Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 FC Köln: Meier's brace sends soaring Eagles into fifth
Image credit: kicker

An early Marcel Risse goal was followed by an entire half of Frankfurt dominance, which was rewarded when Alex Meier headed home. Frankfurt's main man added to his tally minutes after the break, as Haris Seferovic turned provider once more. Jonas Hector found an equaliser with a rare foray from the back, but a late Kevin Wimmer own-goal meant the home fans went home happy.

Following a spectacular win against Hamburger SV, thanks to Lucas Piazon's amazing costless-kick, Eintracht Frankfurt had a mass of injuries to contend with. Vaclav Kadlec, Kevin Trapp, Johannes Flum, Marc Stendera, Jan Rosenthal, Nelson Valdez, Constant Djakpa and Sonny Kittel were all unavailable for the visit of FC Köln. Thomas Schaaf made two changes to the side that beat HSV 2-1. Timothy Chandler and Stefan Aigner dropped out for Takashi Inui and Carlos Zambrano, with no place in the side for Piazon despite his winner.

Köln were without star striker Patrick Helmes and Dusan Svento for their trip to Frankfurt, after losing 2-0 to Bayern Munich a week previous. Peter Stöger broke up his ever present back four when Miso Brecko dropped to the bench for Pawel Olkowski. The Pole's move to his usual right-back position meant that Marcel Risse started on the right hand side. Yannick Gerhardt and Adam Matuschyk also dropped out of the side, as Yuya Osako and Kevin Vogt gained starting berths.

There were early chances for both sides, as Carlos Zambrano cleared Marcel Risse's shot and Daniel Halfar's follow up was easy for Felix Wiedwald. Jonas Hector, who had slipped previously, recovered excellently to put in a magnificent block on Alex Meier's effort. Felix Wiedwald had to be alert to the returning Simon Zoller, who broke the offside trap and went through on goal, but for the new Eagles' number one to deny him. Zoller's influence was obvious, as he almost got on the end of another Risse cross.

It was the troublesome Risse that opened the scoring. After Halfar dispossessed Frankfurt on the half-way line, Kevin Vogt ran costless and straight at the hosts' defence. Backing off and backing off, they were left wide open when Yuya Osako's run took away the majority of the defenders. Vogt then slid in Risse, who made no mistake in finishing delightfully past the on-rushing Wiedwald.

Frankfurt issued an immediate response, when both Haris Seferovic and Meier were both denied by quite remarkable reflex stops from Timo Horn. Solid as ever, Horn was demonstrating just why he is such a highly sought after goalkeeper. This began a period of complete dominance for the home side. Hector, Dominic Maroh and Kevin Wimmer were all forced into heroic last ditch challenges, as the Billy Goats' left-back was there to make a remarkable goal-line clearance.

The Eintracht bombardment continued right up until the end of the half, when it finally paid dividends. Marco Russ played a lovely slide-rule pass to Seferovic, out-wide on the left, the striker used the outside of his boot to curl in the most tempting of crosses. There to meet it was Mr.Dependable, Alex Meier. He rose above everyone else to head home a deserved equaliser, right on the half-time whistle.

The majority of the first half was controlled by the hosts and the start of the second was very similar. Köln finally got some time on the ball and began to make some forward advances, but they weren't terribly threatening. However, any respite from the Eintracht attack was short-lived, as Frankfurt went ahead. Some swift and sleek football meant that, yet again, Haris Seferovic found himself out wide. This time, he cut back on his stronger left foot and whipped in a magnificent delivery. Alex Meier met it and guided it past Horn and into the bottom corner, sending the home fans into rapture.

Meier was causing the away defence headache, in literal terms, as he almost connected with a further two crosses. Somehow, despite Frankfurt's utter dominance, FC managed to restore parity. With Frankfurt's defence pushing up, Kevin Vogt sent a beautiful, raking 50 yard pass towards Jonas Hector. Köln's star man of the first half ghosted in behind Aleksander Ignjovski, killed the ball and chipped the ball over Wiedwald. For a goal that wouldn't look out of place from one of the world's best strikers, the left-back took his goal phenomenally well.

However, just like the first half, Frankfurt issued an immediate response. Seferovic drove through the Köln back-line, but his touch was much too heavy and Timo Horn was able to make a strong save. Another great chance followed, but Takashi Inui failed to guide the ball home from Ignjovski's pin-point cross. Anthony Ujah, top-scorer for the visitors, arrived off of the bench and nearly made an immediate impact, only for Bastian Oczipka to make a timely last-ditch tackle.

With 10 minutes remaining, disaster struck in the visiting defence. An Oczipka corner seemed easy to clear - especially with a heavy Köln prescence on the near post - but after Ujah missed the initial header, bedlam ensued. After a series of missed clearances, the ball hit Kevin Wimmer and squirmed under Horn. It wasn't pretty by any means, not that Frankfurt were concerned as they went 3-2 ahead. Anderson Bamba made two key blocks to deny two near-certain goals, with FC players qeueing up for a tap in.

The win sent Frankfurt into an impressive fifth position, level on points with Gladbach and Leverkusen, especially when the amount of draws is taken into consideration. Köln doubled their goal tally this evening, but will be disappointed to give up the winning goal in such fashion. Frankfurt can look forward to facing Paderborn after the international break; while the Billy Goats play host to Borussia Dortmund, with both sides on rotten runs of form.

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