she broke at pace, streaking from one half of the pitch to the other with the ball on her toe, Bartusiak half a stride behind her as she angled into the box. Schumann off of her line to cover as much of the goal as she could, Evans’ lifted shot beat the keeper with ease, the reverse side taking hold just as it looked like the ball was going to curl inside of the far post, anti-curl taking it away from goal. The failed shot Evans last action before she too was replaced by a defender.
Schumann coming up trumps in the dying seconds as Rosler broke through the middle, evading the offside trap, trying to get the keeper to over-commit and carry the ball around her. Schumann stayed bright to snatch the ball as Rosler fired, her shot ultimately a poor one, Schumann’s gloves the safest place on the pitch. Korpela then the hero for the hosts as she just managed to grab a hold of Islacker’s stoppage time effort, her shot from distance with plenty of shape on it, the visitors unrelenting until the end.
The win catapults Munich to second in the Frauen-Bundesliga table, the current champions nowhere near their best, the win not just their fifth 1-0 of the campaign but the seventh time they’ve only found the back of the net once. Far more potent in the UEFA Women’s Champions League this term, the muted results in the league should be a cause for concern, the hosts were completely over-run in the second-half, Frankfurt – the league’s top goal scorers – unlucky not to have taken anything from the game.
Although Frankfurt are having their own troubles this season, Munich’s results ask more questions; Wörle’s team were saved more by sloppy finishing than defensive prowess. Injuries are no doubt playing their part, the Bavarians possibly with a mind on an imminent trip to Russia for a UWCL second-leg but this isn’t the first time this year they’ve scraped by.
As said, Frankfurt are having their own struggles this year, having scored more than any other team (largely in part to their opening day 8-0 over Borussia Mönchengladbach) they’ve also conceded more than any team in the top half of the table.
Their only other wins this year a 4-2 over Bayer 04 Leverkusen and a 2-1 at home to FF USV Jena don’t speak of the ability the team possesses. With the rise of Turbine Potsdam, SGS Essen and SC Freiburg this year it’s increasingly harder to predict outcomes and results, the league incredibly competitive yet it’s still a surprise to see Frankfurt languishing just above the noticeably weaker teams.