The points were shared at the Deutsche Bank Park on Saturday afternoon, as Eintracht Frankfurt were held to a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen.
An intriguing contest throughout, it would be the away side who took the lead early on in the second half when Josh Sargent finished off a clinical counter attack. Die Adler eventually tied things up 15 minutes later after Andre Silva poked home from close range, but neither side could find a late winner, so each had to settle for a point.
Story of the match
The game was an open one from the very start. With both teams utilizing a three at the back formation, that meant there was almost always an opportunity to hit on the counter.
After a frantic opening half hour, it would be Frankfurt who thought they had taken the lead. Andre Silva snuck in behind the backline and rifled a shot that was somehow saved by Jiri Pavlenka. He couldn’t do anything about the rebound, though, as Daichi Kamada was on hand to follow up from close range. However, the goal was ultimately called off after a VAR review deemed Silva to be offside.
The home side were the better one to end the first half, creating one last chance before the break. Kamada was able to break free in behind, but his effort was denied by an onrushing Pavlenka to keep the scores level.
Bremen finally hit on the counter, and would open the scoring through Josh Sargent. Flying past the opposing defense, the American managed to stay onside, and he made no mistake with the finish, smashing a shot towards the near post past a helpless Kevin Trapp.
Frankfurt responded well to going behind, and really should have equalized at the hour mark. David Abraham whipped in a superb cross into the area, but Silva could not redirect his attempted volley on target, and it flew wide instead.
They would get their goal soon after though. Jean-Manuel Mbom was careless with the ball at the back, and had it taken from him in a dangerous area. A low pass managed to find Silva only a few yards out from goal, and he was able to get his shot past Pavlenka and over the line.
There was almost a winning goal at the death for Frankfurt, as a cross from Amin Younes bounced off Bremen defender Niklas Moisander. However, it would be Pavlenka who stepped up to the task once again, getting a leg out to clear the ball away.
In the end, both sides had to settle for a point, which wasn’t too bad of a result for either.
Frankfurt need to be more ruthless
All things considered, Frankfurt really should have won this game.
They had much more of the ball, and created more chances than their opponents. However, they just could not finish on the afternoon.
Sure, Bremen goalkeeper Pavlenka did make some big saves, but a few shots were hit right at him. Even the goal that was scored barely snuck in, which goes to show how wasteful the home side had been.
If Die Adler were able to pick out either corner, they would be leaving this game with three points instead of one. It hasn’t cost them that much today, but if they don’t become more clinical in the final third, then they’ll continue to drop points as the year goes on.
More of the same from Bremen
This game was the third straight 1-1 draw for Bremen, which goes to show what kind of team they are at the moment.
At times, they are incredibly solid at the back, able to clear away any and all crosses hit into the area. Going forward, the Green-Whites are clever, creating space before pouncing on it.
However, there are other times were they resemble the team that barely stayed up last season. The defense always manages to make at least one mistake, while the attack seems lost more often than not.
None of those results were bad ones, of course, as they came against quality sides. However, if Bremen want to be more than just a team that avoids relegation, then they’ll have to start putting complete performances together.
Man of the match - Jiri Pavlenka
Today’s match should remind fans just how good Jiri Pavlenka is.
Unfairly criticized last season, the Bremen goalkeeper could not do much about all the goals he was giving up since the backline in front of him was absolutely woeful. Still, Pavlenka was not being rated as highly as he should have been, which probably cost him a big money move away in the summer.
That has changed this campaign, though. The Green-Whites are more solid at the back, which has really helped Pavlenka. Now, he can focus on making crucial saves at the right time, and that’s exactly what the Czech international did against Frankfurt.
Bremen would have conceded three or four goals if not for Pavlenka, who nearly saved the only effort that did get across the line. He may not have gotten a deserved clean sheet, but this performance still showed that Pavlenka is one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga.